Pitbull whose real name is Armando Perez, aka “Mr 305” became the co-owner of Trackhouse Racing earlier this year. He arrived on the NASCAR scene alongside the Trackhouse team founder/co-owner/former driver Justin Marks with an instant signing of Mexican-born driver Daniel Suárez for good measure.
Why did Pitbull venture into professional motorsports?
Latin rap superstar and reggaeton artist Pitbull made a bold move when investing in professional motorsports and taking part-ownership in the new NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing. But there’s more than one reason why Mr 305 wanted to involve himself in the sport.
Firstly, it was a Cuban-American family of business owners with deep-routed connections in Charlotte that made his decision easier, Pitbull says.
The only full-time Mexican-born driver in NASCAR’s Cup Series, Daniel Suárez, was another huge factor in Pitbull’s decision-making.
It’s been almost one year and seven months since Pitbull was announced as a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing, and the news instantly turned heads. A significant pairing of a Latino driver and a team owner made history for the culture.
Pitbull’s decision has undoubtedly drawn Latinos worldwide to pay more attention to the sport. And with NASCAR boasting such significance in the wagering stratosphere, Carolina sports betting would quickly shift into a more significant focus on their sports wagering promotions.
Assisting the sportsbooks in NASCAR betting and the widespread attention of the sport from Latino communities was the fact that Pitbull joined fellow celebrity Michael Jordan in the sport and became the second non-racing popular figure to become an owner of a NASCAR team.
Surprising to some, it was a movie from the nineties that also pushed Pitbull into his NASCAR purchase.
A young pairing of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman stole the hearts of race fans and generated some new ones when “Days of Thunder” was released in 1990. Aged 9-years-old at the time, Pitbull remembers how the flick drew his interest in motor racing.
“It was a great experience,” Pitbull commented when discussing his time watching the film.
“I was like, ‘Wow, man, look at everything that goes into it.’ Example: When they spoke about how they utilized each others’ cars to be able to swing by each other in a certain draft. As a little kid watching that, I’m like, ‘Oh, wow, so you can make a car even faster by being able to utilize the guy out in front of you.’
“And… it was a great love story between Cruise and Kidman, but also a great love story between Tom and the racing partner he was always against – you know, when they were in the wheelchairs and trying to race in the hospital, and when they both rented a car, and they raced on their way to the meeting. It was a great movie all about adversity, being an underdog – which I relate to 150,000% - and more than anything, being a winner. Not only on the racetrack, but in life.”
The Latino fan base & diversity
Reiterated on many occasions by Pitbull is the sentiment that his purchase would expand the Latino fan base his driver Suárez already boasted.
There hasn’t been a more prominent high-profile duo of a Latino driver and team owner in NASCAR since Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia became a part of the Chip Ganassi Racing team which Felix Sabates previously owned.
Diversity has often been an issue in NASCAR, but the tide is changing thanks to Pitbull’s arrival and Michael Jordan’s investment in NASCAR and Bubba Wallace.
“I’ve known Michael for many years,” Pitbull told reporters. “I was at his wedding, and I’m a big fan. But the funny story is when anybody runs up on me, and they’re like, ‘Aren’t you Pitbull?’ I mess around, saying, ‘No, I’m Michael Jordan.’ So now, funny enough, the two owners in NASCAR creating awareness about diversity and culture are me and Michael Jordan.
“So, when I see Mike, I’m gonna tell him, ‘Hey, when anybody runs up on you and calls you Michael Jordan, you say, ‘Nah, I’m Pitbull.”