Justin Marks 'Taking More Active Role' in Guiding Ross Chastain Through Recent Controversies
The Trackhouse Racing co-owner will take a more active role with Chastain, after a pair of on-track incidents have dominated the headlines in the last two weeks.
After months of major criticism from competitors aimed at Ross Chastain for his over-aggressive driving style, the Trackhouse Racing method of not interfering with the situation is being abandoned.
Last weekend at Kansas, it was an off-track altercation with Noah Gragson that drew attention to the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet. This week, however, it was an on-track incident with Kyle Larson.
With six laps remaining in Sunday's Goodyear 400, Chastain and Larson were side-by-side for the lead on a late-race restart, when the top-two drivers crashed into the outside wall.
That on-track incident drew the ire of Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, who had some strong comments for Chastain in the winner's press conference for driver William Byron.
All of which made for a complicated and discussion-filled Monday for Justin Marks, co-owner of Trackhouse Racing, as he told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about the fallout from Sunday's race at Darlington.
"We have addressed this, we have had many conversations with different people today, some difficult conversations," said Marks. "I think the important message here is that we are an obvious believer in Ross' talent, that's obvious, he's very fast, but he's got some things he's got to clean up."
All of these conversations, along with the on-track and off-track actions of Chastain in recent weeks and months, have led to the decision to intervene on the Alva, Florida-native's technique.
"I'll be totally honest with you, we today started a process of more aggressively handling that, with our partners, with Ross, and with our team. Not necessarily because we're mad at him, because there's so much opportunity here, and we are addressing it."
Since Chastain first joined Trackhouse Racing at the start of last year, Marks has been an advocate for the 30-year-old driver and the high-level of talent that he's brought to his organization.
But, sometimes, when serving as an advocate or mentor for an up-and-coming driver, some guidance is required when a situation has exceeded the bounds of what is acceptable.
"I'm going to take a more active role in it and I love the kid, and I love the opportunities he's giving every single person that works at Trackhouse, to be able to put a championship run together, but there's just stuff that needs to be cleaned up.
"It's a process he's going to have to start going through sooner rather than later, and we are very supportive of him, we are very supportive of this team, and we are addressing it."
As an organization, Trackhouse Racing is a half-step away from becoming a juggernaut in the NASCAR Cup Series - both when it comes to innovation and performance.
By maximizing the full potential of Ross Chastain, who has proven himself to be one of the most talented drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series field, the organization could take the necessary steps to collect multiple championship trophies.
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