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NASCAR squad Trackhouse targets drivers from F1, IndyCar for new team

Trackhouse Entertainment Group has announced the start of a programme designed to expand its global reach by fielding a NASCAR Cup Series entry for international racing drivers.

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, CommScope Chevrolet Camaro and Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Advent Health Chevrolet Camaro

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, CommScope Chevrolet Camaro and Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Advent Health Chevrolet Camaro

Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Under the programme, dubbed ‘Project 91,’ Trackhouse Racing will enter the #91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at least once during the remainder of this Cup season with plans to expand it in the future.

The first international driver to participate in the programme will be announced with the next few days.

Previous international drivers in the recent past who have raced in the NASCAR Cup Series include ex- Formula 1 star Juan Pablo Montoya, Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose and IndyCar legend Dario Franchitti - the former two managing to scoop wins. 

Kimi Raikkonen contested events in the second-tier Nationwide (now Xfinity) and Truck Series at Charlotte in 2011 during his F1 hiatus.

Sources told Autosport that among the series Trackhouse is looking to target for drivers are Formula 1, IndyCar and sportscar racing.

Trackhouse Racing, a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group, currently fields two full-time Cup Series teams with drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez.

It bought out Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operation last year, with Chastain retained as part of the former Ganassi team.

“Project 91’s mission is to activate the intersection point of NASCAR racing and global motorsport culture,” said Justin Marks, co-owner of Trackhouse Racing along with Grammy award-winning rapper PitBull.

“I truly believe the NexGen car represents an opportunity for NASCAR to enter the global professional motorsport conversation.

Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images

“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 the addition of several new components to the Next Gen car design, including diffusers, independent rear suspension and a sequential gearbox have helped make the car an easier transition for drivers in other international motorsport series.

“With the formation of Project 91, Trackhouse has opened the door for global champions while beginning the process of scaling into an internationally recognised racing brand,” he said.

Chastain has won two Cup Series races this year so far, taking his maiden victory at the Circuit of the Americas road course and repeating the feat on the Talladega Superspeedway last month to lock in a place in the end-of-year Playoffs. 

Chastain also led the most laps at Las Vegas in March and currently sits fifth in the points, while Suarez has scored two fourth places at the Fontana and Atlanta ovals.

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