Transcript: Trackhouse Racing Team Owner Justin Marks

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you spending some time with us today before we head to Phoenix this weekend. We’ve had you on several times this season. We talked early in the season around the Clash in Daytona. We’ve talked a few times during this season, and then officially I think once in the playoffs, but every time we talked it was this idea that you guys weren’t going to focus too much on the playoffs, you were going to keep doing what you were doing, and that proved to be the thing to do for your team. You guys are officially locked into the final 4 and headed into Phoenix this weekend. Tell us what the feeling at Trackhouse has been like this week and what it means to be here talking right now knowing that Ross is locked in for Sunday.

JUSTIN MARKS: Yeah, I mean, the mood in the shop has been super light. We’ve just really enjoyed this opportunity. I mean, nothing has really changed this week than any week really since the Daytona 500. It’s just supporting each other, just trying to have fun, work hard, have a good time, prepare well and support each other.

That hasn’t really changed.

Obviously the way we got into the Championship 4 is sort of dominating the narrative in the shop, of course, which is exciting and definitely adds a layer of positivity and excitement and enthusiasm to it.

But things are great. We just had a team lunch, and we showed some video, showed a video of the last lap, and I got up and spoke, Ross got up, Daniel got up. We played a music video that one of our pit crew guys did, which was amazing, and had some good barbecue lunch.

Yeah, it’s just kind of — I want to say it’s business as usual. Obviously this is sort of the pinnacle of the sport, and this is what everybody dreams of, the opportunity that everybody dreams of having.

What does it mean to be here? It’s incredibly humbling. To be in this spot right now, I can’t help but be very reflective of my journey as a race fan and then as a driver and then as an owner. It’s very, very surreal and humbling to be in this spot, especially for Trackhouse to be competing with true legends of the sport this weekend in Phoenix chasing glory.

At the end of the day, I think the overwhelming emotion that I have is just how proud I am of everybody at this company, how much everybody is committed to this vision, believed that this was possible, and have worked every hour of every day since this place turned into Trackhouse Racing with the belief in that vision and chasing it.

To be able to reward the workforce for all their hard work and their belief with an opportunity to win a championship is kind of the dominating story line of the day here.

Q. Can you fill us in on the last 48 hours? The reaction is obviously going global to Ross’s move. From your standpoint, what are you hearing, seeing, metrics-wise, all the things that are coming your way? What’s that been like?

JUSTIN MARKS: I mean, honestly, it’s been really fun and exciting. We haven’t looked at the metrics. Obviously I’ve seen the comments that people have been making around the world. I think what’s really exciting about the moment is that it’s transcended NASCAR. I mean, No. 1 on SportsCenter Top 10. It’s been run by Barstool, by Pat McAfee, it’s been picked up by sports and cultural platforms and personalities, and that’s just really exciting for the sport.

It’s hopefully a moment like this helps all of us and helps elevate the sport and has attracted new eyes to the sport.

As far as the last 48 hours, it’s just been — it’s actually difficult to explain because it’s just — the circumstances are so surreal. None of us have ever seen anything like this. I listen to you on the Teardown, I’ve listened to Dale Jr.’s download, I’ve listened to all the podcasts and everyone talk about it. Everyone has got the same reaction, it’s a shocking piece of content to watch, and for it to happen out of our shop is really exciting.

And honestly it has probably helped and will continue to help this week in kind of alleviating a little bit of the stress or the pressure that anybody might feel just because it’s such a “wow” cultural moment for our sport.

So we’ve just been trying to have a lot of fun with it. And I got to go trick or treating with my girls last night, and that was a nice little way to shut it off for a little bit and then come back to the real world today.

Q. Was there more buzz around the announcement that Pitbull was going to join you as a co-owner or this event on Sunday?

JUSTIN MARKS: Man, that’s a good question. I don’t know if I can answer that. I mean, they were just different. They were different because being able to come out of the gates as Trackhouse and announce a partnership with someone like Pitbull, it sort of just set the tone for what Trackhouse is all about; that we’re really trying to stand out from the crowd and we’re trying to build something that is exciting for the fans and a team that people can root for.

We did that with Armando, but at the end of the day, we’re a racing team. To be able to make a contribution to the excitement of the sport, I think in this building, it probably holds more equity with our workforce because this is what we’ve dedicated our whole lives to doing, is to work hard and compete for an opportunity.

To see somebody who in that moment — we have 152 people working for this company, and in that moment the opportunity to fight for a championship came down to just one person sitting in the car, and he carried the strength of that entire workforce on his shoulders and he drove off into Turn 3, and it’s been incredibly empowering for our company.

Q. I was just wondering, regardless of what happens this weekend, have you guys in a sense already won the season by what you’ve been able to accomplish in such a short period of time and just getting to have this opportunity? Not that you don’t want the championship, but —

JUSTIN MARKS: No, I understand. I think that’s very fair. I think that one of the things that we talk about in the building here is just that we want a chance. All we want is a chance. All we want is an opportunity. I came into this race season with a personal goal. This wasn’t a goal that was socialized publicly or even within the walls of our company, but it was just inside me, is I just wanted to put one car in the playoffs. That’s all I wanted to do. I wanted to put one car in the playoffs.

And now for us to be kind of at this point, you know, a sentiment is like, well, you’re sort of playing with house money because we’re sort of beyond all of our expectations right now. But that doesn’t for a second mean that these guys right down here in the shop aren’t working on that car harder than they’ve worked on a car all year because we’ve got an opportunity to go to Phoenix Raceway and win a NASCAR Cup championship.

I think you’re right in the sense that sort of no matter what happens down there, this has been an incredibly successful debut season for Trackhouse. I call it our debut season because it’s our first year on our own truly. I think everybody in the building is blown away by seeing every weekend on the racetrack the opportunity that we have in this sport, and to be in this conversation, like I really wanted to do this press conference, just so everybody listening right now — last week I was nervous about Martinsville because I just so badly at this point now wanted to go to Phoenix with Trackhouse being a part of the story. I really wanted that.

Now we have that, which is amazing.

I said it at lunch today. I said, Now it’s easy. Now we’ve just got to try to go win a race. We’ve just got to beat three guys.

But to your specific question, no matter what happens, it’s going to be — we’re going to look back as an absolutely barnstorming, incredible debut season for this company, and we’re just going to try to win it.

Q. You have talked many times about how the Next-Gen car and the model has provided — got you to this point, but I was just curious if you thought because of the Next-Gen car you had a better or less chance, or how do you rate it in the actual championship race because of the parity we’ve sort of seen this season? Do you think there will be a difference — I mean, there certainly was a different in the number of winners and different teams that have stepped up. Do you think that could play a difference in the actual race?

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, I don’t know if the race is going to be any different than what we’ve seen this year. The champion could win the race. The champion could finish eighth in the race. That’s kind of what this car has delivered.

But honestly, Trackhouse is a thing because of this Next-Gen car. I know that obviously we’ve got some growing pains with it. It’s expensive. We’ve got to make it a little bit safer.

But the parity that it’s allowed to happen in this sport is why Trackhouse has this opportunity.

So if I go back to the day that I decided to start this thing, it was really because of this race car, because if we’re all playing with the same ball, then it truly becomes about the team.

I believed in my ability and the management of Trackhouse’s ability to cultivate a workforce culture where we could take advantage of this race car that is the same as everybody else’s and go compete with teams that have more money than us, that have more depth than us, that have more people than us, and this is proof of concept for the whole vision of the Next-Gen car.

I think for NASCAR, I think that they deserve a tremendous amount of credit to have the courage that they had to completely flip the script and introduce a car and a model like this to the sport because there’s no denying that it has added an element of uncertainty and drama and excitement that I think this sport hasn’t seen in a long time, and Trackhouse is here for all of it.

Q. You said there about how this is going to be looked at as a barnstorming, just incredible season for Trackhouse. In a way has the bar been set almost too high now when you guys come out of the gates like this? Everything after this, is it going to live up to this season?

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, we had that discussion today, actually, Ty and I did, sort of like how do we manage our expectations from here.

To be honest with you, I don’t know yet. I have to think about that.

We have been very intentional and thoughtful about the expectations that we’ve set for this company being in how we approach and execute our work, and not necessarily in the results, with the belief that if we come to the race shop every day and really, really try to do good work and have fun and work to the best of our ability for the contribution that we can make to the company, whoever it is here, then we’ll have these amazing opportunities.

I think that’s probably where we’re going to end up continuing to sort of focus on within our company.

We have a long way to go before we can start thinking about how to manage expectations around a championship before Daytona every year. Gibbs, Hendrick, Penske, these guys have been doing it for a long time. They’ve won championships. They’ve built their companies around being perennial championship contenders.

We’re so new that honestly I’m still learning how to do that. We’re all kind of learning how to do that.

When you watch what Trackhouse is doing right now, you’re watching a new organization learn and experience this in real time, and we don’t have it perfected, obviously, yet, and we have a lot of growth to do and a lot of improvements to make.

I think if I were to look at how we’re going to manage our narrative to the workforce or manage our expectations for next year, I think it’s just going to continue to invest in the things that have gotten us here, and that’s just creating a really, really fun place to work that people feel valued and people are excited about showing up to every day to do their job.

And if we focus on things and do those things and invest in our workforce, then we’re going to have these opportunities every year.

Q. You talked about Ross’s move kind of alleviating maybe some of the stress and pressure because everybody is having fun with it this week. Is that almost the best-case scenario of how he got in, in the sense of you guys can ride a fun wave of momentum into Phoenix instead of maybe people overthinking it too much of being in this spot?

JUSTIN MARKS: I mean, there definitely could have been a less dramatic sort of way to get in. We could have gone and won a couple stages and won the race, and that would have been just fine, too.

But you’re right in the fact that how spectacular that was and how just the optics of the commitment that he made is an example of kind of what I’ve been preaching to this company all year long, and it’s like, let’s think out of the box, let’s do things different, let’s fully commit and full send in whatever it is that we do at this company.

I agree that getting in that way is definitely — has a positive impact in this shop because there is not a person in this building right now that wouldn’t do anything Ross Chastain asked them to do right now. Everybody is so fired up that that kid made that kind of commitment, made that kind of move and carried the company on his shoulders in that moment to get us in. It’s incredibly empowering.

Q. It seems like every narrative around Ross or around Trackhouse this year, why something can’t be done or hasn’t been done before, haven’t made the playoffs, they haven’t won races, so on, so forth, it seems like every narrative has been shot down. In that sense, is there any reason Ross Chastain can’t win the championship?

JUSTIN MARKS: No. Not at all. This is going to be the hardest race of his life. It’s going to be the most pressure-filled race of his life. The pit crew is going to be — that last pit stop is going to be the pit stop of their lives.

But we can do it. We have the talent. We have the tools. We have the passion and the hunger to do it.

It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be really, really hard. Chase has been here before, and some of these guys, Joey has been here before and Chris is operating at an incredibly high level and he’s motivated and he’s sitting in a fast race car right now. It’s going to be incredibly difficult.

But it’s 100 percent possible. We just have to go execute. We just have to execute perfectly and leave it all out there.

Q. I’m wondering if there are — if you have had time to think about any plans for the car or displaying it just yet. I think part of our call here at MRN was suggesting that the NASCAR Hall of Fame call you and want it there right now. Have you thought about any of that at all yet?

JUSTIN MARKS: They have called already. Right now we have it sitting right in front of the lobby. We’ve had a steady stream of fans coming through all day yesterday and all day today. They’ve been taking pictures of the car. We’ve got it on display there.

I mean, selfishly, I kind of was like, save that right side for me, I want to hang that in the barn back in Tennessee.

I don’t know, I think it’s such an important moment. It’s such a moment in the history of our sport that it would be great to find a way for a lot of people to enjoy it for as long as possible. So if we set that thing in the Hall of Fame for a while, then that’s what it’ll do.

I would imagine we probably will have those discussions after Phoenix.

Q. Throughout the season, every time Ross has done something very well or your team, Chip Ganassi has been very supportive and pointed it out on Twitter. Have you had any dialogue with Chip throughout the season, and do you know if he plans to be in Phoenix this weekend?

JUSTIN MARKS: I don’t think he plans to be in Phoenix, but we talk — he’s congratulated me after every win. He congratulated me after advancing through the playoffs like we have.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chip Ganassi. I think that he takes pride in seeing this happen. There’s a tremendous element within Trackhouse that was built under his leadership. We have 65 percent of our workforce was at Chip Ganassi Racing.

Chip built this building that we’re in. So he’s taken the ride with us. I think he feels like he’s got some equity in it, and he should feel that way, because he’s built something incredible and he handed the ball off and we’re just running with it in our own way.

So yeah, he’s paying attention. I know that he’s proud, and I expect to talk to him on Monday no matter what happens and just continue to thank him for answering the phone when I called him and to go through the process with me of learning what it was that I wanted to do and then getting to a place personally in his life and his career where he was ready to pass that baton on to Trackhouse.

Yeah, I’m humbled that he allowed us the opportunity.

Q. We’ve heard for years about Game 7 moments, right, but very few times do you ever see a Game 7 moment like we did the other day. When you think about that, when you think about the energy Trackhouse brings to NASCAR, was it time for somebody like you? You’re going up against the juggernauts of the sport — Penske, Hendrick, Gibbs — but their average age is 79.6. You bring that average age down considerably. Was it time for new energy to come into the sport and kind of bring us those Game 7 moments, to bring us new ideas, fresh, just — I don’t know, you guys just kind of bring it.

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, I think the car is generating the opportunity for those Game 7 moments, and that can come from any of these teams that’s competing in this race.

You know, yes, the time was right. The time is right for this. NASCAR knew that the time was right for this before I ever picked up the phone and called them and asked questions about this new car. And you see it with the car, you see it with the schedule. You see it with new marketing initiatives and partnerships the league is doing right now.

You’re right, the incumbents in the sport have been here for a long time. They’re towards the end of their careers, and when that happens, there needs to be a changing of the guard, and that’s Trackhouse’s opportunity, it’s Kaulig’s opportunity, it’s 23XI’s opportunity.

So it’s really exciting for the future because as those careers — as their careers wrap up, you’ve got guys like me and Denny, Matt Kaulig and some of these that are waiting in the wings and ready to be kind of the next generation of the sport.

And it’s all lining up at the same time, which to me is an incredibly exciting thing as NASCAR comes into their media rights renegotiation and we start setting the stage for what the future of the sport is going to look like.

Being in such a transitional time where there’s a lot of change that’s going to be coming in the next couple of years, these new teams are perfectly positioned to take advantage of that change, and that really fundamentally drives what Trackhouse is all about every day.

Q. Justin, you referenced earlier about being nervous about Martinsville, for the fear of not being a part of the story at Phoenix. For everything that you had done this year and what you kind of say is, like you say, your debut season, there was a lot to hang your hat on. What was the fear about not being part of the story at Phoenix other than from a competition — and you’re a competitor, I understand that. But my guess is that wasn’t the only reason that there was a — you described it as a fear of not being a part of the story.

JUSTIN MARKS: I want this more than I’ve wanted anything professionally in my life ever, and I’ve taken massive personal risk to start this company. I believe in it more than I’ve believed in anything, more than I ever believed in my own ability behind the wheel. I believe in it more than any other business enterprise I’ve ever started.

I love it. I love this company, and I love Trackhouse, and I want it to be successful.

The story that we’ve been writing this year, we’ve had great moments. We’ve had dramatic moments. We’ve brought great partners on. We’ve got two great race car drivers sitting in our race cars.

I started getting to that point in my head going, what an amazing narrative it would be to go into Phoenix in the Championship 4, and that’s just something that I wanted so badly for what we’re trying to build here, to just continue to be part of the story.

Q. Can you give us a sense of the personal risk that you put into it? Obviously every owner of any professional team or organization puts in a risk with their own investment, but when you talk about it in those terms and you’ve done different things and been involved in different projects, what more is the personal risk here than anything else that you’ve ever done?

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, without going into too many details, I don’t have a big corporation, a big business behind me to where my race team can be kind of my fun project or anything like that. I come from a place where I have an opportunity. I have an opportunity, very successful family, and I have an opportunity to have a dream that I can chase.

Just about everything that is available to me in my life because of those circumstances, I pushed into Trackhouse. This was it. This was all the chips in. If this didn’t work, to be honest with you, there wasn’t a ton to fall back on.

So when I talk about risk, it’s the fact that when I look at my life and where I came from and how much I love this sport, how much I love racing and love these people that work here and love being at the racetrack, there’s just nothing else I wanted to do.

In this moment in time in our sport, in this moment in time with this car and my relationships in the industry, I wanted to just go for it. I think I would just say that of all the opportunities that have come to me in my life, I pushed all in with this.

Q. When you go through this process, and obviously I know you talk about the car and everything, you noted this was the right time, when you make your decision to kind of go all in and make that decision, tell people and go from there, is that relief, or is that where it instantly becomes, oh, shoot, what did I get myself into? What was that moment like once you not only made that decision but you started moving forward on the all chips in and there’s no turning back?

JUSTIN MARKS: Scary. I mean, uncomfortable. I mean, it was for a year — even last year when we were up at RCR, just not knowing if it was going to work. We didn’t own our charter. Camping World, Marcus Lemonis came on board two weeks into the season. We didn’t have much sponsorship. He provided us this opportunity. I didn’t know where I was going to get my charter from or how I was going to make this work.

Once we acquired Chip Ganassi Racing, I had no idea if General Motors was going to look at us and go those guys have earned an opportunity to be a key partner alongside Hendrick and alongside RCR, or if they were going to see it as an opportunity to save some money and just commit to those two teams.

So going through that whole process was stress and fear. But I think it was all belief. I just believed that this was a moment for an enterprise like this to be successful. And then as things started happening, as we closed the Ganassi sale and then as we signed our agreement with Chevrolet and then Worldwide Express and Jockey came on and then we started winning, in that moment it was like, okay, I think it was the right decision.

Q. You talked about the global reaction you got from a lot of people. Fernando Alonso in Formula 1, Romain Grosjean, was there anybody in particular that you just sat back and said, wow, I’m actually — these guys actually saw this and they’re calling it a hero move?

JUSTIN MARKS: When you look at guys like Pat McAfee, some of these people that are at the forefront of sports and entertainment content, really moving the needle, those are kind of the wow moments, right, because that’s when you realize it was a moment that just transcended NASCAR. It was No. 1 on SportsCenter’s Top 10. All my college buddies are not race fans, do not watch the races, but they all watch ESPN and were blowing up my phone on Sunday night and going, Isn’t that your car that did that?

Those moments are really, really cool because you get an understanding of what the optics of something like that were.

But, I mean, the fan in me — it’s like Robby Gordon texted me and was like, That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Tell Ross that was one of the most bad-ass things I’ve ever seen. That’s a pretty cool moment.

Obviously as it goes around, Shane van Gisbergen from Australia texted me, and obviously Alonso and Pierre Gasly today, and just where it’s getting picked up, you get the — as race car drivers, we’re always looking for these opportunities. We’re always looking for these loopholes or these special things. And that’s why this move was done in video games for so long. We all grew up doing this move in video games, but nobody ever thought something like this was possible in the real world.

So when you see it happen, that just — with every race car driver in the world, it’s just like, oh, my God, somebody actually tried to do it and actually made it work. And just the kid in all of us and the competitor in all of us race car drivers, you just — I don’t think that you can look at that and just not think it’s just one of the most insane cool things that you’ve ever seen.

So seeing that being played out in other forms of motorsports is just really cool. I’ve just been kind of a passenger and a fan the last 48 hours, just like everybody else has, just in awe of what we all saw. No one knew it was coming. No one in this building knew it was coming except for Ross. It’s just been pretty wild.

Q. And then is this this generation’s ’79 Daytona 500 or a pass in the grass?

JUSTIN MARKS: I think time will tell. When these moments happen, the pass in the grass, ’79 500, even Jimmie Johnson’s brake failure in the Busch Car at Watkins Glen, I think when those moments happen that end up getting played for decades on and on, you don’t know them in the moment that they’re going to stand that test of time.

So we don’t know right now. I imagine this is going to be a highlight that’s played for a really, really long time, but I think time will just answer that question.

Q. Finally, you have a lot of other ambitious ideas. You’ve got Project91, you’ve got talk of an INDYCAR team or an Indy 500 run. Where do all those things stand?

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, we have a very significant internal business initiative under the Trackhouse brand that’s being built right now and will be built this winter that we’re going to be able to announce and debut in January that I’m really, really excited about.

I think the opportunity for a company like Trackhouse, the scale opportunity for Trackhouse isn’t necessarily on just more and more race cars on the racetrack, it’s in being one of the most authentic and inspiring and engaging storytellers in the sport.

The future is content. The future is content. The future is digital media. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in our industry and in our culture for a company like Trackhouse that’s got this platform that’s really cool of people driving race cars around the racetrack but using it as a platform to tell incredible human stories and to inspire and educate and entertain.

That’s really where we’re going to be leaning heavily in the future, and I’m excited about all of that.

I mean, Project91 will race next year. There are discussions around INDYCAR. It has to make sense. It has to make sense for the trajectory of our brand. It has to make sense for the story that we’re trying to tell.

There’s just a lot of conversations happening and there’s a lot of cool little opportunities in our industry, and we’ll decide which one of those to pursue. But at the end of the day, this world is going in the direction of content, and it’s going in the direction of storytelling and digital media.

I’m excited about us pursuing those avenues.

Q. You went to COTA for the Formula 1 deal a couple of weeks back. Obviously as Bruce mentioned the Project91 deal going on there. Was that kind of a little shopping expedition to see how many numbers you could get, and how did it go and what did you find of the whole Formula 1 scene?

JUSTIN MARKS: Yeah, for sure. There was a couple of different things. One is to just continue to promote the Trackhouse brand, to make sure that there’s a face with a name in that series with what we’re doing. Obviously with Kimi coming and racing with us this year, Trackhouse became something that everybody over there was aware of. So it’s just about that. It’s sort of creating and developing a couple of relationships there.

But also, Formula 1 is in a very interesting time right now. I talked about storytelling; they’re a very aspirational brand, the way they promote their personalities and the platform that they’ve got to the world is pretty cutting edge. I like to go to those events and just see how they’re engaging with fans, how they’re activating and promoting with their partners.

I was there on Thursday, which was important for me to go on Thursday when there wasn’t cars on the racetrack, when they were doing all the other things, just to get inspired and to get educated and to meet some people.

So I went to Miami for the same thing this year, and might be in Abu Dhabi in a couple weeks to do the same thing.

Yeah, there is an element of shopping for sure, but it was also a bit of an educational exercise for myself.

Q. Just to expand on the 91 car, do you have anybody in line or anybody that you’re hoping to get into that seat for next year? And obviously it was just at Watkins Glen, but how many starts are you anticipating for ’23?

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, I think as we really — there’s a lot of outreach and a lot of conversations happening right now. Obviously we have to get it funded, so we’re out in the market talking to companies that would be interested in being a part of it. That’s ultimately going to determine how many races we do.

But a lot of really great conversations with all around the world happening.

You know, I really enjoyed my time with Kimi and his family. I thought he did an amazing job. I think without the wreck, the way the strategy was playing and how he was learning through the race was going to put us in a position for an outside shot at a top 10, certainly a top 15 finish, which would have been a really nice day.

I sort of operate under the assumption that it’s kind of his ride until he tells me otherwise, and we’re going to have those discussions here after the season is over, and I think we’ll have a really good idea where Project91 is at by the end of the year.

Ultimately I’d love to do multiple events. I’d love to do three, four, five races with that program. It’s about — it’s important to bring something to the racetrack that’s unique and unprecedented, and that’s kind of where we look. It’s not just Formula 1. It’s what different disciplines and backgrounds and personalities and celebrity we can bring to the series.

So we’ll continue to have those conversations. And I’m actually really excited about the future of that sport, of that program, because NASCAR is something everybody in the world knows about. Everybody would love to try. It’s incredible racing. Now we’ve got a car that I think people that haven’t driven a NASCAR before can get in and get up to speed pretty quickly. So we’ll see where it goes. But I’m excited about that program.

Q. You’ve been helping out Keelan a lot with his racing. What do you forecast over the next five years with his career? I know he’s still a young kid, but obviously that’s where it starts, is about his age when they start to develop into can you start coming up into late models and stock cars, ARCA, truck, Xfinity. What are your plans with Keelan?

JUSTIN MARKS: Well, it’s not just Keelan, it’s Brent Crews, it’s Miesha Tate, it’s James Hahn of the PGA, Nick Jackson. We have a bull rider. I don’t know if anyone knew that. An element of that is vanity at this point. It’s getting that Trackhouse logo out there and build being some brand equity.

But from a racing standpoint, we do need to be cultivating relationships with the next generation, obviously having a Cup team. So it’s important to see where the talent is out there.

We’re not really in a position right now to be starting a truck team or Xfinity team or late model team or anything like that, but it’s about going out there and seeing where the talent is and supporting that talent that we believe in.

Kevin Harvick is a good friend of mine. He’s a mentor of mine. He’s somebody I’ve learned a lot from the last two years through this Trackhouse project.

Keelan and Brent Crews both sort of came up karting at the GoPro Motorplex and got their start sort of in our businesses, so it’s been really fun to support Keelan. He’s been over in Europe a bunch and will be there doing a lot of racing in the next month over there.

And he’s special. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s really, really good. He’s a young little kid, though, and so there’s a lot to happen before I think you see him really sort of really in the Trackhouse ecosystem.

But right now we’re just having fun supporting him and watching him grow, and maybe one day he’ll be in our race cars, in our Cup cars.

Q. A lot of people have reacted to Ross’s move; how can somebody that has the personality and mindset that Ross has make a bigger impact on the sport and continue to grow its reach to new people, to new demographics?

JUSTIN MARKS: Ross or someone like Ross?

Q. Either, both.

JUSTIN MARKS: Yeah, I mean, Ross is just kind of built different, and we’ve seen that — I’ve seen that ever since I met him 11 years — 10 or 11 years ago.

I think somebody with that type of psychology, that sort of do-whatever-it-takes and he’s got so much want — he just wants it so badly, is going to be a tremendous asset for Trackhouse for many, many years to come.

I mean, I think, look, we empower him. We support him. We lift him up. We say he’s got 152 people here that have your back, and we’re working hard for you, and when he goes out and does stuff like that, it’s just proof that he’ll do anything for us.

It just continues to create a ton of equity in the building for him.

I guess it just kind of — not to beat a dead horse, but just kind of goes back to what Trackhouse is all about. It’s think different, be different and approach things with an open mind and try to stand out from the crowd and stand out from the noise.

For Ross, that’s going to bring a lot of value. For Daniel, too, for both of our guys, it’s going to bring a lot of value to this company for a long time to come.

When I meet young drivers that are coming up that are asking me for advice, how do we get on your radar, it’s those kinds of things. It’s build your brand, be willing to do what others aren’t willing to do, and win. Work hard and win.

Ross does all those things, and I’m really excited that when I called him and offered him this job, he said yes.

THE MODERATOR: Justin, thank you so much for spending some time with us, definitely spending some extended time with us. Best of luck this weekend in Phoenix.