Wednesday, Nov 30

2022 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Championship Advance

Ross Chastain's pre-season odds to win the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship were 7,000:1. 

The combination of an eighth-generation watermelon farmer and the Justin Marks' owned Trackhouse Racing team, competing for the first time as a multicar team, led prognosticators in February to predict 15 drivers would have a better title chance than Chastain.

They were wrong.

Nine months and 35 races later, the 29-year-old Alva, Fla. native joins Joey Logano, Christopher Bell and Chase Elliott competing Sunday for the sport’s biggest prize in a winner-take all showdown at Phoenix Raceway. 

Chastain secured his place in the title race by performing perhaps one of the greatest maneuvers in NASCAR history last Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The No. 1 Chevrolet was 10th and two points outside of transferring into the championship race until Chastain shifted to never-used fifth gear at Martinsville, mashed the throttle and rode the wall through turns three and four on the final lap.

His final lap was 18.845 seconds – a new track record – the next fastest time on the last lap was 20.508 seconds by Kyle Larson. 

In what looked more like a video game than reality, Chastain drove by five cars and into the final four leaving fans, media and fellow competitors stunned. The move has been the subject of countless videos, hours of debate and will likely go down as one of the great moments in history. 

But Chastain, who practiced the move with his brother Chad on a GameCube 2005 console, reminded race fans and media that it wasn’t just that move that secured Sunday’s chance for a championship. 

“I know that will be the focus," Chastain said. “But, let's not forget the path of Trackhouse to get here, how unorthodox we are. How we took a building and a team, and then we brought in another team to build this team as a family. We've got more buy-in on the shop floor than I've ever witnessed in a race team. I'm so proud to get to do it with this group."

Last Sunday in Martinsville has a great deal of meaning to Chastain

"Bigger than the last lap, just remember the fact we are putting ourselves in position to just have a shot at a championship. That's all we ask for.” 

Chastain will participate in media day Wednesday in Charlotte before flying to Phoenix that evening. The Cup Series will practice on Friday, qualify Saturday and race on Sunday. NBC will televise the race at 3 p.m. ET. 

The Chevrolets of Chastain and teammate Daniel Suárez will sport paint schemes honoring Trackhouse Racing’s corporate sponsors at Phoenix this weekend.

"We owe so many people so much that we wanted to salute all of our sponsors this weekend," he said. "Without each of them, there's no way we would have the opportunity that we have on Sunday."

 

Ross Chastain, Driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Chevrolet

After the thrilling finish, how cool is it to look back on Martinsville?

 

"I wish I would've had five more points throughout the playoffs and I could've just cruised in 10th and been out of site, out of mind, and no one was the wiser that we made it, except us. Those weren't the cards we were dealt though. This means the world. This is a life achievement, a career achievement, this is what we work for and dream about. Just getting the opportunity is all I could ever ask for. Then to do it, make the decision I did down the backstretch is wild enough. The fact that it worked, is truly unbelievable. I still watch the video and it doesn't look real."

 

Trackhouse took a risk in hiring you, what does it mean to have it pay off so quickly?

 

"It's unreal. There were so many unknowns with the car, the teams we assembled. The drivers, crew chiefs and spotters who have never won a Cup race in those same positions. It means the world. It means so much that we were able to win together and be in the playoffs together, and to advance."

 

What does this mean to you personally?

 

"Two years ago, I went to the Southern 500, put sticker tires on the car to fight for 27th, seven laps down. Two years before that in 2018, I'm start and parking a truck at Gateway, and then a win later in 2018 in the Xfinity Series, then to come back and win in the truck in 2019 at Gateway. The progression, and the ups and downs of start and parking, to winning, to the team shutting down, to winning. It's a lot, and I owe it to the people that build me. I was a 13th-place driver in the Xfinity Series for years. Being in the Cup Series is wild and being in a competitive car in the Cup Series doesn't seem real. Two years ago, you know what I would've given to run 10th, and now this year, I'm losing my mind in the car because we are running 10th at Martinsville."

 
 

Trackhouse Founder and Owner Justin Marks

What are your thoughts on Ross this weekend?

"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."

How satisfying is it to have Trackhouse be part of Phoenix Championship Weekend?

"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."

 

Racing for Rob Rose

Rose and Chastain in Talladega Victory Lane

Trackhouse Racing and the NASCAR industry suffered a devastating loss two weeks ago.

Worldwide Express President Rob Rose died suddenly leaving a void in both the Trackhouse Racing and NASCAR families.

The Dallas-based freight and logistics giant joined Trackhouse in April sponsoring both Ross Chastain's No. 1 and Daniel Suarez's No. 99 Chevrolets in several races this year with even greater plans for the 2023 season and beyond.

Chastain won at Talladega this past spring on the same day Worldwide Express announced its team partnership. 

Under Rose's guidance, Worldwide Express's NASCAR experience began in the Truck Series with Niece Motorsports and then expanded to the Cup Series with Trackhouse. In April, the Texas-based company became the “Official Logistics Partner of NASCAR.”

"Rob was a huge presence and an amazing advocate for Trackhouse Racing," said Trackhouse founder and owner Justin Marks. "Rob was way more than a business partner or a sponsor, he very quickly became part of the Trackhouse family, attending nearly every race event and becoming a close friend to all of us. He truly enjoyed spending time with all of the Trackhouse employees and was always encouraging them to stay true to who we are."  

The Trackhouse Racing Chevrolets will carry a memorial decal honoring Rose this weekend at Phoenix. 

 

USA Network's "Race for the Championship"

Watch Ross Chastain and teammate Daniel Suárez in upcoming episodes of USA Network's "Race for The Championship." The unscripted documentary follows Chastain, Suárez and other NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams.

USA Network will air a new episode on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

The series will give a behind-the-scenes look at the elite drivers and teams competing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Documenting the lives of the sport’s best on and off the track, viewers will get a rare glimpse of what it takes to balance personal relationships with the pressure to perform. Packed with action, heart and drama, this exhilarating series will offer up a taste of what it’s really like to partake in the world’s top level of stock car racing. Watch as the drivers are pushed mentally and physically to their limits, navigating a NASCAR season unlike any other – with a new car, new tracks and new challenges – for their chance to make history.

Over 10 episodes, “Race for the Championship” will tell the story of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season and playoffs.

Trackhouse Racing PR

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