Trackhouse Racing is going global, but not on four wheels

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 17: The #1 TrackHouse Racing Chevrolet driven by Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain during NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on November 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Mr. Worldwide’s team is going to be competing worldwide next year. However, Pitbull’s powerhouse NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing isn’t planning on sticking to stock cars. Instead, Trackhouse will field a MotoGP team at the highest level of motorcycle racing.

The team will be the only American outfit in the sport, which consists of eleven teams with two drivers each. However, though the team will be run by Trackhouse Entertainment Group – a newly formed company based out of Nashville, Tennessee – it will be operated in Noale, Italy, the home of partner Aprilia. The NASCAR team will continue to be based out of Concord, North Carolina.

It’s truly a global event: in 2024, the series will head to 19 countries and five continents for 22 races, including a visit to Circuit of The Americas in the US on April 14th. That’s just three weeks after NASCAR visits the track.

If the bike revealed during the announcement livestream is anything to go by, Trackhouse will be proud of its American roots.

A screenshot of the Trackhouse Racing MotoGP bike being revealed during the announcement livestream hosted by FOX Sport’s Jamie Little.

The move has been hinted for over a week but has finally been confirmed.

This is a big step for Trackhouse, which is still a very young team by any stretch. The team only started racing in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021, but there were no growing pains. After buying the Chip Ganassi Racing charter, Ross Chastain reached the Championship 4 of the Playoffs in just the team’s second year thanks to one of NASCAR’s most-viral moments.

This is the same team, also, that has hosted F1 driver Kimi Räikkönen and Australian Supercars driver Shane van Gisbergen in NASCAR. Gisbergen even won with the team at the inaugural Chicago Street Race and liked it so much he’s moving to America to race in NASCAR with the team.

Expanding to an entirely new sport is not so crazy, then, for Pitbull and co-owner Justin Marks, a former racer himself who managed to pick up an Xfinity Series win.

“This is a monumental moment for Trackhouse Entertainment Group,” Marks acknowledged.

However, “it has been in the ethos of Trackhouse since the very first day to put in the work, have the vision, and deploy the enthusiasm and passion necessary to build one of the most valuable motorsports entertainment companies in the world. Our entry into the MotoGP World Championship is another step in the execution of that vision,” he explained.

This opportunity for Trackhouse arises out of significant troubles for an existing team. Malaysian RNF Racing has competed in the sport, fielding Aprilia bikes, for the last two years but will not be allowed by the sanctioning body to return due to “repeated infractions and breaches of the Participation Agreement affecting the public image of MotoGP.” The chief issue was the team’s sponsor and majority owner CryptoDATA not paying for its title sponsorship of a grand prix.

All that left an Aprilia-supplied vacuum for Trackhouse to fill. The manufacturer has a longtime racing history and supplies racing bikes as well as fielding a factory team. Basing the team next to Aprilia’s headquarters suggests a desire to strengthen the relationship with Aprilia and its Piaggio parent company.

Trackhouse will also retain RNF Racing’s drivers Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliviera.

The Trackhouse Racing team haulers at Richmond Raceway for the spring Cup Series race featuring neon lights and big screens (photo by Owen Johnson)

Overall, the move underlines Trackhouse’s continued commitment to grow its presence. Bringing Pitbull into the project instantly drew headlines, and the singer has promoted the team in his music. Trackhouse has also changed how NASCAR teams interact with fans on social media and at the track.

That can continue on a global scale with motorcycle racing.

“We feel that MotoGP is perfectly positioned for massive growth in the coming years not only in the United States, but internationally,” Marks said.

“It has all the ingredients necessary to continue its rise to global prominence: a thrilling on-track product, aspirational stars, unmatched fan and partner experience, and an environment that’s fan-friendly and welcoming.”

If the successful trajectory continues, here’s the next step in Trackhouse’s global domination.

Owen Johnson