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NASCAR Rumors: Trackhouse Racing Merger Could Potentially See the Struggling Mexican Out of a Seat in 2025

Published 05/15/2024, 8:09 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Rumors have been swirling that Trackhouse Racing and Kaulig Racing might team up by the start of next season. Both teams are facing challenges as 2025 approaches, but for entirely different reasons. Kaulig Racing just hasn’t been hitting the mark performance-wise, with their cars languishing at P30 and P32 in the Cup Series Owner’s Points.

On the other hand, Trackhouse Racing has five drivers under their contract and only two Cup series seats. While a merger could spell good news for the team owners, it’s a different story for NASCAR’s Mexican driver, Daniel Suarez. The move might not play out in his favor as per some industry insiders.

Is Trackhouse Racing eyeing someone new to replace Daniel Suarez?

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Suarez has been having a rough patch lately. He kicked off the year with a win at Atlanta, which got him into the playoffs and covered up a lot of issues. After that, though, he had a few decent top-15 finishes, but things have really gone south since. His performance at the Circuit of the Americas was a letdown, especially since he’s known for being sharp on road courses. He didn’t qualify well there, got a speeding penalty, and finished way back in the pack at P31. Since then, his average finish has been 21.8 over eight races. If you don’t count his fifth-place finish at Texas, it drops to P24.

Eric Estepp brought up some interesting points recently in his latest YouTube video. He stated, These recent struggles combined with the news that Zane Smith is leaving Spire. He needs a seat at Trackhouse supposedly. Have me wondering if Daniel Suarez’s seat is warming up once again. […] Trackhouse has not just Zane Smith but we mentioned him a moment ago, Shane van Gisbergen is under contract. SVG’s goal is to go Cup Series racing. I’m not sure that he’s ready but can trackhouse find room, can they feed all these mouths?”

Despite Justin Marks repeatedly saying Daniel Suarez is sticking with the teamit’s not totally clear if he’ll stay in the Cup series. There’s talk he could shift to Xfinity. With Michael McDowell set to join Spire Motorsports in 2025, and Trackhouse-backed Smith needing a seat, things are getting tight. Plus, SVG, who’s tied to Trackhouse after his Chicago win, already has a full-time Xfinity seat and a part-time Cup seat with Kaulig. But, given his strong showings, another year in Xfinity seems unlikely for SVG, hinting at a possible full-time Cup move.

Right now, Trackhouse doesn’t have any open Cup seats, but if those rumors about buying an SHR charter pan out, it could shake things up, potentially nudging Suarez down to Xfinity. Even Suarez has acknowledged his recent struggles, apologizing to fans in a recent video. Although it’s clear, he’d rather not step down, the shifting dynamics at Trackhouse might not leave him much choice.

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The #99 of Trackhouse Racing apologized to his fans for his recent performance

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Despite clinching a playoff spot with a narrow win earlier during the series, Daniel Suarez’s overall performance has dipped, with an average finish of 19.4 and a disappointing 23.8 over the last four races. Suarez has been outperformed in qualifying too, not managing to start higher than 17th in the last nine races, unlike his teammate Ross Chastain who has secured top 10 starts four times.

After a tough race at Darlington where he finished P24, Suarez shared a candid video during his ride home from his car, expressing his frustration and the team’s challenges. It’s very hard to put into words, you know, what has been happening lately. In the 99 team, frustration is an understatement. It’s been difficult, you know. It’s been difficult. I will say for the good part of maybe a month, a month and a half ago, we were trying some different stuff, but right now we are just struggling. We are just struggling a lot. We don’t have a lot of speed. It doesn’t really matter how the balance of the car is, we’re just slow. […],” Suarez said.

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In his heartfelt message, Suarez apologized to his fans, saying “I want to apologize to all the fans, to all the Daniel’s Amigos out there that come to support me, all those Mexican flags. You know, I hate to run like this. I hate to let you guys down, you know. … I don’t compete and I don’t work so hard every single day of the week to run 25th to 30th.” Well, hopefully, Daniel Suarez can climb the ladder back again and manage to gain that momentum again.”

Suarez remains hopeful, however, assuring his supporters that he’s determined to turn things around and regain his competitive form soon. Do you think he’ll be able to do it? 

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath