Zane Smith is the next piece of the puzzle for Trackhouse

Trackhouse Racing continues to grow as Justin Marks had envisioned when founding his team a few years ago, and having Zane Smith under contract next season is the latest piece.

"Expansion is something that has been important to use since we first got on the racetrack, getting to a place where we felt like we could be the most competitive organization as possible," Marks said. "Expansion can look a lot of different ways."

"Nothing will look different in 2024. Trackhouse Racing will still field two full-time cars for Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez and there is a developmental deal in place for Shane van Gisbergen that has yet to be laid out.

Smith (pictured above), meanwhile, will compete under the Spire Motorsports banner as a Trackhouse Racing driver. He will be in the Trackhouse system, meetings, and have a presence in the race shop as he continues to develop into a Cup Series driver.

"With our alliance with Spire and the opportunity to have Zane drive over there next year gives us the ability to grow in 2024 to an organization where we can put three cars on the racetrack full-time in 2025 and beyond," Marks said. "As that conversation started happening and conversations around the garage area about what growth looks like for Trackhouse, there was a short list of names and Zane was pretty much at the top of that list the whole time. Huge fan of him, what he's accomplished in the race car, his talent and his grind.

"Probably most importantly and a core tenant of what we do at Trackhouse is he's a good human and a good person. We try to have good people in our company no matter what they're capable or not capable of doing. Zane proved that to us really, really quickly in our early conversations. I'm really excited to facilitate a Cup ride for him in 2024 and then go to work as Trackhouse Racing to expand and put three race cars on the racetrack in '25 and beyond and have Zane be a part of that for a while."

Smith is signed to a multiyear deal with Trackhouse Racing. Specific details on contracts are rarely shared, but team president Ty Norris made it known the organization had "acquired (Smith's) rights well into the future."

Marks explained it was a strategic decision to farm Smith out for his first full season. With the resources it takes to get a team up and running, Trackhouse Racing wants to take its time getting essential pieces in place (like waiting on haulers becoming available) instead of throwing together a program.

The reigning Craftsman Truck Series champion has become a top prospect in recent years. Not only for his performance with Front Row Motorsports in the Truck Series but in the limited Cup Series starts he's made since last season, keeping the cars in one piece and performing well for the equipment. Front Row, however, was unable to put together a full-time third team in the Cup Series, opening the door for Trackhouse Racing and Chevrolet.

All three drivers — Smith, Chastain and Suarez — are signed to multiyear deals. Van Gisbergen's deal is specific to 2024, and Marks acknowledged there are a lot of unknowns around how he'll perform and the future of that program. There will be more to come on that in the future as Marks focuses on bringing Smith into the fold.

"Zane is a driver we have placed with the help of Spire in another car that we're going to be supporting," Marks said. "It's really to make sure all of Zane's opportunities develop in experiences. Everything next year is in the context of him learning in the first year in the Cup Series and becoming a Trackhouse driver under our roof."

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