International, NASCAR

NASCAR Weekly: Ganassi Racing sold to Trackhouse

NASCARMedia / Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Chip Ganassi Racing is history after the 2021 season – Trackhouse has bought the team to field two cars in the 2022 season – Daniel Suarez has already been confirmed as the team’s driver

NASCAR Cup Series (by André Wiegold)

Big news in the NASCAR Cup Series: Chip Ganassi has sold his team to Trackhouse founder Justin Marks. As a result, the team around Marks and pop star Pitbull will operate out of the former Ganassi headquarters in the 2022 season and is expected to field two cars. Daniel Suarez has already been confirmed as the team’s driver.

“This is a landmark moment for Trackhouse Racing,” said Marks. “It is humbling to know we have secured our position in NASCAR for the next decade. These are never decisions made without a lot of thorough consideration and deep reflection by both parties. This process took several weeks and I want to thank Chip for being so open and candid with me every step of the journey.”

For the 63-year-old Ganassi, the NASCAR exit is by no means a departure from motorsports. The longtime team boss will continue to chase points in the IndyCar Series. His team is also active in the IMSA Series, where Ganassi has been linked to an LMDh project starting in the 2023 season.

With his age, Ganassi is still one of the younger representatives among the team owners. Roger Penske (84 years old), Richard Petty (83 years old), Joe Gibbs (80 years old) Jack Roush (79 years old), Richard Childress (75 years old) and Rick Hendrick (71 years old) are a bit older and a generational change could soon be on the horizon there as well.

Brad Keselowski is slated to join Roush-Fenway Racing as a part owner and driver in 2022. Rick Hendrick has pulled Jeff Gordon away from FOX and named him vice chairman of the racing team. With the tragic death of his heir Ricky Hendrick in 2004, Rick Hendrick has previously called Gordon an ideal successor. In many other teams, family members or entrenched officials at the racing teams could take over the leadership position.

There’s also the question of which driver will take over Trackhouse’s second cockpit. Of course, the two Ganassi drivers Ross Chastain and Kurt Busch are hot candidates. But the latter is also being linked to a second car from 23XI Racing of Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. The new racing team of the active NASCAR driver Hamlin is another indication of the generational change among the team bosses.

Credits: NASCARMedia / James Gilbert/Getty Images

Last weekend, of course, there was also racing: Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch won the doubleheader at Pocono Raceway in the state of Pennsylvania. While it was the second win of the season for Busch, Bowman got to turn into Victory Lane for the third time in 2021. The next race is the Cup Series debut at Elkhart Lake on the Road America road course.

NASCAR Xfinity Series (by André Wiegold)

The NASCAR Xfinity Series was on the road last weekend at Pocono Raceway. The winner was current series champion Austin Dillon in the #22 Penske Ford. It was the fourth victory for the 22-year-old from Columbus, Ohio. Next season, Cindric is expected to move up to the Cup Series with the Wood Brothers, should the departure of Keselowski not change Penske’s plans.

Credits: NASCARMedia / Sean Gardner/Getty Images

A number of road course specialists from the IMSA Series have sought cockpits for the race at Elkhart Lake. Among them is Andy Lally, who will start for BJ McLeod Motorsports. Spencer Pumpelly will fight for a good result for JD Motorsports. Also, Josh Bilicki returns to the Xfinity Series with SS Green Light Racing. Hattori Racing Enterprises has secured the services of Boris Said.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (by Simon Mones).

What Kyle Larson is in the Cup Series, John Hunter Nemechek is in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: the dominant driver this season. At Pocono Raceway, the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver claimed his fifth win of the season.

Once again, he finished ahead of his team boss Kyle Busch, who was making his fifth and final Truck start at Tricky Triangle. “How about that, baby? 3-2 we beat Kyle,”
Nemechek enthused over team radio.

Credits: NASCARMedia / Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

“It just means a lot. This whole group just works so hard. These guys never gave up,” Nemechek said. The decision in favor of the former Cup driver came just before the end, when he overtook Busch.

Busch explained: “It just means a lot. This whole group just works so hard. These guys never gave up,” Nemechek said. “We were all even going into [Turn] 1 and John Hunter just slid me and got into the lead. I was trying to figure out what I could do to get the lead back and then I got drilled in the left-rear. We were just fighting for second from there on out.” The two-time Cup champion brought this one home, relegating Sheldon Creed to third. Tyler Ankrum and Austin Hill rounded out the top five.