Mr. Worldwide is now Mr. Trackside. Surprisingly, Chip Ganassi sold his entire NASCAR operation to Trackhouse Racing. Armando Perez, better known by his stage name Pitbull, is a team partner of Trackhouse.
Chip Ganassi said Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“He made me a great offer that required my attention. The team wasn’t for sale,” Ganassi told The Associated Press.
But Ganassi, the former driver and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, reiterated that he isn’t out of racing, but his days in NASCAR are likely over.
“I’m not out of racing, I’m just out of NASCAR,” Ganassi said. “I still have an IndyCar team, and I still have an IMSA sportscar team. I still have a Formula E team, and I had an offer that I was required to consider.”
Chip Ganassi Racing fields two NASCAR teams this season in Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain. Next season, however, Trackhouse plans to use one of those spots for Daniel Suarez. The second spot will most likely go to one of his current drivers.
Chip Ganassi said with the recent shake-ups in NASCAR it felt like the right time to step away. Even if he wasn’t planning on it, he said, it made sense after speaking with Marks.
“I felt there was a lot of energetic thought being put into what Justin was saying,” Ganassi said. “With all the new blood that seems to be coming into the sport now with Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin, maybe Keselowski, Tony Stewart has a team, and Jeff Gordon getting back involved, the sport is ready for a new group. We talk about a new generation of drivers but I think you’re going to see a new generation of owners.”
Pitbull Joins NASCAR as Team Partner in 2021
NASCAR has seen a lot of shake-ups recently as new owners have joined the sport and big named drivers have swapped teams. But one of the names lost in the shuffle was Armando Perez — Pitbull.
It’s unclear if Pitbull was a fan of NASCAR before joining Trackhouse Racing. But he said he was after meeting with team owners.
“As soon as I met Justin, (team president) Ty Norris and Daniel, we were on the same page,” Pitbull said in a team release. “They welcomed me aboard, and now we’re going to show the world NASCAR is not only a sport but it’s a culture.”
Adding an international rap star to the team’s ownership roster will increase Trackhouse’s reach to find new fans.
“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,” Marks said. “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. 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.