Larry McReynolds Has Major Praise for ‘Powerhouse’ Second-Year Team

Larry McReynolds

Getty Larry McReynolds (left) has major praise for Trackhouse Racing.

America’s Crew Chief has major praise for a young NASCAR team. Larry McReynolds has said that Trackhouse Racing has already reached powerhouse status in its second full-time season.

McReynolds made the decree during a sitdown with Heavy prior to the race weekend at Dover Motor Speedway. He explained that the Next Gen car has exceeded his expectations early in the 2022 season and that the racing has just been better overall. McReynolds then explained that Trackhouse Racing is the “poster child” for excelling in the new era of stock car racing.

“Even though they’re only a second team, a second-year team, I think they are a powerhouse,” McReynolds said. “I know people still look at them as a young team — and they are — they still look at them as an underdog.

“But I know for a fact — talking to people within the Chevrolet camp that work with the Chevrolet teams — when they talk about their race teams — and this was before Ross Chastain won at COTA — they talk about Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, and Trackhouse Racing. It’s one of their big three teams within the Chevrolet camp.”

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Trackhouse Racing Began Consistently Contending After Major Changes

Trackhouse Racing

GettyDaniel Suarez (left) and Ross Chastain (right) watch qualifying at Dover.

Daniel Suarez made strong moves during the 2021 season, Trackhouse Racing’s first in the Cup Series. He posted four top-10 finishes and a season-best fourth-place run at Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt).

The 2022 season, however, has featured even better runs. New Trackhouse Racing driver Ross Chastain has two wins while he and Suarez each have one stage win. Both have consistently shown impressive speed while contending for top-10 finishes and wins.

The Cup Series organization made these major strides after an offseason of change. They expanded operations, hired a multitude of people, took over the old Chip Ganassi Racing facility, and adapted to the Next Gen cars. There have been some crashes and mechanical issues, but Trackhouse Racing has continued to draw attention.

“I look at them as one of our powerhouses and the numbers don’t lie about it,” McReynolds said. “I love what Justin Marks said after Talladega. And I talked to Ty Norris, the president of Trackhouse, just this morning, and he said that win [at Talladega] meant probably more to them than even the COTA win because they felt like it solidified it. It made a statement.

“You know how many drivers and how many teams are out there past and present that won that one race and they [only] won that one race? And now Trackhouse has won two. And they’re contenders week in and week out.”

The Next Gen Era Has Surprised McReynolds

The veteran crew chief-turned-analyst previewed the Next Gen era in October 2021 after watching two days of tests at the Charlotte Roval. He expressed considerable excitement to Heavy about the new cars, but he also said that they may not quite level the playing field. He said he still saw a scenario where the teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports continued to dominate.

The first 10 races of the Cup Series season have surprised McReynolds. JGR, Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Team Penske have all reached Victory Lane, but other teams have continued to contend for wins and top-10 finishes. The gap has slightly widened between the “rich” teams and the smaller counterparts, but McReynolds noted that it has remained closer longer than he expected.

“It’s been fun to watch what has went on,” McReynolds said ahead of the Dover race. “Who would have ever believed that 10 races in, we would have two [multi-race] winners and they would be William Byron and Ross Chastain? Headed into this year, those two drivers had a combined two Cup wins. They’re the winningest drivers we have so far after 10 races. I wouldn’t have stood in that betting line.”

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