Trackhouse announces expansion, signs Zane Smith to third Cup entry starting in 2025

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 11: Zane Smith, driver of the #38 Boot Barn Ford, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series TSport 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on August 11, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Trackhouse Racing is growing, again. The team announced Saturday that they will expand to a three-car team in the NASCAR Cup Series and has signed 2022 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Zane Smith for the effort.

Smith will race full time in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024, driving a Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports in an alliance with Trackhouse.

Trackhouse Racing entered NASCAR’s top division as a single-car outfit in 2021. Midway through the 2021 season, the team bought in international superstar entertainer Pitbull who has been a frequent guest at NASCAR races and elevated Trackhouse’s presence through inclusion in several of his songs, music videos and named his upcoming album “Trackhouse.” That same year the also team bought the NASCAR assets of Chip Ganassi Racing and began the 2022 season as its own two-car team and setting the stage for the first Cup Series victories for drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain.

The team has also added a third part-time car for its Project 91 initiative, an entry intended to showcase international stars from other forms of motorsports. The No. 91 Chevrolet cashed in with the debut of New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen, who raced to victory in the inaugural Chicago Street Race in July. They recently announced that van Gisbergen will compete for Trackhouse in multiple NASCAR national series in 2024.

Smith is in his fourth full-time season in the Craftsman Truck Series, spending the first two with Maury Gallagher’s GMS Racing before moving to Front Row Motorsports. The 24-year-old driver has been a part of the Championship 4 field in each of the last three years, converting a victory in the 2022 season finale into his first NASCAR national series title.

Smith qualified for the postseason again this year, on the strength of two wins — in February’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway and one month later at Circuit of The Americas. Those victories brought his career win total up to nine, which includes six in the last two seasons.

In 2024, Smith will race full time in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving a Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports in an alliance with Trackhouse.

“Expansion is not something to be taken lightly, but we feel Trackhouse is commercially and technically positioned for growth,” said Trackhouse founder and owner Justin Marks. “You need good timing, very good partners and great drivers. Adding Zane is like signing the No. 1 draft pick and we are proud that he is now a member of the Trackhouse family.”

Spire Motorsports was founded in 2018 by long-time NASCAR industry executives Jeff Dickerson and Thaddeus “T.J.” Puchyr. The team currently fields two full-time NASCAR Cup Series teams with drivers Corey LaJoie and Ty Dillon and fields select entries in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.

“Spire Motorsports will acquire a NASCAR charter from Live Fast Motorsports prior to the 2024 season and we’re thrilled to offer our support to Trackhouse Racing, a key member of the Chevrolet family,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “Spire has a longstanding relationship with Justin Marks and we are proud of everything he and all the men and women at Trackhouse have accomplished in a relatively short time.

“This cooperative agreement is also proof-positive of the hard work of everyone at Spire Motorsports. We certainly wouldn’t be in this position without Mr. Hendrick and the competition group at Hendrick Motorsports so we continue to be grateful for that relationship. T.J. and I are also grateful to B.J. McLeod and Matt Tifft for working with us on the charter acquisition. We’re looking at a watershed moment for our organization that further demonstrates our commitment to the sport.”

Smith has some Cup Series experience gained in the last two years, mostly as a part-time entrant with the Front Row team. His best finish in seven starts was a 10th-place result in this year’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“This is an incredible moment for me,” said Smith. “Trackhouse is one of the most progressive organizations in the garage. I told some friends a year ago that I wanted to be a part of what Trackhouse is doing and I just can’t believe this is all coming true. I am very excited and thankful to have a future with the organization.

“The Cup series is the pinnacle of racing in America, and I cannot wait to compete, learn and hone my skills against the best in the world. I am really looking forward to working with the Spire Motorsports team in 2024 and believe the alliance with Trackhouse will help continue Spire’s ascent up the grid.”

Greg Engle