Despite not sending a car to the Round of 8 in 2023, Justin Marks is happy with the way Trackhouse Racing performed in 2023.
"I'm every bit as proud of this season that I was of last season," Marks said. "So, the level of competition has seemed to have gotten much more difficult this year."
This may come as a surprise to many people, as Trackhouse Racing had both cars make the playoffs and win races in 2022. 2023 seemed to be a down year for the organization, as only Ross Chastain made the playoffs for the team. Chastain won two races in 2023 at Nashville Superspeedway and the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.
WHAT A WAY TO END THE SEASON!
— Trackhouse Racing (@TeamTrackhouse) November 5, 2023
After a run-in with Kyle Larson at Darlington Raceway in May, Chastain appeared to change the way he drove. This resulted in Chastain not running up front as frequently as he had in 2022 and in the first few months of 2023. Even with that, Chastain managed to match his win total from 2022.
Meanwhile, Daniel Suarez failed to get to victory lane and make the playoffs in 2023. It was a step back for Suarez, as it appeared in 2022 that Suarez was turning himself into an every-week contender. Suarez finished the 2023 season 19th in the standings, with 10 top 10s and three top 5s.
Marks wants to take a closer look at Suarez's team to see if they can figure out what is needed to right the ship for Suarez and the No. 99 team.
2023 also saw the emergence of Shane van Gisbergen. The Australian racer came to the NASCAR Cup Series and made his debut at the Chicago street course, scoring the victory for Trackhouse Racing in the Project 91 car. Van Gisbergen made another start at the Indianapolis road course and scored a 10th-place finish.
Van Gisbergen has signed with Trackhouse Racing and will run a multitude of races in multiple series in 2024 with the hopes of going full-time Cup Series racing in 2025.
It is easy to forget that this was only the third season for Trackhouse Racing. With the success they had in 2022, it appeared the organization was ahead of schedule.
Denny Hamlin, co-owner of 23XI Racing, has mentioned that his organization has a five-year plan to where it wants to be a championship-winning organization. Trackhouse Racing is already there, as it is winning multiple races in back-to-back years, and it has a Championship 4 appearance with Chastain in 2022.
Marks is excited about where Trackhouse Racing is. And even with the dip in performance, Marks sees the team's potential and where it can go.
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