Justin Marks Explains ‘Why’ Trackhouse Chose Ross Chastain

Ross Chastain

Getty Ross Chastain prepares for the All-Star Open at Texas Motor Speedway.

First-year NASCAR organization Trackhouse Racing made headlines once again on Aug. 3 by announcing that Ross Chastain will be the team’s second driver during the 2022 season. The 28-year-old was one of the multiple options ahead of free agency, but owner Justin Marks specifically targeted him due to how he fights through adversity.

“Well, he’s got a lot of fight and a lot of want in him. And I tell people this,” Marks explained during a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 3. “When there’s a nuance when you’re looking at drivers and you’re trying to determine what skill sets they’ve got and what kind of potential they have. To me, I’m a huge fan of people that have had to work hard against adversity and against odds to try to get there they have gotten in their careers.

“And I think it’s that fight in those years of working hard toward something when it’s very difficult along the way, that pays dividends at the Cup level, especially late in races when you’re sitting in good equipment,” Marks continued. “Sometimes you see these guys on a green-white-checkered and they have to top the field for their first win, which is one of the most difficult things to do in all of racing. But it’s more than just those two laps. That driver has to dig down into everything he’s fought for in that moment to deliver. And Ross has that personality profile.”


Chastain Has Moved From Team to Team in His Career

Ross Chastain

GettyRoss Chastain celebrates a win at Pocono.

A veteran with 388 starts across NASCAR’s three series, Chastain has raced for a wide variety of teams. He partnered with Brad Keselowski Racing, RBR Enterprises, Niece Motorsports, and multiple other teams during his time in the Camping World Truck Series. He primarily raced for JD Motorsports and Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series but made spot starts for other organizations.

In the Cup Series, Chastain made starts for Roush Fenway Racing while replacing Ryan Newman, Premium Motorsports, Spire Motorsports, and Chip Ganassi Racing. Now he will join Trackhouse Racing, but he will do so on a multi-year deal instead of entering the year unsure about his future.

As Marks explained to media members, Chastain has not “been in a position where he’s had a ton of job security” in his NASCAR career. Awarding him a multi-year contract ensured that the current driver of the No. 42 can be a crucial part of the team for years to come. He can work with the crew chief, engineers, and other team members to focus on getting better instead of fretting about his contract.

“And I think having some job security and being able to put a contract in front of him that’s a multi-year contract is going to let him exhale a little bit after fighting for his life for 10 years and say ‘this is my home and I’m ready to get to work.’ And that was an important part for Trackhouse,” Marks explained.


Chastain Will Now Take Over a Fan-Favorite Number

With Chastain sticking with Trackhouse Racing, he had the opportunity to keep his current car number. After all, Marks’ team purchased Chip Ganassi Racing’s operation, which includes the charter for the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro. However, Trackhouse opted to put Chastain in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro that Kurt Busch currently controls.

The reason, as Marks explained, is that pairing the No. 1 with Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 provided a unique opportunity. The team could focus on building a brand “that’s bigger” than any person or any number while taking up two sides of the entry list.

“Ross and I have both won in the No. 42,” Marks explained to media members. “That’s not lost on me. The No. 42 has a great lineage in this sport. But we just really loved the idea of having the No. 99 and the No. 1, of having the highest number and the lowest number and the opportunities to brand a company around that and the uniqueness of that.”

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