Daniel Suarez and the new Trackhouse Racing team make their debut in the 2021 Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Trackhouse Racing is the dream of former NASCAR and sports car driver Justin Marks who sees the NASCAR Cup Series team making its mark not only on the track, but off the track with an emphasis on bringing the sport to communities rarely exposed to NASCAR racing.
Suarez, 29, of Monterrey, Mexico, became the sport’s only foreign-born driver to win a championship when he won the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series title.
Suarez’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro will carry the livery of iFly Indoor Skydiving this week in Daytona where he will participate in single-lap qualifying on Wednesday, a 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday and the 63rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Before turning a wheel, Trackhouse Racing became one of the more popular teams in NASCAR when it announced GRAMMY® Award-winning global superstar Pitbull had become a co-owner. Not only will he serve as an active partner on the Trackhouse executive team, but Pitbull also serves as a brand and philanthropic ambassador. Together, Marks and Pitbull will foster the launch of a racing-themed STEM curriculum within the SLAM! (Sports Leadership Arts and Management) inner-city charter schools — which Pitbull helped establish seven years ago.
Pitbull, who will be in Daytona for the team’s first race and serve as Grand Marshalas well as give the command to start engines, will bring the sport of NASCAR to fans across globe.
It all begins at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday at the Daytona 500.
Daniel Suarez, Driver of the No. 99 iFly Chevrolet:
What are your thoughts about the Daytona 500?
“This is a race car driver’s favorite time of the year. You are going to the sport’s biggest race and everyone is leading the points. Everyone is full of optimism. I can’t wait to drive through the tunnel in Dayton and climb in my No. 99 iFly Chevrolet Camaro.”
What are your thoughts on the Daytona 500?
“You have to take care of the car and make sure you survive for 500 miles. If you survive you always have a shot to win on a superspeedway.”
What is your favorite part of the day?
“My favorite part of the Daytona 500 is when you hear ‘Gentleman, start your engines.’ That’s the moment when all the hard work in the off season, the preparation, media work and everything all comes together. At that moment you are so ready to go. It’s like when someone shows you candy, but they won’t give it to you for months. When you hear the words to start the engines at the Daytona 500 its like being able to finally eat the candy. It’s a long wait to finally get to that moment.”
What excites you most about Trackhouse Racing?
“We have a very promising group with Justin Marks, Pitbull, Ty Norris (team president), Chevrolet and RCR. I know that we will be competitive and we will go to the track each weekend with a shot to win. That’s what every single driver’s goal is.”
Justin Marks, Co-Owner of Trackhouse Racing:
What are your thoughts about the first race for Trackhouse Racing?
“This is just a vision kind of coming together. I mean, this has been in the works for probably really two years now. So, for us to be able to put all the pieces together, to stay steadfastly committed to that vision and the goal of what we’re trying to build, to see it all come together here as we prepare for the Daytona 500 is pretty awesome, pretty special.
“I mean, I made no secret from day one that what we were trying to accomplish here has to be a team that’s unique in its branding, that’s unique in its mission and the narrative around our activities, to try to communicate with fans and try to create content, try to create visual elements around this team that are unique and captivating and compelling for lots of fans.
“I think we’ve done that so far. We’ve got some great partners and sponsors of the race team. Everybody’s excited to be a part of it.”
Pitbull, Co-owner Trackhouse Racing:
Why NASCAR and Why Trackhouse Racing?
“When (Trackhouse Racing) and I sat down, clearly there’s no hidden agenda here, it’s all about winning, it’s all about creating a successful team, it’s all about creating sponsorship around Daniel, it’s about believing in Daniel. We all sat at the table wanting more than that. That to me is priceless. That to me is what this is all about.
“That’s why I wanted to get involved, because I see it’s a higher calling. It’s about utilizing the culture, creating the culture through NASCAR to bring people together. I know it because I live it, I’ve seen it. Music is a universal language. When I’m out there performing for everybody, it doesn’t matter whether you speak English, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, if you are black, white, pink, purple or orange, it doesn’t matter. We all speak music when we’re there.
“When it comes to NASCAR, we watch the cars race, it’s about letting everyone know no matter what in life, if you focus, you work hard for it, you can achieve it. That’s my story and Daniel’s story. That’s why we appreciate Trackhouse Racing investing in us as far as believing in us. And we’re here to win and show everybody in the world how to bring everybody together through NASCAR and Trackhouse.”
Notes of Interest
- Suarez became the the first Latin American, as well as the first NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate, to win a NASCAR national series title when he won the 2016 Xfinity Series championship.
- In 2016, he became the first Mexican driver to win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, claiming three victories at Michigan, Dover and the championship finale at Homestead-Miami.
- He was the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year – the first Mexican driver to win the award.
- In 2013, Suarez finished third in the ARCA Menards Series East final championship standings, the highest finish for an international driver in series history
- Justin Marks competed in six Cup Series races with a best finish of 12th-place in the 2018 Daytona 500. He made 35 starts in the Xfinity Series posting a win, three top-five and seven top-10s.
- Marks won the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 13, 2016 driving for Ganassi Racing.
- Marks competed in 38 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series posting four top-10s and capturing two pole awards.
- Marks joined four co-drivers in winning the 2009 Rolex 24 in the GT division.
Trackhouse Racing PR