Chip Ganassi Racing informed the North Carolina Department of Commerce on September 3 that the team will lay off 55 employees after the NASCAR Cup Series championship race in Phoenix. However, Trackhouse Racing expects to hire many of these employees, per a report by the Charlotte Observer.
Team owner Justin Marks told the outlet on Thursday, October 7, that Trackhouse Racing will likely employ more than 100 people during the 2022 season after expanding to a two-car operation. The team currently only employs a handful of people while adding other staff members through a contract with Richard Childress Racing.
Marks did not provide an estimate to the Observer for the number of employees in 2022. CGR currently employs between 120-150 people that help put Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain on the track each week. However, this number will inevitably shrink with the switch to the Next Gen car and the number of universal parts for the stock cars.
“I think the change that you’ll see at Trackhouse is consistent with what every other team is going through,” Marks told the Observer. “But we’re trying to win races and to win races you need lots of good people.”
Marks Previously Addressed the Impending Layoffs
The interview with the Observer is not the first time that Marks has addressed the future of his NASCAR team. He previously made some comments on Twitter about the impending layoffs at Chip Ganassi Racing and hinted that some could potentially land with Trackhouse Racing for the 2022 season.
“FYI when a corporate entity ceases to exist in NC it must notify the NCDOL (WARN Act) that those employees will no longer work for the company. It does not mean they do not have jobs with Trackhouse,” Marks tweeted on September 14 in response to the news of the layoffs.
If some of the CGR employees land with Trackhouse Racing after the 2021 season, they will continue to work with a familiar face. Ross Chastain will become the second driver, joining Daniel Suarez, and he will move from his No. 42 Chevrolet to the No. 1 Chevrolet. Marks indicated to the Observer on October 7 that his goal is to keep the No. 42 team together as they transition to a new organization with Chastain.
Trackhouse Racing Will Relocate Following the 2021 Season
The first-year Cup Series team currently works on Richard Childress Racing’s campus in Welcome, N.C., but it will not remain there in 2022. Marks will move his operation to the 22-acre Chip Ganassi Racing campus near Concord-Padgett Regional Airport, which Hendrick Motorsports purchased in early September for $10.2 million.
With Trackhouse Entertainment Group having a home base in Nashville, there are several questions about whether Marks will move his NASCAR team to Music City. This outcome is a possibility, but it will not happen in the immediate future. Marks told reporters when he first purchased CGR that a move to Nashville will not take place until 2023 at the earliest. He then reiterated this when talking to the Observer.
“I definitely anticipate a presence in some form or another of our race team in Nashville,” Marks told the Observer. “But the No. 1 priority for the people working on these cars for our shop floor and for our competition operations is that we don’t disrupt that.”