The singer/songwriter will join one of NASCAR’s newest teams and is also launching a racing-based STEM curriculum.
We're going worldwide.
— Trackhouse Racing (@TeamTrackhouse) January 15, 2021
Mr. 305 is making the four-hour drive from Miami to Daytona.
Award-winning hip hop artist and philanthropist Armando Christian Perez, best known by his stage name Pitbull, is joining up with NASCAR, joining the ownership group of Trackhouse Racing. Working alongside entrepreneur and former driver Justin Marks, Pitbull will help oversee Trackhouse’s 2021 debut. The team’s No. 99 Chevrolet will be driven by 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez.
Perez, who turned 40 on Friday, has been a supporter of NASCAR for several years. His 2020 single “Get Ready”, featuring country star Blake Shelton, was commonly used during the most recent NASCAR season. The track first appeared onÂ Libertad 548, his 11th studio album. Perez and Shelton performed the song during prerace festivities at the Cup event at Phoenix last March.
“Iâ€™ve been a fan of the NASCAR story since the movie â€˜Days of Thunder,â€™â€ Perez said in a statement.Â â€œAs soon as I met Justin, (team president) Ty NorrisÂ and Daniel, we were on the same page. They welcomed me aboard, and now weâ€™re going to show the world NASCAR is not only a sport but itâ€™s a culture.Â Â This is an amazing way to celebrate my 40th birthday, so Get Ready! Dale! (Dah-lay)”
In addition to his team owner duties, Perez will also serve as Trackhouse’s “brand and philanthropic ambassador”. He and Marks will oversee the development of a racing-based STEM curriculum, working alongside SLAM! (Sports Leadership Arts and Management) inner-city charter schools. Perez helped create the organization in 2014.
“Within the first 10 minutes of our first meeting, it was clear Armandoand I share a vision and passion for impacting the lives of the underrepresented,” Marks said. “We are creating and compelling a movement of positivity and possibility, using the platform and excitement of sports and music. Â 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.â€
The newly formed team will make its debut at the 2021 Daytona 500 on February 14. Suarez, 29, has earned 32 top-ten finishes over four full years of Cup Series competition, previously working with Joe Gibbs Racing (2017-18) and Stewart-Haas Racing (2019). He drove Gaunt Brothers Racing’s No. 96 car last season in that low-budget team’s full-time debut year, with his best finish being a pair of 18th-place postings at Bristol and Kansas.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags