Daniel Suarez lands 2021 ride with new NASCAR Cup Series team
Daniel Suarez will continue his career in the NASCAR Cup Series next season driving for a new team owned by former driver Justin Marks.
Trackhouse Entertainment Group, founded and owned by Marks, announced Wednesday it had formed a Cup series team and will debut at the 2021 Daytona 500 with Suarez as its driver.
The team will field the No. 99 Chevrolet and will operate with an alliance with Richard Childress Racing, including technology, intellectual property, human capital and engineering. Trackhouse will be powered by ECR Engines, which recently announced a formal collaboration with Hendrick Motorsports that will begin next season.
“The formation of a top-level NASCAR Cup Series team has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Marks. “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.”
Bringing in a former NASCAR champion
Suarez – who debuted in NASCAR competition in his native Mexico in 2009 – became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race in 2016 with his Xfinity Series victory at Michigan International Speedway. He was among the first success stories to come out of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.
Suarez, 28, went on to win the 2016 Xfinity Series championship and moved to the Cup Series fulltime in 2017 with Joe Gibbs Racing. In 138 Cup Series starts to date with two teams, Suarez has eight top0five and 32 top-10 finishes and has won two poles.
“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,” Suarez said. “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.”
NASCAR industry veteran Ty Norris will serve as president of racing operations for the new organization. Norris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Trackhouse after serving as executive vice president and general manager of both Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Michael Waltrip Racing.
Helping America's minority communities
Central to the Trackhouse Racing Team is a commitment to making an impact on youth in America’s minority communities.
Through a sizable contribution from the Marks Family Foundation, as well as support from the team’s partners, Trackhouse will design and execute an immersive STEM education initiative aimed at exposing America’s underrepresented youth to career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Using NASCAR racing as a curriculum platform, Trackhouse will work with school districts, community organizations and youth groups to build the most impactful roadmap for those who are inspired to pursue STEM careers.
“I believe deeply in the direction NASCAR’s executive group is taking the sport,” Marks said. “There is a disruptive and courageous vision for the future taking place that is displayed by the incredible 2021 racing schedule and new ways of looking at a sustainable economic model culminating in the debut of the 2022 NextGen car that, in my opinion, will lay the groundwork for a dramatic value proposition for future owners, media partners, stakeholders and sponsors for decades to come.
“Everything Trackhouse will be doing in 2021 from a business development standpoint will be in the context of positioning ourselves to win races and championships as NASCAR embarks on a new chapter in 2022 and beyond.”
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