Trackhouse Racing entered the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series with not just aspirations of showing up and competing, but also of become a major power player at stock car racing's highest level. Trackhouse has now taken a major stride towards that ambition in one fell swoop.
On Wednesday, Trackhouse Racing announced that it will purchase the entirety of Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR Cup Series operation, acquiring all of the team's assets -- including all of its equipment and both of its charters -- at the end of the 2021 season. Trackhouse will expand to two cars for 2022, with Daniel Suarez continuing to drive one and another driver to be announced.
Trackhouse Racing entered this season as a new race team co-owned by businessman and former NASCAR driver Justin Marks, as well as Grammy Award-winning rapper Pitbull. Trackhouse will continue to base its operations in Nashville while moving its race team to Ganassi's current shop in North Carolina.
"It is humbling to know we have secured our position in NASCAR for the next decade. These are never decisions made without a lot of thorough consideration and deep reflection by both parties," Marks said in a statement. "This process took several weeks and I want to thank Chip for being so open and candid with me every step of the journey. Chip has built an iconic motorsports empire and the Ganassi brand is globally recognized as a winner in the auto racing industry.
"It is truly an honor that we can build from that foundation. This acquisition provides Trackhouse a platform for years to come, enabling us to field multiple teams, elevate our on-track performance, deliver great value for our sponsors and partners, build lasting community impact programs and continue to grow our brand beyond the sports conversation."
Ganassi had originally entered NASCAR in 2001 after becoming a powerhouse in IndyCar competition, buying most of the ownership interest of the two-car team fielded by longtime car owner Felix Sabates. Over the next two decades, Ganassi's NASCAR program became a successful one, winning 19 Cup Series races (Including the 2010 Daytona 500) with drivers Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Sterling Marlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Kurt Busch. Ganassi's fleet of drivers included Justin Marks himself, who won an Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio driving for the team in 2016.
While the sale of Ganassi's NASCAR team to Trackhouse will mark his exit from NASCAR, Chip Ganassi said in a statement that his team will continue to field cars in IndyCar, IMSA and Extreme E competition.
"I can honestly say that my NASCAR team was not for sale. Justin simply came to me with a great offer and an even better vision," Ganassi said in a statement. "As everyone knows, I care deeply for my employees so selling to someone like Justin, who is part of the CGR family, made the reality of selling much easier. He knows our organization and the people. That gives me comfort."
Presently, Chip Ganassi Racing currently fields the No. 1 and No. 42 Chevrolet for drivers Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain. While the status of both drivers with Trackhouse are up in the air for 2022, Marks confirmed to reporters at the NASCAR Hall of Fame that both are his top two options for Trackhouse's second car.