Florida man Ross Chastain got the opportunity of a lifetime on the national day of his favorite fruit. There has been a lot of debate about whether or not Chastain or Kurt Busch would takeover this new car for Team Trackhouse, and it seems that Chastain may have won out by default. If rumors are to be believed, Busch more than likely bowed out of the running because he will be moving on to 23XI Racing in 2022.
The results are a win-win for both Chastain and Trackhouse. While getting a champion in your young team would’ve been great, I think the “consolation prize” is going to end up being the best in the long run.
Trackhouse has poised itself as the true next generation of NASCAR teams. They have announced plans to relocate to Nashville and open up a surreal fan experience at their race shop complete with a bar and restaurant. Justin Marks has stated his plans to be an individual and unique team owner.
Putting together a team of young and talented drivers that have both had rough roads to get to Trackhouse fits the narrative that Marks has been trying to push. A blue-collar race team with their roots entrenched in the racing and entertainment side of the sport. They do not plan on being a satellite team that acts as a pipeline for a larger team, they plan on finding the best talent for their race cars and going out each week and growing as a whole.
Suarez and Chastain both come with little sponsorship backing, but a lot of fan support. Trackhouse is presenting blue-collar race car drivers with a chance as well as a hope that there is still a place in the sport for talent over money. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a plethora of pay drivers calling up Justin Marks after the acquisition of CGR to try and buy their way into the ride.
After the early success that this team has shown, any driver would love to get in on the ground floor of what is looking to be one of the next big teams in racing. With the competitive drive as well as business savvy that Justin Marks has, it forecasts to be a consistent threat in the next couple of years along with multiple sponsorship opportunities.
Ross Chastain has lucked into what might be the best position a journeyman driver ever found themselves in. This season he was having a solid debut season for CGR who has been having its ups and downs. CGR forever has been a decent team, but never a great team. No matter who was in the car, they never seemed to be able to break into the upper echelon of Cup teams. This seemed like as good of a ride as Chastain was ever going to get.
After this news yesterday, it’s now possible he has positioned himself to be on a championship-caliber team within the next four years. Trackhouse is already showing the potential to be a playoff team in year two, with their sights set on a bigger picture.
A speculative note to marinate on is the potential of a new manufacturer entering the sport and putting a massive amount of money into a new team. Trackhouse would be an ideal candidate for a new manufacturer to come into the sport and make as their new flagship team.
We’re probably two years away from seeing something like that happen, but in that amount of time, Trackhouse will have built itself into a competitive team already. Speculation aside, the potential for this team growth is the best opportunity Ross has ever gotten, and to be blunt probably ever will.