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VOL. 46 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 24, 2022

Lower Broadway meets NASCAR at Ally 400

By Tom Wood

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The Tootsie’s-sponsored car that will be driven Sunday by Daniel Suárez.

-- Photograph Provided

It’s too bad Daniel Suárez’s first Cup Series trip to Victory Lane didn’t come in the purple paint-schemed branding of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville’s legendary Lower Broadway bar which sponsors the gritty Mexican driver in nine races this season.

But if Suárez can pull off back-to-back victories Sunday in the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway, Tootsie’s will be right there with him as major sponsor of the Trackhouse Racing No. 99 Chevrolet.

“The fact that the next race is home for us in Nashville and I’m gonna have Tootsie’s on the car as the home sponsor is exciting. That is the most popular bar in Nashville. I mean, everyone is gonna be there,” says Suárez, who won the June 12 Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway for his first Cup win.

“The only thing that can be better than that (first victory) is to put it in Victory Lane. That’s it. And I think we’re gonna have a very good shot.”

The Tootsie’s-Trackside relationship was announced a year ago and in December, it was announced the bar’s sponsorship for nine races this season — Nashville, the Daytona 500 and St. Louis, plus both races at Bristol and Talladega as well as sponsoring both Suárez and Trackhouse Racing teammate Ross Chastain in Las Vegas.

Also new this year at the Nashville race is the Tootsie’s Infield Club, which will be in turn 4. Fans with Fan Walk and/or Pre-Race Track Access passes will have access to the club, which provides unique viewing points for all track activities throughout the weekend.

“We’re just really into what’s going on in the racing world today,” Tootsie’s owner Steve Smith says of both the Trackhouse sponsorship of Suárez and the Infield Club venture.

“(The Infield Club) is really the first one that we’re trying. We got with SMI’s people and decided to do it right there in Nashville,” Smith says. “Let it be out of the chutes as the tryout and see how it does.

“At the same time, we’ve got Trackhouse Racing that’s brought a lot of business to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge since we’ve been partnered up with them on the 99 car (of Daniel Suárez) and sometimes on the No. 1 car (of Ross Chastain).”

Justin Marks, who co-owns the Trackhouse team with music star Pitbull, says the sponsorship with Tootsie’s strengthens ties to Nashville. They have offices in Franklin, where Marks lives, and last year he told reporters he wants to move the team to Nashville by 2023.

“We want to be Nashville’s team and who better to partner with than such an iconic place as Tootsie’s. Not only are they a great business partner but we have become friends,” Marks says in a press release.

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