Around this time last season, we wondered if Trackhouse Racing could sustain this early season success. Daniel Suarez finished fourth in this very race. A week later, Ross Chastain led 83 laps and finished third in Vegas. Were they going to be a legitimate threat?
They ended up being so. Chastain won twice and marched all the way to the final round of the playoffs which ended with a runner-up finish in the final standings. Suarez won in Sonoma and was 10th when it was all said and done.
The question for 2023 was, could they build even further off that 2022 success or was that a flash in the pan with this being a new car?
I’d say after the early start to this season, they may be the leaders in the clubhouse for a championship run.
Chastain has won 3 of the 4 stages this season including leading the most laps (91) on Sunday. While he didn’t necessarily win the race outright, he did sweep both stages and finished third.
“He got faster. I don’t know,” said Chastain on the ending. “Our balance was building loose most of the day, so I thought we did everything right. We kept up with it. It would just feel pretty loose late in the runs, and at times it was enough, and at times they got way better. I felt like we were the steady force.”
If you go back to the end of last season, Chastain has six top four finishes in the last eight races including 5 of which in the last 6 at that.
“To start off this year the way we have is a total 180 from last year when it was not like this, so as much as it stings, as much as it does hurt, hats off to Chevrolet for top four there, and pumped to be in this position with Trackhouse, and for our first crack at the big tracks here, it’s all we can ask for, and we will regroup and study and be back next week,” said Chastain.
Suarez was one spot behind Chastain on Sunday in fourth place.
Trackhouse had dual top 10’s in Daytona (Suarez 7th, Chastain 9th) and now dual top 5’s in Fontana (Chastain 3rd, Suarez 4th).