NASCAR: Ross Chastain Says Trackhouse Racing Is ‘No Underdog’

by Caitlin Berard

There’s no denying Trackhouse Racing is the new kid on the block. Founded by Justin Marks and Pitbull, the team has only one year of racing under its belt. Moreover, it’s newest member, Ross Chastain, has only three races total under the Trackhouse banner.

Despite the new car smell still lingering on its vehicles, Ross Chastain is adamant that Trackhouse Racing shouldn’t be considered the underdog of NASCAR. In addition to impressing fans in the early 2022 Cup Series season, Trackhouse has two highly skilled drivers and a top-notch team behind it.

“We are no underdog,” Chastain said. “[Trackhouse Racing doesn’t] have the legacy of winning and it’s a big deal right now. We win a stage, and we’re proud of that. I think the plan is, and the preparation we’re putting in, is to get to a point where that’s just, yep, OK, we won another stage but did we win the race?”

“I don’t view us as an underdog, I know walking around the shop, we don’t feel like we’re lacking anything. The supply chain is the same for us as it is a single car that’s running part-time, and it’s the same for a powerhouse that has alliances. Our buddies [at Richard Childress Racing] have the same stuff, and they’re building cars for Kaulig, and they have a whole campus up there for everything. They’re in the same boat we are, and we’re in the same boat as the smallest team when we go to races.”

Trackhouse Racing Founder Justin Marks Gives Ross Chastain a Confidence Boost

With only two drivers and one owner involved in day-to-day activities, Justin Marks, Trackhouse Racing is a tight-knit group. Where many NASCAR teams have 300-400 employees, Trackhouse employs only 128 people.

Last weekend in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ross Chastain led an incredible 83 laps, and both Chastain and his teammate, Daniel Suarez, snagged top-five finishes. Ross Chastain attributes the team’s success to the positive communication between himself and team owner, Justin Marks.

“It’s huge,” Chastain said of Marks’ confidence in Trackhouse. “We’ve been talking about it, and I know when I signed my contract, it was longer term. When I get in the race car, though, I struggle to bring it all back to anything more than just going as fast as I can.”

“Vegas was a total reset for me,” Chastain recalls. “A very fast race car definitely helped. But I had to constantly talk to myself in the car all weekend what he (and others have) talked about with me.”