NASCAR co-owner Pitbull mixing racing with upcoming tour

NASCAR and Motorsports

FILE – Pitbull performs prior to a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale Ariz., in this Sunday, March 8, 2020, file photo. New NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing has brought entertainer Pitbull on as an ownership partner for an organization making its debut next month at the Daytona 500. “Mr. Worldwide” joins NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as celebrity owners entering NASCAR this year. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

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LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) — The man known as Mr. Worldwide is ready to get back to his main business, even as he spends more and more time with his latest investment in NASCAR.

Pitbull’s new tour titled “I Don’t Know About You But I Feel Good” starts July 25 as the Grammy-winning rapper moves from the racetrack back to the stage. He said he knows everyone wants to dance, escape and enjoy the world again.

“Everything that happened in 2020 is something I think is a tremendous lesson and story for the whole world that they should appreciate life and now I can share that with the public,” Pitbull said.

Pitbull has been very busy in racing since becoming a co-owner of the new NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing in January before the Daytona 500. He attended Sunday’s Cup race at the Nashville Superspeedway and praised the devotion of NASCAR fans.

“To see the passion, to see the loyalty, to see the willingness to just run through a wall for the team that they love,” Pitbull said.

He related an experience at the Daytona 500 in February when someone approached him at a chain restaurant across the street from the speedway and told Pitbull he didn’t dress like a NASCAR owner. The rapper bought the man a couple shots — “I said yeah, but I do drink like a NASCAR owner, don’t I?” — and after a few more rounds and selfies, the fans paid the bill.

“And that just showed a lot to me,” Pitbull said. “Not too many people do those kinds of things, especially in today’s day and age where it’s all about instant gratification; grab your photo, grab your video, do this for me, do that for me. Just that sense of gratitude showed me a very pleasant experience and it’s been amazing.”

Pitbull said he loves both NASCAR and music and the two are part of his vision to unite people and show the opportunities that exist for all cultures.

“Everyone here is a human being,” Pitbull said. “And if I can use a car, NASCAR, the races and music to do that, to unite people, that is an honor, a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous platform to be able to do that.”

Daniel Suarez, the driver for Trackhouse Racing, said he has known Pitbull for about three years after the two were introduced by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Suarez said the rapper brings energy and a different perspective and he isn’t afraid to share when he has the opportunity.

“I didn’t know he was going to be this involved,” Suarez said. “He’s a very busy person, and I mean he’s been to a handful of races already this year. He loves racing.”

Suarez in front of his new boss finished seventh at Nashville for just his third top-10 of the season. He’s excelled this season at tracks that have had practice and qualifying because it gives the new team critical information ahead of the race.

Pitbull’s entertainment expertise already is proving helpful for Trackhouse. Co-owner Justin Marks is a Nashville resident who wants the team operating in Music City in the heart of its downtown entertainment district by 2023 to connect with fans wanting to check out a NASCAR team at work.

The team raced at the superspeedway with sponsorship by famed honky tonk Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. The No. 99 Chevrolet featured a pair of large orchids matching Tootsie’s iconic building on Lower Broadway for the first Cup race in the Nashville-area in 37 years.

The Nashville touches even included Suarez’s fire suit with the feet looking like black and white cowboy boots.

“I never had a suit with boots,” Suarez said. “I’m going to be honest, I’m not a huge boot person, but these things look pretty good on me.”

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