Daniel Suarez, who drives the No. 99 Chevrolet, was one of the drivers involved in a 16-car pileup during the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon.
The crash happened 14 laps into the race, and it was triggered by Aric Almirola, who hit into pole-winner Alex Bowman. Christopher Bell pushed Almirola too hard near the front of the field and he tried to avoid a slide, but he ended up turning into Bowman.
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Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Ryan Newman, and Kurt Busch were also involved in the crash.
“We were just getting pushed too hard too early,” Almirola said. “It’s a long, long race. “Man, we were in a fine position, just sitting there, riding around in the top two, three and (Bell) just came with a big run and hit me really hard in a bad spot and it turned me to the right and tore up our race car and ended our Daytona 500 way too early,” Almirola said.
After the crash, the race was stopped by lightning and fans had to seek shelter in the crowded concourse. Heavy rain followed the lightning, and “The Great American Race” was delayed.
Pitbull, the platinum-selling artist, is one of NASCAR’s newest team owners. He bought into Trackhouse Racing, which placed Suarez in the field.
“Now that there’s no touring going on, I’m going to be pretty much at every race,” Pitbull said. “There’s a higher calling to this.”
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Pitbull, along with NBA icon Michael Jordan, are two new celebrities entering NASCAR ownership this year. Trackhouse Racing, which was launched late last year, was created by former driver Justin Marks, who was with Pitbull in a suite watching the race together.
“There’s no hidden agenda. We’re here to win,” Pitbull said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.