NASCAR is gaining its second celebrity co-owner ahead of the 2021 racing season. Grammy-award winning singer Pitbull—yes, Mr. Worldwide himself, Armando Christian Perez—is taking on an ownership role at newly formed Trackhouse Racing. Because, hell, why not?
The team, founded by Justin Marks, will be making its debut at February’s Daytona 500 with Daniel Suarez behind the wheel of its No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro. But I can’t help thinking that all eyes are going to be on Pitbull as we kick off the season.
““I’ve been a fan of the NASCAR story since the movie ‘Days of Thunder’, [sic] now I’m an official co-owner of the Team Trackhouse racing team,” Pitbull tweeted on Friday, January 15. “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! Dale!”
Justin Marks, a former NASCAR competitor himself, sounds rightfully stoked:
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.
I am proud that in just a few months we are here announcing a partnership with one of the most influential and recognized artists in the world. 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. We are creating and compelling a movement of positivity and possibility, using the platform and excitement of sports and music. 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.
Marks isn’t wrong—the partnership can only be good for NASCAR, a series that has struggled to bridge the age gap in its audience and to draw in new fans that don’t already have ties to motorsport. Folks that never had an interest in NASCAR before might start tuning into races.
Pitbull has performed at NASCAR events in the recent past, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying that most of us did not expect him to graduate to partial team ownership.
And he’s not the only cultural heavyweight lending his name and his money to a NASCAR team in 2021. Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan is co-owner of the newly formed 23XI Racing that will feature Bubba Wallace as its driver.