Daniel Suarez joins new Trackhouse Racing team in Cup for 2021
Daniel Suarez will compete in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 with the newly formed Trackhouse Racing, the organization announced Thursday.
The team, which will field Suarez in the No. 99 Chevrolet, has been formed by Justin Marks. Marks is a former NASCAR driver and once co-owned a K&N Pro Series West team.
Trackhouse will be part of a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing and will use ECR engines. The team replaces Germain Racing as a technical alliance partner and will operate from RCR’s shop in Welcome, North Carolina.
“The formation of a top-level NASCAR Cup Series team has been a dream of mine for a long time,” Justin Marks told NASCAR.com. “A lot of hard work has transpired to get us to this point and I don’t think we could’ve ended up with better partners in RCR and Chevrolet and with a more passionate and committed driver than Daniel Suárez. Daniel’s drive and hunger to get to the top of this sport is palpable every time I am in his presence. We are building a team of winners and Daniel has delivered just about every time he’s sat in race winning equipment. It’s my job now to put a car underneath him that will carry him to the highest echelon of the sport.”
For Suarez, the 2016 Xfinity Series champion, it will be the fourth team he’s raced for in four years in the Cup Series. In 2020 he has competed for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96 Toyota in its first full-time season. He previously competed for Joe Gibbs Racing from 2017-18 and Stewart-Haas Racing in 2019.
“I see in Trackhouse a great opportunity for me with a very strong group of people that share the same vision, commitment and goals that I have,” Suárez told NASCAR.com. “Justin has been involved in the racing world for over 20 years and understands the ins and outs of the sport both as a driver and from the business side. I have learned a lot in the last few years and have been very fortunate to be a part of very good organizations. I have learned that this sport is about people, and I know we are going to work very hard to put together a talented team. Furthermore, getting the support from a strong manufacturer like Chevrolet will be a key to our success. My goal is simple, I want to win races.”
As for why Trackhouse chose the No. 99, Marks told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “On Track” that he wanted a number that has “some history that we could lean on,” specifically its association with former Cup driver Carl Edwards. But it is also part of Suarez’ career.
“The last time that number was in Victory Lane was with Carl (in 2015 at Charlotte Motor Speedway),” Marks said. “I called Carl and talked to him to just tell him what we were doing and make sure that he knew we were going to honor the legacy of the number and the history that he wrote in that car was going to be honored and carried on through our exploits ... he gave it his blessing.
“Just last week, Daniel showed me a picture of the very first time he ever sat in a racing vehicle, he was like 7 years old in Monterrey, Mexico,” Marks continued. “Borrowed go kart, borrowed helmet, borrowed suit. And what number was on the side of it? 99.”
Trackhouse Racing is the second new Cup team to be announced for the 2021 season. It joins the unnamed team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan that will field a car for Bubba Wallace.
Trackhouse has leased a charter from Spire Motorsports, ensuring it a post in each race next year.
“Spire Motorsports has secured a third NASCAR charter and will lease a charter to Justin Marks and his organization, Trackhouse, as they endeavor to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series next season,” Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr said in a statement. “Spire currently remains committed to operating a two-car team in 2021. We’ve worked closely with Justin and his team for several years so we’re proud to help them get their program off the ground.”
Marks said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference the team will try to buy a charter after the 2021 season. Marks also said he expects to the team to have five “significant” sponsor partners next year.
Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing, will be the team’s president of racing operations.