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Pitbull named Grand Marshal for Daytona 500

Brad Daugherty looks at Silly Season in the NASCAR Cup Series, from Bubba Wallace's move to Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin's 23XI Racing, to the return of Kyle Larson, to the losses of Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer.

Daytona International Speedway has named global music star and new NASCAR team co-owner Pitbull as Grand Marshal for the Feb. 14 Daytona 500.

As part of his role, the Grammy award winner will give the command for the 40-car field to start engines ahead of “The Great American Race.”

“We’re honored to have someone as accomplished and respected as Pitbull be a part of the 63rd running of the Daytona 500,” track president Chip Wile said in a statement.

“He is not just a world renowned artist, Pitbull has made his mark as a philanthropist and businessman, most recently announcing he has joined the NASCAR ranks as a co-owner with Justin Marks at Trackhouse Racing with driver Daniel Suárez.

“We’re proud to welcome Pitbull to our great sport and I can’t wait to hear him deliver the most famous words in motorsports ahead of the Great American Race.”

Pitbull and Justin Marks’ Trackhouse Racing, which fields Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 Chevrolet, is one of several new teams in the Cup garage this season.

NBA legend Michael Jordan and Cup star Denny Hamlin have formed 23XI Racing with Bubba Wallace as driver of its No. 23 Toyota.

Driver and team owner BJ McLeod has also joined forces with former driver Matt Tifft to form Live Fast Motorsports, which will run the No. 78 Ford.