TALLADEGA, Ala — Trackhouse Racing was formed in 2020. They bought out Chip Ganassi Racing that summer and would take over the keys that Fall. Now, 2 years later, they’re on the verge of having potentially both drivers into the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Ross Chastain brought his No. 1 Chevrolet home 4th in Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway while his teammate Daniel Suarez was 8th in his No. 99 Chevrolet. They now sit +28 and +12 above the cutline in the standings with 1 race left in the second round.
“For sure. We made a lot of moves; a lot of moves got made on us,” Chastain said of his day on Sunday. “There are 188 laps. I would say there’s two or three times a lap you have a decision to make. There’s two that stick out in my mind where I had control of the middle lane, and I went bottom. Needed to just stay middle. It was so weird. It was just different, it wasn’t weird. The cars ran better in the middle lane.
“Worked really well with the 12 there and a couple of guys. Good to work with them again. It has been a few years that me and Ryan tried to tandem here in trucks 10 years ago. It’s wild to think we have been here a decade in this sport, and I had Ryan and Brad lined up. That was some cool moments. Get a Chevy in Victory Lane, that makes it even sweeter.”
Chastain has 3 top 7 finishes in the last 4 weeks while Suarez has a pair of top 10’s in that span. But they’re doing what they have to do to survive. Suarez had 7 stage points in Sunday’s race and Chastain 5.
They’re finishing races and not making mistakes which is why they’re here with a chance to have 2 of the final 8 spots left eligible to win this year’s championship at this time next week.
To make matters better, we end the round on a road course. Trackhouse has won 2 of the 5 road course races run this season.
Suarez won Sonoma, led every lap of the 1st stage in COTA, was 5th in Road America and lined up 5th on the final restart in Indy and finished 5th in Watkins Glen. Chastain was 1st in COTA this year, 7th in Sonoma and 4th in Road America. He crossed the finish line 2nd at Indy before his penalty was levied and only 21st in Watkins Glen. I still like him on these tracks.
Better than anything less. Every point earned is just better. It’s never ending. You just want more.
“With 29 I’d feel better, but if it was 27 I’d feel worse. 28 is nice, really good points earned today for Daniel and myself,” Chastain said on his points situation. “For this Trackhouse group to keep executing throughout those Playoffs, we’re figuring this out as we go. I’m experiencing this and loving every moment of it as I get to do this.”