NASCAR: How Trackhouse Racing’s Risky Move Paid Off for Ross Chastain at Circuit of the Americas

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Allan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at COTA saw Ross Chastain capture his first Cup Series win of his career. This marked a massive career achievement for the Trackhouse Racing NASCAR driver, but as with most things in life, the life-changing victory didn’t come without taking a few risks.

The sixth Cup Series race of the 2022 season was only the sixth race total for Trackhouse as a two-car team. Joining co-owners Justin Marks and Pitbull in their vision for a new NASCAR Cup Series operation has proven to be a step in the right direction for the No. 1 driver. However, it required a big leap of faith from Ross Chastain.

Signing on with a NASCAR team, or any organization, for that matter, in its embryonic stage is a gamble. Trackhouse Racing didn’t have a history of winning…because they didn’t have a history at all. But Justin Marks’ dream was so vivid, he made his new drivers, Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, feel nothing but confidence in the budding team.

“The pitch was, let’s build a great team together. Let’s do all of this together,” Marks said. “That was the inside-of-the-building pitch. The outside-of-the-building pitch is this sport is ready for challengers. It’s ready for disruptors. It’s ready for people to come in and challenge the status quo and how we do things, have some fun, look good, try to be fast, win races, have a good time doing it.”

“I just have always been authentic about my mission,” Marks continued. “I just take a lot of pride in seeing everybody’s smiles and happiness today. The pitch was, let’s just do something great together.”

Trackhouse Racing Driver Ross Chastain Talks First NASCAR Cup Series Win

Ross Chastain’s career has been a rocky one, but the Trackhouse Racing driver has never given up, driving everything he could in the span of his 11 years in NASCAR in an effort to stay in the sport. And his unwavering perseverance finally paid off. After more than a decade of uncertainty, Ross Chastain can now call himself a Cup Series winner.

The change in luck is so new, however, that Chastain struggled to believe it was real. “I’m a good couch racer,” Chastain said. “I believed for a long time, but Justin asked me on the front stretch, ‘Do you believe yet?’ I would say that I still struggle with that.”

The entire Trackhouse Racing team was overjoyed by Ross Chastain’s incredible victory on Sunday. Trackhouse president Ty Norris was so excited, in fact, that he lifted Chastain off the ground during their post-win embrace.

Ross Chastain might be surprised by his newfound success, but Ty Norris knew it all along. “Look, this is not the time to stop,” the No. 1 driver recalled Norris saying. “This is not the time to rest on what we’re doing. Yes, it’s great, but this is what we’re here to do. We’re winners. Believe it. You keep building the cars like this, Daniel and Ross can win.”