Travis Mack to call 100th Cup event as crew chief at Charlotte

A significant milestone start is in the making for Travis Mack, crew chief for Daniel Suarez and the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team in the NASCAR Cup Series. By participating in this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Mack will call his 100th career event as crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Mack’s racing career began as a mechanic for Frank Kimmel’s ARCA Menards Series team before joining Hendrick Motorsports as a shock specialist and front-end mechanic in 2004, where he worked with Jeff Gordon before eventually teaming up with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Nine years later, he served as a car chief for JR Motorsports’ No. 7 team and driver Regan Smith in the Xfinity Series before moving over to JRM’s No. 9 team and rookie Chase Elliott for the 2014 season, where the team ended up winning the series championship. Beginning in 2015, he became a car chief for Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team in the Cup circuit.

At Richmond Raceway in September 2017, Mack made his debut as a Cup Series crew chief in an interim role for Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 HMS team after Earnhardt’s regular crew chief, Greg Ives, was suspended due to a lug nut infraction stemming from the previous event at Darlington Raceway. During the event at Richmond and with Mack atop the pit box, Earnhardt Jr. led 13 laps before finishing 13th.

In 2018, Mack was named crew chief for Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entry piloted by veteran Kasey Kahne. Following the first 15 events of the 2018 season, however, Mack was replaced by Jon Leonard after the team posted five top-20 results and finished no higher than 17th three times. Mack would return to the Xfinity Series to serve as a crew chief for Michael Annett and the No. 5 JRM team for the remainder of the 2018 season.

In November 2020, Mack, who achieved his first Xfinity victory as a crew chief with Annett at Daytona in February 2019, was named crew chief for the newly formed Trackhouse Racing and driver Daniel Suarez for the 2021 Cup season. Despite being suspended for two of the 26 regular-season events, Mack and Suarez achieved a strong fourth-place run at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Course in March along with a total of three top-10 results and nine top-15 results. While they did not make the 2021 Cup Playoffs, the duo proceeded to finish in the top 15 five times throughout the postseason before concluding the season in 25th place in the final standings.

Remaining at Trackhouse Racing and paired with Suarez for the 2022 season, Mack led the No. 99 team to two fourth-place results and a total of four top-10 results through the first 15-scheduled events. Then at Sonoma Raceway in June, Mack achieved his first Cup Series career victory as a crew chief when Suarez led a race-high 47 of 110 laps and notched his first career win in NASCAR’s premier series, thus becoming the first Mexican-born competitor to win a Cup event. To go along with five additional top-10 results for the remainder of the regular-season stretch, Mack and Suarez qualified for the 2022 Cup Playoffs. Despite transferring from the Round of 16 to 12 on the strength of three consecutive top-20 results, the duo missed the cutline to the Round of 8 by a mere margin and after a power steering issue at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course in October diminished the team’s title hopes. With only a single top-10 result during the final four scheduled events, Mack and Suarez capped off the season in 10th place in the final standings.

This season, Mack, who remains at Trackhouse for a third consecutive season, has led Suarez and the No. 99 team to four top-10 results through the first 13-scheduled events, with their best on-track result being a fourth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in February. The duo is ranked in 18th place in the driver’s standings and trail the top-16 cutline to make the 2023 Cup Playoffs by 13 points.

Through 99 previous Cup events, Mack has achieved one victory, eight top-five results, 21 top-10 results and 395 laps led while working with three different competitors.

Mack is scheduled to call his 100th Cup Series event as a crew chief in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28. The event is scheduled to commence at 6 p.m. ET on FOX.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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