By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has a new co-owner in GRAMMY® Award-winning global superstar Pitbull.
The team will make its’ NASCAR Cup Series debut in the 2021 Daytona 500. The team’s debut is fitting as Armando Christian Perez (Pitbull), referenced the movie Days of Thunder, as a part of his inspiration of his NASCAR fandom. The announcement of Pitbull’s investment in Trackhouse came on his 40th birthday.
“I’ve been a fan of the NASCAR story since the movie ‘Days of Thunder,’” said Perez (Pitbull). “As soon as I met Justin Marks (team co-owner), Ty Norris (Trackhouse team president) and Daniel, we were on the same page. They welcomed me aboard, and now we’re going to show the world NASCAR is not only a sport but it’s a culture. This is an amazing way to celebrate my 40th birthday, so Get Ready! Dale! (Dah-lay).”
Pitbull has sold over 7.5 million albums and over 80 million singles worldwide. Cumulative views are in excess of 15 billion. Also known as ‘Mr. 305’ and ‘Mr. Worldwide,’ the rapper’s involvement in Trackhouse Racing adds to his already diverse multiplatform portfolio.
Suarez is the only foreign-born national series champion in NASCAR history. The 29-year-old won the Xfinity Series championship in 2016 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. In 143 Cup Series starts, Suarez has eight top-five and 32 top-10 finishes. He also has two pole positions.
In addition to being a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing, Perez will serve as a brand and philanthropic ambassador. Marks founded the team with STEM as a foundation around the organization. Now Perez and Marks will form a racing themed STEM curriculum within SLAM!, Sports Leadership Arts and Management. Perez helped establish the SLAM! program seven years ago.
“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,” explained Marks.
Marks retired from full-time racing as a driver following the 2018 racing season. However, he returned to racing competition to make Trackhouse Racing’s debut in the 2020 Snowflake 100. The 39-year-old started 17th and finished 18th at Five Flags Speedway.
“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,” Marks continued. “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.”
Trackhouse Racing is leasing a charter and will compete full time in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021. The organization previously announced that they will have a technical alliance with fellow Chevrolet team Richard Childress Racing.
Travis Mack will move back to the NASCAR Cup Series to serve as the crew chief for Suarez. Mack most recently served as the crew chief for Michael Annett in the Xfinity Series.
Feature Photo Credit courtesy of Trackhouse Racing.