Pitbull joins NASCAR as Trackhouse Racing team co-owner

Alex Andrejev
·4 min read

Mr. Worldwide is joining NASCAR. International music icon Pitbull will be a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing, joining team founder and co-owner Justin Marks and No. 99 Chevrolet driver Daniel Suárez for the team’s inaugural Cup season in 2021.

Trackhouse dropped a surprise announcement Friday on social media. Pitbull wrote on Twitter that he’s been a NASCAR fan since the 1990 film “Days of Thunder.”

“Now I’m an official co-owner of the @TeamTrackhouse racing team,” Pitbull wrote. “Thank you Justin Marks, Ty Norris & Daniel Suarez for the great opportunity. This is a great way to celebrate my 40th bday, so Get Ready!”

He ended the post with his signature Spanish phrase. “Dale!

Pitbull, whose real name is Armando Christian Pérez, is a Grammy award winning Latin artist who has sold millions of albums and singles since breaking into the international music scene in the early 2000s. He has 25.5 million followers on Twitter.

Beyond the music industry, the artist has been involved in business ventures that include releasing his own line of vodka, clothing and fragrances, as well as investing in a restaurant in Miami and a multicultural marketing agency called 305 Worldwide.

NASCAR is the latest stop for the Miami-born superstar, but Pitbull has had a longstanding interest in social and philanthropic causes that Marks said overlapped with the team’s goals of amplifying the sport to a larger audience and promoting STEM education to youth in America’s minority communities.

“From day one of creating Trackhouse Racing, I wanted our team to be a platform for purpose, to transcend the sport and positively impact all races on and off the track,” Marks said in a statement. “...Within the first 10 minutes of our first meeting, it was clear Armando and I share a vision and passion for impacting the lives of the underrepresented.”

Trackhouse also announced Friday that it would help launch a STEM curriculum at inner-city charter schools partnered with the Sports Leadership Arts and Management (SLAM!) organization, an educational non-profit Pitbull helped establish seven years ago.

“We are creating and compelling a movement of positivity and possibility, using the platform and excitement of sports and music,” Marks said. “Through NASCAR and our partnership with Pitbull, we are going to have the attention of a global demographic that is ready to be inspired into action for themselves, their families and their future.”

This is not the first time Pitbull has made an appearance in NASCAR. He performed the song “Get Ready” with country music singer Blake Shelton at Phoenix Raceway last March. He also was featured in a video intro ahead of NASCAR’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the summer as NASCAR worked to expand its audience and engage with fans of diverse backgrounds.

“Pitbull is an iconic talent in the music industry and has tremendous passion for NASCAR racing,” a statement from NASCAR said. “We look forward to working with him to further engage diverse audiences and introduce new fans to our great sport.”

Pitbull, also known as “Mr. 305” for his connection to his Miami area code, marks another internationally renowned name joining the sport as a team owner in 2021. NBA legend Michael Jordan announced last year his majority ownership of 23XI Racing, a team co-owned by driver Denny Hamlin that will join the Cup Series this year with Bubba Wallace behind the wheel.

Suárez, like Wallace, is a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program, which aims to attract female and minority drivers and industry members. He is a native of Monterey, Mexico and is the only foreign-born driver to win a national series championship. Suárez won the 2016 Xfinity Series title and is the only driver from Mexico competing in NASCAR’s top series. He will enter his fifth full-time Cup season at the 2021 Daytona 500 on February 14.

Trackhouse said Pitbull will be in attendance at that race.

The team has a technical partnership Richard Childress Racing and will field Chevrolet equipment. Trackhouse has not announced its sponsorship partners for the season, but Marks, a former NASCAR driver and K&N Pro Series West team owner, said in October he expected the team to have five “significant” sponsor partners for the 2021 season.