NASCAR: How Trackhouse and 23XI Racing Emerged From the Late-Race Chaos in Atlanta

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ahead of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in the repaved, reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR Cup Series drivers predicted chaos. Now, when it comes to stock car racing, the Cup Series drivers are the best of the best, it’s no surprise they were absolutely correct.

The alterations to the historic track gave it a fresh racing surface and unconventional dimensions. The new Atlanta Motor Speedway is now the highest banked intermediate oval on the circuit, and its narrowed 40-foot corners give it a superspeedway feel.

This, indeed, led to chaos in the 1.54-mile track, with multiple drivers crashing out of the race. That said, the Trackhouse Racing and 23XI Racing teams still had impressive showings in the unfamiliar track.

Though the winner of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 came from Hendrick Motorsports, Trackhouse and 23XI both snagged top 5 positions in the final race standings. In fact, both Trackhouse Racing drivers took top 5 spots, with Ross Chastain coming in 2nd and Daniel Suárez taking 4th.

23XI Racing didn’t have quite as much luck, as Bubba Wallace finished 13th. However, his teammate, Kurt Busch, took 3rd position, boosting the team’s stats in Atlanta.

NASCAR Drivers Give Their Thoughts on QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta

NASCAR driver Ross Chastain, who led the field for a staggering 42 laps of the QuickTrip 500, said the final lap of the race was a nerve-racking experience. His No. 1 Chevrolet was threatening a tire failure, which would most certainly cause the driver to lose control of the car.

Instead, however, the Trackhouse driver was able to push through. And when it was all said and done, Ross Chastain couldn’t have been prouder.

“Just keep putting ourselves here, man,” said Chastain after scoring his third consecutive top-three finish of the season. “You know, our day could have very easily been last, like we could have been whatever, the 37th-place car. But we made it, and then we put ourselves back in position.”

The No. 1 driver was absolutely glowing as he spoke about his dreams becoming reality. “We keep bringing these fast Chevys … like, I’m living my dream. So I can’t imagine it getting any better,” Ross Chastain said. “But seeing the checkered flag right there and to see William have that win, we’re close.”

Bubba Wallace came close to victory but suffered “the hardest hit” he’s had in his career during the last leg of the race, knocking him out of top-10 contention. That said, the 23XI Racing team is still proud of Wallace’s performance.

“We go out there all the time, so you know, just do your best and let the chips fall where they may,” said No. 23 crew chief Robert Barker. “But we were there. We were all there, and Bubba did exceptional, so I’m pleased with our effort.”