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Daytona 500 around the track: Pitbull making history

Staff Report

DAYTONA BEACH — The biggest race of NASCAR's season is just hours away. 

The 63rd running of the Daytona 500 will go green just after 3 p.m., and all eyes leading up to then will be on the sky.There's been plenty of rain over the past 24 hours at the Speedway, but the radar has cleared this morning. That doesn't mean we're out of the woods just yet. 

The National Weather Service says showers and thunderstorms are still possible after 1 p.m. today, with the chance of rain at 80%. The radar currently shows a general clearing over the next few hours, but the chance of scattered storms throughout the afternoon. 

Last year's Daytona 500 was clear up until the command to fire engines, and then rain became an issue the rest of the afternoon. The race started on Sunday but ended late Monday night. 

Live updates:Keep up with the latest from the action at the Daytona 500

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Race team crew members rolls out stacks of tires Sunday morning, Feb. 14, 2021, through puddles at Daytona International speedway. The weather was rainy early in advance of the Daytona 500.

1 p.m. | Sun out at Daytona two hours before green flag

The radar is clear (for now), and the sun is out at Daytona International Speedway just two hours before the green flag. 

Cars are currently going through inspection before being pushed onto the grid. 

12:20 a.m. | Pitbull in Daytona to make history

Global icon and Grammy-award winner Pitbull is at today's Daytona 500 serving as the grand marshal for the race. However, he's also the co-owner of the newly formed Trachouse Racing team, along with former driver Justin Marks. 

"We're here to make history," Pitbull said. 

The driver for that team will be Daniel Suarez, who will start 15th in the No. 99 Chevy. Pitbull's pre-race advise to him was simple.

"Drive that car like you stole it," he said with a laugh. "Step on the gas and lets go."

More:You don't win NASCAR's biggest race ... it chooses you.

11 a.m. | Luke Combs to perform first concert in a year at Daytona

Country music start Luke Combs said Sunday morning that his pre-race concert today will be hist first live concert since Feb. 14, 2020 in Kentucky. He said will play five songs. 

His pick for today?

"Hard to go against the guys who's won the last two," he said of defending champion Denny Hamlin.

10:30 a.m. | Pitbull, Luke Combs and Sasha Banks at Daytona 500

Country music star Luke Combs will sing the pre-race concert, while global icon Pitbull will give the command to start engines and WWE star Sasha Banks will wave the green flag. 

More:Sunday's Daytona 500 will feature Lap 3 tribute to Dale Earnhardt

The Thunderbirds will roar over the Speedway in spectacular fashion just after 2:45 p.m.

Over 30,000 fans are expected in the grandstands and infield today. 

Fans watch as the Thunderbirds roar overhead as the National Anthem concludes before the start of the 2020 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16, 2020.