NASCAR: Trackhouse made a key silly season admission

Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Trackhouse Racing Team confirmed what everybody already knew. Daniel Suarez isn’t going anywhere for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Trackhouse Racing Team entered the NASCAR Cup Series as a single-car team last year, with Daniel Suarez as the driver of their #99 Chevrolet.

After just one season, the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team expanded to two cars by acquiring Chip Ganassi Racing. Chip Ganassi wasn’t even looking to leave the sport until being presented with the vision that Marks had for his organization.

The team retained Suarez, and they selected Ross Chastain, who was competing for Chip Ganassi Racing at the time, to drive their #1 Chevrolet.

Trackhouse Racing Team have taken a huge step forward in year number two, but much of that success was reflected in Chastain’s results as opposed to Suarez’s.

In the season’s first 11 races, Chastain earned the first two victories of his career at Circuit of the Americas and Talladega Superspeedway, and he had racked up a total of six top three finishes.

As for Suarez, he hadn’t finished a single race higher than fourth place.

While the driver of the #99 Chevrolet had shown good speed to start off his sixth season in the Cup Series, he hadn’t been able to convert it into spectacular results, and that was somewhat of a concerning development.

In three seasons driving for the four-car powerhouse teams of Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing, Suarez never made the playoffs and went winless in 108 starts. Could he really change either of those statistics with a second-year organization?

During a 10-race span from the March race at Circuit of the Americas to the June race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, he led 143 laps, which was just 23 laps shy of his previous career-high over an entire 36-race season. Yet he finished no higher than 10th place.

The lack of results unfortunately begged a question that nobody truly wanted to ask, but it was a question that needed to be asked, nevertheless: what was Marks going to do about the #99 Chevrolet if Suarez didn’t find victory lane?

Believe it or not, Kyle Busch’s name was even mentioned as a possibility, given the fact that he is in the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and longtime primary sponsor M&M’s is leaving the #18 Toyota after 2022.

But Suarez quieted that talk when he finally converted his speed into a result at Sonoma Raceway, where he led 47 laps and earned the first victory of his career, a win that will presumably lock him into the playoffs for the first time.

And afterward, team president Ty Norris confirmed what everybody figured: the 30-year-old Mexican driver isn’t going anywhere.

Following the race, Norris stated that there is a “100% chance” that Suarez will re-sign with the team for the 2023 season — and likely beyond.

He even added that Suarez’s win did not have any bearing on whether or not an extension would be offered. Considering Suarez’s speed, that logic stands to reason, even though the results hadn’t been there prior to his victory.

The next Trackhouse driver has a rare opportunity. dark. Next

All in all, the confirmation of a new deal for Suarez appears to be just a formality. The only questions now are (a) how long the new deal will be for and (b) when a new agreement will be announced.