DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 18, 2024) – There is something America loves about an underdog. There’s no denying the power of a good comeback, the boundless joy in a win over adversity or seeing a team who never had a chance take the championship.

Gathering in the media room for the pre-race briefing with dignitaries, an underlying theme resonated in their messaging – the power of determination.

Miss America, Madison Marsh –

Whether it’s experiencing the truck race for the first time, visiting local hospitals, or discussing her mission with area students and schools, Madison Marsh exudes pure confidence.

Creating the Whitney Marsh Foundation to battle pancreatic cancer in honor of her mother and serving in the United States Air Force, Marsh is the epitome of ‘can do’.

“Life is going to be hard sometimes and people are probably going to be trying to put you in a box or stereotype. I’ve lived through that as a woman who puts on the uniform and also as a woman who competes in pageants, competes in the Miss America opportunity. There are very obvious conflicting stereotypes. But because I get to serve as Miss America, and because I get to serve as 2nd Lt. Marsh, I get to break those roles simultaneously. The only person that can define me and hold me back is myself,” she said.

Also adjusting the mission were members of the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, undaunted by the change in schedule from Sunday to Monday for the running of the Great American Race.

“It’s interestingly enough a part of our culture. You show up for a jump, it may get scratched. You show up for a movement, it may not happen that day. The one thing that makes the 82nd Airborne so special is that at anytime, anywhere, we are ready to be anywhere in the world in 18 hours,” said US Army Sgt. Oscar Roldan.

“We’re just as ready tomorrow as we were today.”

Hanging around to catch appearances by DJ Khaled and Trackhouse Racing team co-owner Pitbull, the Godwin Kelly Deadline Room was the hot spot on a rainy day.

Teasing the name of his new album (quite possibly ‘Love Is the Only Way’) DJ Khaled also teased a ‘We the Best’ car on the track at the Daytona 500 one day.

“I would love to be a team owner and to have a ‘We the Best’ car one day. Shout out to Wendy’s for bringing me out today, just to see all the greats. Look at Michael Jordan, the beautiful things that he’s doing, and other great team owners. One day, God willing, we’ll have a ‘We the Best’ car out there to bring home a trophy,” said Khaled.

Pitbull, as part of the Trackhouse Racing Team, shared his pride in the team’s success over the past three years. Crediting solid, punctual, reliable colleagues, he’s determined to continue making the brand stronger, better, faster.

“To be a Miami boy is to be an underdog,” said Pitbull, who committed to headlining the 2025 pre-show entertainment.

“No matter hard you put in that work, what level you get to, they always want to somehow, someway discard all that and try to knock you down.”

Surrounded by The Rock, Dwayne Johnson and DJ Khaled, all from the Miami and South Florida area, it’s determination to win that drives them all, centered around family.

Sticking around to serve as Grand Marshal for Monday’s Daytona 500, Johnson is excited to connect with the track, the energy and the fans.

“There’s a word I like to use called ‘mana’ and it means spirit, power, and mana is ever present,” said Johnson. “I just felt the mana as I was driving by the Speedway. What I hope to experience is what I have been experiencing, this incredible, electric energy.”