The “Month of May” has arrived, where motorsports is showcased and takes over the spotlight around the world.
It’s when some of the most traditional and storied racing events in the world are held and winners become legends.
It culminates with Memorial Day Sunday when three of the biggest and most traditional races in the world take place including the legendary Indianapolis 500, Formula One’s glamourous Monaco Grand Prix and the longest and perhaps most challenging event in the NASCAR Cup Series, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The “Month of May” begins with a horse race, the Kentucky Derby, and then becomes a month when horsepower is on full display in auto racing.
It begins this weekend at Kansas Speedway in NASCAR and the United States Grand Prix in Formula One, which will be contested for the second straight year on a purpose-built race course around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Lakes, Florida.
That’s across the state from Alva, Florida, home of the NASCAR Cup Series points leader from Trackhouse Ross Chastain.
He regained the points lead with an impressive second-place finish in Monday’s rain-rescheduled Wurth 400 at Dover and leads the powerful Trackhouse duo that also includes Daniel Suarez of Monterrey, Mexico in the No. 99 Chevrolet.
Chastain will drive the AdventHealth Chevrolet Camaro in the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway.
In addition to representing the sponsor of the race, Chastain realizes May is when the contenders and pretenders for the season begin to emerge.
He also is pragmatic.
Leading the points in May is great, but his goal is to lead the points after the Championship Race at Phoenix in November.
“It's good to be the points leader but we still have a long way to go until we get to the playoffs,” Chastain said. “So much can change between now and then. My guys are focused and that's what I really like about them. They are very steady and don't get rattled, they're very calm and us leading the points doesn't change them. They still always have a solid plan and focus on executing. It would be awesome to get a win this weekend though for many reasons.
“Obviously it’s very helpful for the playoffs, but it would also be great to take the AdventHealth car to victory lane."
AdventHealth will honor former Penn State standout running back Journey Brown, who is now a Trackhouse developmental pit crew member.
Brown’s promising football career came to an end during a routine COVID-19 test discovered a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Brown joined Trackhouse with the hopes of one day becoming an over-the-well members of the pit crew.
“It will be neat to have Journey Brown with me,” Chastain said. “He will get to see some of stuff we do as racecar drivers away from the track and the shop.”
One day, Brown hopes to make an impact in NASCAR with Trackhouse. This weekend, Chastain will attempt to make an impact for both Trackhouse and Advent Health on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval in Middle America.
“I like coming to Kansas,” Chastain said. “It's a big weekend for AdventHealth and we are doing a lot of activities in the market with the school visit and the track walk. I enjoy leaving the race markets we go to in a better place. We are usually only in market for a couple of days but it's cool to see the effort AdventHealth puts in to create events for the community. It’s fun for me to get out and meet different people and hopefully make an impact.”
Sunday’s race marks AdventHealth’s fourth of six races in the 2023 season. The Altamonte Springs, Fla., company first partnered with Chastain in 2020 when he was a part-time driver in the Cup Series.
With Suarez burning rubber in the No. 1 AdventHealth Chevrolet Camaro, Suarez will gas it in the No. 99 Worldwide Express Camaro, where he hopes to recapture some of the speed, he displayed in the race last year.
“We were very fast in the last part of the race in September so all of us are optimistic for this weekend,” Suarez said. “Our cars were fast last year, and they have been fast this year. We haven't gotten the finishes yet, but we know they will come soon."
That’s the type of attitude that Trackhouse owners Justin Marks and Pitbull along with Trackhouse President Ty Norris look forward to help lead the operation into the future.
All three are inspiring and empowering and that is a major reason why the team has risen to the top level of the NASCAR Cup Series in such a short time.
Trackhouse is about making history, creating a legacy, having fun doing it with entertainment and putting the success on the race track into mainstream culture.
“Everybody tries to paint a pretty picture on how easy it is in this world of instant gratification, but we all know it’s all about hard work,” Pitbull said. “You work hard to work harder to work smarter to play the hardest.
“Welcome to Trackhouse.”
It’s also a month when fans put away the heavy winter coats, breakout the shorts and T shirts and head outside to experience warmth, sunshine, and action.
The team has created a lot of at track experiences to help create memorable experiences for Trackhouse fans and partners.
“For us, as far as how much more we can do is a constant evolution,” Marks said. “We go to the races, look around, audit the landscape, look at the fans and how they consume the event. What moves the needle for them to make it a memorable experience? How can we insert Trackhouse and our partners and everything we are about in that experience as much as possible?
“We have really only scratched the surface with screens in the back of the hauler and new merchandise and live music.
“We are experimenting with what we can do to stand out and be different and insert ourselves in the experience of going to a race.
“It will continue to evolve in a partnership with NASCAR. I hope we are inspiring other teams, other tracks, and NASCAR itself to rethink what the race experience is.”
Marks and Trackhouse aren’t afraid to push the boundaries and the spotlight can shine on those efforts in Motorsports Biggest Month.
“We have our brand and our story, and we will be constant innovators,” Marks said. “We’re trying to tell our story, but also do our part in elevating the sport.”
The trip to Kansas kicks off a tremendous “Month of May” for Trackhouse and for auto racing around the world.
Next week, Trackhouse and the NASCAR Cup Series head to the storied and fabled Darlington Raceway for the Goodyear 400 on Mother’s Day, May 14.
Then it’s off to the Brushy Mountains of North Carolina for the revival of North Wilkesboro Speedway, which will hold a NASCAR Cup Series event for the first time since 1996.
It’s the NASCAR All-Star Race on May 21.
That leads into the big day when international racing becomes the prime attraction – Memorial Day Sunday featuring the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula One in the morning, the Indianapolis 500 in the afternoon and the Coca-Cola 600 that night.
Legends of racing are made in May. Trackhouse intends to have a legendary month.