Dwayne Johnson, DJ Khaled and Pitbull Lead Celebrity-Studded Daytona 500 Festivities
Sunday’s Daytona 500 will again be a star-studded affair with several notable celebrities taking an active part in pre-race festivities. Notably, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, DJ Khaled and Pitbull.
Johnson will serve as Grand Marshall for the 66th running of NASCAR‘s “Great American Race.” As such, he’ll have the honor of uttering, “Gentleman, start your engines,” to kick off the 2024 Cup Series. Johnson is, of course, no stranger to playing the crowd given his wrestling background. Viewers will see what he’s “cooking” to hype up the event.
Ten-time Grammy Award nominated artist DJ Khaled will officially start NASCAR’s premier event. Khaled was named honorary starter of the 2024 Daytona 500 and will wave the green flag to commence the 200-lap event. He is also partnering with fast-food chain Wendy’s for the company’s “Go Biggie” campaign at the 500. Khaled said he’s “always respected the Biggie lifestyle.”
Armando Christian Perez, better known as Pitbull, will perform a pre-race show. The artist, who has sold 25 million studio albums sales and three records included on Spotify’s billion stream club, is also a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing with Justin Marks. Pitbull has also debuted his “Trackhouse” album series. His EP dubbed, “Trackhouse: Daytona 500 Edition,” releases this month.
Trackhouse’s lineup remains unchanged for 2024 with Daniel Suarez returning in the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro alongside Ross Chastain in the No. 1. Chastain placed ninth in the final points standings in 2023. He earned two wins, 10 top-fives and 14 top-10s. He also secured his second consecutive NASCAR Playoffs berth.
Suarez placed 19th in the final points with three top-fives and 10 top-10s. Suarez was winless and failed to earn his second playoffs berth. He started the 2024 season with a win the NASCAR Mexico Series race during the Clash at the Coliseum weekend.
Trackhouse also continues its Project 91 initiative this year. The third entry from the team has been driven by motorsports stars, including F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen and four-time V8 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen. Van Gisbergen earned a shocking win in the inaugural Chicago Street Race last summer in the No. 91 Chevrolet, his debut Cup race. SVG will race in seven more Cup events with Trackhouse in 2024. He also joins the Xfinity Series for a full-time ride with Kaulig Racing this season.
A celebrity notably absent from this year’s Daytona 500 is boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, co-owner of The Money Team Racing. TMT fielded the No. 50 with Kaz Grala placing 26th in the 2022 Daytona 500. IndyCar regular Conor Daly finished 29th in the 2023 iteration.
TMT Racing is reportedly skipping the Daytona race this year but plans to enter the March 3 Las Vegas race.