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Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing St.Louis Race Advance

Thursday, Jun 02 425

This weekend marks the first time No. 99 Tootsie's Chevrolet driver Daniel Suárez and the NASCAR Cup Series will race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The 1.25-mile track in Madison, Illinois - just five minutes from downtown St. Louis - has hosted Xfinity and Truck Series races but Sunday's race is its first Cup event.

For Suárez and his Trackhouse Racing team, it means a lot of time spent on the simulator learning about the track.

He'll also have an hour's worth of practice on Friday in addition to 15 minutes on Saturday before qualifying.

Suárez arrives in St. Louis after leading 36 laps, winning Stage 2 and showing he was one of the fastest cars in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Late race accidents ended the night for Suárez and Trackhouse Racing teammate Ross Chastain who combined to lead 189 of 413 laps. The pair won two of the four stages.

Fox will televise Sunday's 300-mile race at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

 

Justin Marks Love For Racing Began in St. Louis Area

Concord, N.C. - Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway is a sort of homecoming for Trackhouse Racing founder Justin Marks who spent the first eight years of his life in St. Louis. 

In fact, this area is where Marks first caught the racing bug thanks to his grandfather. 

“If it weren’t for St. Louis, I am not sure I would be at Trackhouse Racing or that I would have ever fallen in love with racing,” said Marks, whose team will field Chevrolet Camaros for No. 1 Ross Chastain and No. 99 Daniel Suárez in Sunday’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race. 

The 40-year-old Marks was born at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and grew up in the Webster Groves/Kirkwood area. He still has family in the area and credits his grandfather Albert Wyrick from Keokuk, Iowa who first took the youngster to area dirt tracks. 

The two watched Midwestern racers like the Wallace brothers, Ken Schrader, Dick Trickle, and scores of others careen around the local tracks.

He saw the passion of the fans, the commitment from the drivers and the sheer enjoyment of speed.

Marks’s father Michael moved the family to Silicon Valley, California when Justin was eight.

Although he left the Midwest, racing never left him.

Marks decided to be a driver, hopping in a variety of sports cars with great success even reaching the pinnacle in 2009 when he joined four co-drivers winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Marks ventured into NASCAR where he competed in 38 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series posting four top-10s and capturing two pole awards. He made 35 starts in the Xfinity Series posting a win, three top-five and seven top-10s. He won the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 13, 2016, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He even entered the ultra-competitive Cup Series where he competed in six Cup Series races with a best finish of 12th-place in the 2018 Daytona 500.

“I started to look around and realized if I wanted to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish in NASCAR it wasn’t going to be as a driver,” said Marks. “Deep down, I think I always felt that if I was going to forge a career in racing, it was going to be with an initiative like Trackhouse.”

Marks formed Trackhouse Racing in 2020 and it took to the track in 2021 with Suárez, NASCAR’s only Mexican driver, behind the wheel.

Before turning a wheel in 2021, Trackhouse Racing became one of the more popular teams in NASCAR when it announced GRAMMY Award-winning global superstar Pitbull had become a partner. Not only is he an active partner on the Trackhouse executive team, but Pitbull also serves as a brand and philanthropic ambassador. 

The team enjoyed a successful first season acquiring new sponsors, winning NASCAR’s Team Diversity Award, and becoming one of the best up and coming organizations. The team took a big step late in the year when Marks purchased Ganassi’s NASCAR assets. At the beginning of the 2022 season, Trackhouse Racing debuted as a two-car Cup team with Suárez and Chastain.

Chastain has won twice in 2022 and only eight drivers have led more laps that Suárez.

"At the end of the day I am fueled by a simple concept and one that I’ve carried with me since I was a child. Automobiles racing at 200 miles-an-hour, wheel to wheel, in front of thousands of fans, is just one of the coolest things humans have ever done on this earth. That is a concept that is going to inspire everything we do." 

And it all started in St. Louis.

 

A New Amigo For Suárez and Chastain at Watkins Glen in August

Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain will have a new teammate.

In case you missed it last week, Trackhouse Entertainment Group’s PROJECT91 announced that 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will drive the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Aug. 21.

PROJECT91 plans to bring Raikkonen to the team’s race shop in Concord, North Carolina for preparations. Darian Grubb, winner of 23 Cup races and the 2011 champion crew chief, will lead Raikkonen’s team. 

Raikkonen retired from Formula One in 2021 after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo teams since he started in 2001. The native of Espoo, Finland won 21 races and stood on 103 podiums in his F1 career.

His Formula One highlight came in 2007 when he won the F1 World Driving title for Scuderia Ferrari.

This will not be his first venture in the NASCAR world. He competed in the Xfinity and Truck Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2011.

With PROJECT91, Trackhouse will become the destination for global superstars from other racing disciplines eager to compete in America’s most popular form of motorsports.

“PROJECT91’s mission is to activate the intersection point of NASCAR racing and global motorsport culture,” said Trackhouse owner and founder Justin Marks, whose team has won twice during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series campaign.

“I truly believe the NexGen car represents an opportunity for NASCAR to enter the global professional motorsport conversation. We now have a race vehicle with international technological relevance where world-class drivers from other disciplines can compete at NASCAR’s highest level without the steep learning curve that the previous generation cars required.

Marks said Raikkonen’s entry at Watkins Glen is the only PROJECT91 race planned for 2022 but expects more races in 2023 with additional drivers. 

 

Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 99 Tootsies Chevrolet Camaro

Can you take momentum from Sunday night to St. Louis?

"I know we can. Trackhouse Racing is building rocket ships for Ross and I. We didn't get the finishes we wanted in Charlotte, but we are learning and I believe they will come soon. This weekend is a different type of track, but I am very confident we'll have good cars there."

Are you excited to have Kimi Raikkonen as a teammate in Watkins Glen?

"That's going to be a lot of fun. He's a very talented driver, obviously, and I'm looking for forward to him joining us."

Trackhouse Racing PR

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