The foundation for Trackhouse Racing’s 2024 season was formed in the final race of 2023.
Trackhouse driver Ross Chastain dominated the final race of the season at Phoenix Raceway, leading 157 of the event’s 312 laps to score his second win of the season. Although much of the weekend was filled with talk about the race among four drivers for the NASCAR Cup Series championship, Chastain stole the show on race day, finishing one spot in front of eventual series champion Ryan Blaney.
The victory concluded another winning season for Trackhouse and gave the team an energy boost heading into the relatively short off-season and fall-winter preparations for the 2024 schedule.
Chastain called the shining finish to the 2023 schedule “indescribable. It’s honestly hard to put into words what this means, what winning in Cup feels like. I cannot describe it. I cannot describe the ripple effects this will have going into the off-season, preparing for next year.”
Trackhouse put Chastain in the Cup playoffs again this year. He dropped out in the Round of 12 but ended the year with two wins, nine top-five finishes and 13 top 10s. He led 640
laps and was one of only 10 drivers to register multiple wins. He was ninth in the final point standings.
Chastain’s first win of the season came in June in Nashville, where he led a race-high 99 laps.
Daniel Suarez finished 19th in points after scoring three top fives and 10 top 10s. He finished 11th Sunday in the season finale.
In addition, Trackhouse scored a major win in one of the biggest, most anticipated races of the season as New Zealand native and Australian Supercar champion Shane van Gisbergen finished first in the inaugural Chicago Street Race. The stunning victory in Trackhouse’s PROJECT91 car made Van Gisbergen the first driver to win in his first Cup race since 1963.
The victory also had a big impact on the 2024 Trackhouse schedule. Van Gisbergen will race under the Trackhouse banner in a series of Cup, Xfinity, Truck and Late Model races in 2024 as he gets a full-blown initiation into NASCAR stock cars.
With Chastain and Suarez returning to their Cup rides and up-and-comer Zane Smith racing for Spire Motorsports in an alliance with Trackhouse, the Concord, N.C. organization is set for big things in 2024.
“I think this is a very successful season, another season that rewarded all the hard work in the company with multiple wins and a lot of happy people,” team owner Justin Marks said. “It definitely gives us some momentum during the winter to get fired up for next year and try to make it back to Phoenix for the championship run.”
Marks said he is “every bit as proud of this season as last season,” when Chastain finished second in the championship race.
“The series has gotten tougher. These teams are bigger than us, have a lot of resources to figure out these cars. Now it’s everybody understanding the cars more and more, what it takes to make them go fast. The drivers are understanding how to drive them. The level of competition has gotten much more difficult this year.
“We won two races. Three in the organization. I think it’s a wonderful success. I think the playoffs are very, very difficult. One race can make a difference.”
The team again will shoot to put both drivers in the playoffs in 2024.
“We owe it to Daniel and to the organization this winter to take a real hard look at that 99 program and make sure we are surrounding him in 2024 with all the tools and things that
he needs to be successful,” Marks said.
“I think in any multi-car organization there’s one or two that are behind the others for a number of different reasons, whether it’s data or information or process or culture, whatever. We just have to take a hard look at that and make sure that we re-rack the deck in 2024 with a tremendous opportunity for him to go out and be successful because we’ve got the people and partners and tools to have both these cars in the playoffs and fighting in every round.”
The pursuit of those playoff positions began almost as soon as the dust cleared at Phoenix. It will be a busy off-season pointing toward the 2024 season opener Feb. 4 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.