Chip Ganassi sells entire NASCAR team to Trackhouse Racing

Trackhouse Entertainment Group, which is co-owned by Grammy award-winning musician Pitbull, has purchased Chip Ganassi Racing's entire NASCAR Cup Series operation.

Chip Ganassi sells entire NASCAR team to Trackhouse Racing

The Nashville-based company will acquire all assets of CGR immediately following the 2021 season, after discussions began between Trackhouse team owner Justin Marks and Ganassi roughly two months ago.

Marks founded Trackhouse Racing last year and entered Cup Series competition with a one-car operation for the 2021 season in which Daniel Suarez has impressed and remains in contention for a playoff spot.

Trackhouse will field two cars in 2022 with Suarez confirmed as one of them and the second driver being announced at a later date.

The team will operate out of CGR's Concord, North Carolina race shop and continue to use Hendrick/ECR engines.

“This process took several weeks and I want to thank Chip for being so open and candid with me every step of the journey,” Marks said.

“Chip has built an iconic motorsports empire and the Ganassi brand is globally recognised as a winner in the auto racing industry.”

Marks said of the initial contact with Ganassi: "I thought about it for a few weeks before I worked up the courage to just do it. There’s a lesson here in that sometimes you just gotta make the call!

Daniel Suarez has impressed for Trackhouse Racing in NASCAR Cup

Daniel Suarez has impressed for Trackhouse Racing in NASCAR Cup

Photo by: Motorsport Images

"That’s what I did, I said 'I'm in a process where I'm looking at opportunities to grow in this space and to create a great future for Trackhouse and that includes charters and potential acquisition of an entire operation, is that a conversation that you’d be interested in having then I'll fly up to Pittsburgh and we'll have an adult conversation about it?' He was interested in hearing what I had to say.

"We had a great conversation that day and we started the process."

Marks said that both of Ganassi’s current Cup drivers, Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain, would be considered for the team’s second 2022 seat alongside Suarez.

“We have to go through a process and have that conversation but, at the onset, those two are the top two that would be under consideration,” said Marks.

“It’s not just drivers, it’s that there’s a lot of great people there and we want to retain as much of that talent as we possibly can moving into the Next-Gen era. But on the discussion of drivers, that’s where we’re going to start with those two.”

Marks' lone NASCAR victory as a driver came in the 2016 Mid-Ohio Xfinity Series race, where he drove for Ganassi and prevailed against the competition in wet-weather conditions.

"He was willing to listen to what I had to say because we’ve worked together in the past," Marks continued.

"We’ve had a great working relationship and it helps in anything you do in life with Chip to have won for him, which I was lucky enough to be able to do! That’s obviously a part of it."

CGR will continue with its IndyCar, IMSA and Extreme E race teams while stepping away from NASCAR.

Chip Ganassi first entered NASCAR as a team owner in 2001, winning 14 Cup races and 20 Xfinity Series races over the past two decades.

Ganassi explained that he has no intentions of leaving racing and that he didn't even intend to sell the NASCAR team.

"I can honestly say that my NASCAR team was not for sale," said Ganassi. "Justin [Marks] simply came to me with a great offer and an even better vision.

"You reflect on 20 years of being in a particular business, in a particular sport, there’s been good things and bad things when you look back on it. Generally, it’s been a positive thing.

"I’ve felt best about what Justin was saying about our team and our people going forwards, and that’s important to us. That made it a little bit more palatable, sure."

shares
comments

Related video

Gordon: Hendrick Motorsports "is where my true passion lies"
Previous article

Gordon: Hendrick Motorsports "is where my true passion lies"

Next article

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021