Between packing seats at stadiums and arenas across the world, to now putting students in schools nationwide, Pitbull’s latest venture sees him in the fastlane, as he is set to powerslide into the world of NASCAR, pulling diversity further into the sport.
And he is entering into the fast lane in a grand way; or rather a Grand Marshal way.
On February 14, he’s going to be Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, so you know his trademark “Dale” (pronounced Dah-lay, meaning let’s go!) will be heard in the lanes there and across millions of screens, starting off the 63rd year of this racing competition, as “Mr. Worldwide” -- as he is also known -- truly will be on this Sunday of Speed.
Fitting for Valentines Day also, as the hearts and eyes of NASCAR fans will be tuned in to continue their love of the big race.
For the Grammy-winning international superstar, originally named Armando
Christian Pérez, it was a similar feeling to be able to help celebrate and rev up the big day.
“It’s an honor to be named Grand Marshal for the 63rd DAYTONA 500,” said Pitbull. “It’s exciting to mix culture, music and sports into motor racing. I’m
humbled how embracing the NASCAR community and fans around the world have been about me joining the Trackhouse family. Unity at its finest. So let’s get ready to start engines, Dale!”
Last month, Pitbull became co-owner of Trackhouse Racing, alongside its founder Justin Marks, and will enter NASCAR with their driver Daniel Suarez (#99) as they gear up for the team’s debut in Daytona.
Marks noted Pitbull’s eagerness to support the new team and their goals.
“He’s very very excited, he’s looking forward to really helping out a lot and being an asset, being someone that can kind of take our platform to as many people globally as possible,” Marks said.
As such, Pitbull stated why Trackhouse Racing is indeed more than a
“This is deeper than sponsorships, this is a movement, this is a
revolution/taking a sport and creating a culture,” said Pitbull.
And whether being honored by the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of his work for “Clean Water Here”, with music legends as well as Nobel Peace Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners at the 2019 International Achievement Summit, or partnering with eMerge Americas: Miami’s annual tech and innovation summit, one of Pitbull’s greatest achievements is creating the Sports Leadership Arts and Management (SLAM!) Foundation.
SLAM! is a tuition-free public K-12 charter school foundation currently serving over 5,500 students across Florida, Nevada, and Georgia.
Pitbull recalled -- now coming full circle to becoming a race team owner -- how important it was back then for the students there eight years ago, on their first day, to even see a race car up front.
“If you would have seen the look on those kids faces when they saw that car, they just had no clue that it was actually something that was tangible,” Pitbull said. "And since that day is when I said ‘wow’, I’m a big believer in the law of
attraction, ‘I’m going to be involved in it’.”
Marks echoed this importance of the team to young people everywhere and how crucial Trackhouse’s involvement with them will be.
“One of the core components of Trackhouse is trying to find a way to make an
impact in America’s minority youth communities,” Marks said. “Through a STEM program that we’re putting together, we want to cultivate great stories that inspire people...that’s evidenced by the fact that we’re turning impossible into possible.”
“There’s no better time to be involved in NASCAR with Trackhouse...then now,
because it's all about creating awareness,” said Pitbull, “and the same way music is a universal language, I also see NASCAR as a universal language, because everybody loves a fast car and a great story!”
It was a Hollywood story through the movie Days of Thunder that Pitbull said first got him into NASCAR, but it was real life, serendipitous experiences that got him familiar with Trackhouse’s driver.
“By default or design, I heard about Daniel 10 years ago through a friend of mine in Mexico...when he was 17, 18 years old,” said Pitbull.
“I go back to the law of attraction, here I am 10 years later, when I’ve also met Daniel at different concerts ... and now to be here next to him making history.”
Detailing their personal stories through parallel humble beginnings, growing up in similar families, to becoming leaders and champions in their careers, Pitbull also explained why the need for a team like Trackhouse makes sense now more than ever.
“They coincide, and it just makes sense, because we’re all here for one reason and one reason only...more than anything, to show that this brings people together,” Pitbull said, “and if there’s anything we need in these times right now, it’s something that unites people not divides people: and that’s what we're here to do through this platform/opportunity.”
It’s no surprise then how much Suarez is looking forward to race day and his
future with his recently developed team.
“I really want to go out, compete, and just enjoy the ride; to go out there, have fun, and be competitive,” Suarez said. “I really feel like I’m in a very fortunate position, and I’m looking forward to making the most of it.”
Pitbull also illustrated why Trackhouse is working to show how anything is possible in working with, instead of against, one another.
“My daughter taught me she said ‘if you take the word impossible and just put an apostrophe in it, it’s I’m possible, if you space it out’,” said Pitbull, “so it just goes to show you that through motivation, and inspiring, and letting people know out there that now matter what, we’re always going to find a way to bring people together: and that’s what I’m all about.”
Lastly, Pitbull demonstrated just how integral racing can be towards racial harmony.
“There’s only one race that’s the most important race, and that’s the human race; that’s what these races are about,” Pitbull said. “Through these races, through the cars, and through our stories, we just want everybody out there to enjoy, and we’re going to utilize it as a form of unifying everybody out there.”
For information on Trackhouse and their mission to: “positively impact all races, on and off the track”, visit https://trackhouse.com/.