Story By: DREW BROWN / TRACKHOUSE RACING – NASHVILLE, TN – Trackhouse Racing announced Tuesday that Ross Chastain will drive the organization’s second NASCAR Cup Series entry starting in 2022 and revealed his car will be the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro.
Chastain will join the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro driver Daniel Suárez when the first year Trackhouse organization expands into a two-car team in 2022.
In June, Trackhouse announced the acquisition of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR assets, a move that secured two full-time NASCAR Cup Series entries and cleared the path for expansion.
Chastain, who currently drives for Ganassi, has been one of the sport’s hottest drivers the past three months. Trackhouse founder Justin Marks said he has been impressed with Chastain over the past couple of years.
“Ross is a young, aggressive driver that we believe has the talent to win races at the Cup Series level,” said Marks. “We think his personality and work ethic will fit perfectly with Daniel as we build our organization for the 2022 season and beyond.”
In his brief Cup career of 101 races, Chastain has driven for Premium Motorsports, Spire Motorsports, and Roush Fenway Racing before he was signed to a full-time ride driving the No. 42 Camaro with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021. In 22 races this season, driving what is considered the best ride so far in his young career, Chastain has posted two top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, and seven top 10s.
Before his Cup Series career, Chastain scored two career victories in the Xfinity series (Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2018 and Daytona International Speedway in 2019) and four wins in the Camping World Truck series.
Today’s announcement has Chastain focused on a bright future.
“This is another dream come true for me,” said Chastain. “Trackhouse is one of the most interesting organizations in the garage. The enthusiasm they bring off the track and the program they are building on the track is exciting. Working with Daniel and Justin, however I can, is my number one priority. I know that I can help build our Chevrolets to be as strong as possible.”
Chastain, 28, a native of Alva, Fla., earned the “Melon Man” nickname for his family’s history in the watermelon farming business. For eight generations his family has been farming watermelons, and Chastain continues to work on the family’s land when his schedule allows.
Chastain’s signature move after a race win is to spike a watermelon at the finish line and eat the biggest piece left.
Chastain began his racing career at the age of 12 at Punta Gorda Speedway in his home state of Florida, racing in the Fastkid division. At 14, he began racing adults in the Fastruck Series and raced Crate Late Models at age 16. During his short-track racing career he scored over 50 wins in feature events, including the 2011 World Series of Asphalt Limited Late Model class at New Smyrna Speedway, winning three of eight events in the series.
Trackhouse Racing, a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group, was founded in 2020 by Marks, who established the company’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. In October of 2020, Trackhouse announced it would field the No. 99 in the NASCAR Cup Series with Suárez. Trackhouse Racing formed an operational alliance with legendary Richard Childress Racing and the team operates out of Welcome, North Carolina. In January of 2021, Trackhouse announced Armando Christian Perez (a.k.a. Pitbull) as a co-owner and transcendent ambassador.
Marks announced in June that his Nashville-based Trackhouse Entertainment Group had purchased Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operation. The transfer of all of Ganassi’s NASCAR assets to Trackhouse Racing will be completed immediately following the final NASCAR Cup Series race on Nov. 7, 2021.
Suárez has exceeded expectations for a first-year team posting a top-five and three top-10s in 22 races. He has led 74 laps.
“I am very happy with the selection of Ross as a teammate next year,” said Suárez. “He brings a lot to the table. I am looking forward to start working with him and making our two Trackhouse cars as fast as possible. I know we are going to win races.”
Suárez will continue to drive the No. 99 in 2022 while Chastain will take over the No. 1 that has visited victory lane 22 times in Cup racing history.
The first came when Lloyd Dane won at Portland (Ore.) Speedway in 1956. Jamie McMurray, Donnie Allison and Billy Wade each have four wins driving the No. 1. Kurt Busch has three wins including the most recent victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway in July. Steve Park owns two wins while Dane, Eddie Gray, Paul Lewis, David Pearson and Martin Truex Jr. each own one victory driving the No. 1.
Chastain plans to add his name to that list.
“The opportunity we have in front of us is almost hard to comprehend. But I know that our group is ready for the challenge of elevating ourselves to reach our goals” he said. “I honestly couldn’t be much happier than I am right now and expect that to carry on through next year and into the future. This is a great opportunity and I’m ready to keep working.”