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LEBANON, TENNESSEE - JUNE 19: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 19, 2021 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
LEBANON, TENNESSEE - JUNE 19: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 19, 2021 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Justin Marks discusses Trackhouse Racing’s desire to move to Nashville; talks about NASCAR charters

Trackhouse found and owner Justin Marks and Co-owner ‘Pitbull’ met with the media at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday and touched on a variety of topics including NASCAR charters [Trackhouse is leasing a charter from Spire Motorsports this season] and Marks’ interest in moving the team to Nashville:

JUSTIN, IF YOU WANT TO GET STARTED AND TELL US WHY YOU CHOSE NASHVILLE, AND WHY THIS AREA, AND YOUR ASSESSMENT SO FAR THIS YEAR”.

JUSTIN MARKS:

“Thanks to everybody for being here. It’s really nice to see a packed Media Center, that’s for sure. First of all, I want to thank Erik Moses (President, Nashville Superspeedway) and all his staff. My first real stock car race was here at Nashville in 2006, the ARCA Re/Max Series, and to see Cup come back here and to see this place get reborn is special to me. I know it’s special to a lot of people in the industry.

“I’m here, Trackhouse is here, Armando is here because NASCAR has this new car coming and the new car represents a new era in this sport because we’re breaking down barriers for new ownership and we’re providing opportunities for people to re-think the business model of what a race team is. That’s exactly what Trackhouse is all about. And that’s why we’ve set up shop here in Nashville. Our goal is to have a race shop here one day and to be kind of the professional racing sports here in Nashville. What we’re trying to do is to bring something different and bring something unique to tell a story, to transcend the sport; take NASCAR and use the platform but to tell a bigger story. To see things come together like they have this year have been great. Armando has been wonderful and a great partner. We’ve got a lot of big things ahead of us. So, it’s just a very exciting time.”

YOU ARE ACTIVE IN THE CHARTER GAME. TWO WENT YESTERDAY. HOW IS IT THAT YOU DIDN’T GET ONE OF THE SPIRE CHARTERS?

JUSTIN MARKS:

“That’s a good question, actually. I mean, look. They’re running a business. That’s the way they need to run it. We’re focused on Trackhouse. The charter journey has been that. I mean, it’s been a journey. It’s an interesting time in the history of the sport with this charter economy. We’re working very hard every day to secure our future, and I feel confident about our future. There’s nobody here that knows everything that’s happening all the time. And there’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes. We can’t know everything. Two came off the board yesterday but there are still a lot out there. So, I’m confident we’re going to get something done.”

IS THE MARKET EIGHT FIGURES?

JUSTIN MARKS:

“I don’t know. I don’t know what they paid for it. I mean I don’t know what the market is. The thing is the addressable market is so small that the value of a charter is what someone is willing to pay for it. I don’t know what they paid for it, so who knows?”

THERE IS GOING TO BE A SMALLER SQUARE FOOTPRINT FOR RACE SHOPS WITH THE NEXTGEN CAR. YOU ARE TRYING TO LEVERAGE A PUBLIC FACING AND MOTORSPORTS ATTRACTION SLASH RACE SHOP HERE IN NASHVILLE. GIVEN THAT MOST OF THE RACE SHOPS ARE IN CHARLOTTE, HOW DO YOU VIEW RACE SHOPS IN THE FUTURE?

JUSTIN MARKS:

“I think there are two elements. One is new business creation and new teams coming out of the box and building a company and infrastructure around this new car from scratch. I think there’s the business of these existing teams that have to find a way to monetize all this infrastructure that they’ve built over decades in the sport. I think for everybody it’s a little bit of a different story. But I think we’re in a great spot because we’re starting from scratch and building this company and value-engineering this company around the new car and the future of this sport. So, it makes us very mobile and modular and allows us to pivot and think very creatively about how we’re going to exist once we sort of start separating ourselves from RCR and becoming more automatous as a business. And it’s one of the reasons why we’re here in Nashville because there’s a lot of opportunity in this town. It’s an entertainment town. And there’s a lot of opportunity to really rethink that. I think some of these existing teams that have a lot of history in this sport don’t necessarily have that luxury because they’re committed to big campuses, and they’re committed to the supply chain as it exists and Charlotte. But for us, we’re starting from scratch. We’re trying to build something special around this new car and around the business model of NASCAR and that puts is in a really good spot.”

ON YOUR VISION TO BRING A TEAM TO NASHVILLE WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THAT AND HOW SOON DO YOU SEE THAT HAPPENING? DOES WHAT FURNITURE ROW ACCOMPLISHED IN DENVER GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING SIMILAR?

JUSTIN MARKS:

“Furniture Row is a different time in the sport and is a different business model. We’re not that far from Charlotte, so we’re not really on so much of an island. We can still do weekly business with our partners and suppliers in Charlotte. This new car, I believe, represents an opportunity to rethink you’re race shop and what it is. And that’s something that Ty and I talk about a lot. And we talked about it early in the days of Trackhouse, asking ourselves what is a race team? Why is a race team in 140,000 square feet in an industrial park? Well, for a lot of years it had to be because of engineering and manufacturing. But a lot of that stuff is going away. So, as we sort of wipe the slate clean and start thinking what a race shop and team of the future look like, I think it should be a public business. We’ve got these amazing race cars and amazing people that work on these race cars. Race shops are really an incredible thing to see, as you know. I think people should have access to that and to take that content and put it out there in the world is something that’s very important to the future trajectory of Trackhouse. And Nashville is a quickly growing community. It’s an entertainment and event city. That’s the business that we’re in. Entertainment and events. And it represents an opportunity for us to carve a niche out for ourselves in a market where we can really get the community support behind us and be one of the professional sports teams in this market. Timing-wise, it’s a little TBD just because we all have to learn this new car together and we have to understand how business can be built around this new car. But I don’t think it’s outside of the realm of possibility that in 24 months from now we’re racing out of Nashville. But it’s a lot of TBD because we have a lot of learning we have to do.”

— Team Chevy —