DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump gave an election-year embrace to NASCAR and its followers Sunday when he turned the second president ever to attend the Daytona 500. The presidential motorcade took to the monitor to affix in a warm-up lap after he had informed the gang that the racers and their groups have been competing “for pure American glory.”
After a recitation of the opening command, “Gents, begin your engines,” Trump obtained into his black limousine for a ceremonial spin round Daytona Worldwide Speedway. He had joked moments earlier in a Fox interview that, whereas president, he was not allowed to drive his personal automobile, so “I’ll hop into one in every of these automobiles and I’ll get into this race if doable. I really like the concept.”
Given the consideration of grand marshal for the race, Trump gave 1000’s of followers a flyover of Air Power One after which rode onto the monitor within the presidential motorcade because the viewers roared with delight. The motorcade took roughly 1 / 4 lap earlier than pulling apart in an infield staging space.
Requested what it was about NASCAR that he most loved, the president stated, “I feel it is actually the bravery of those folks. … it takes nice braveness.”
Donald Trump turned the second president to attend the Daytona 500, serving because the grand marshal for Sunday’s race. Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports activities
President George W. Bush appeared on the race throughout his reelection 12 months.
“For 500 heart-pounding miles, these fierce opponents will chase the checkered flag … and make their play for pure American glory, and that is what it’s, pure American glory,” Trump stated earlier than the race.
He stated the Daytona 500 was “a legendary show of roaring engines, hovering spirits and the American ability, velocity and energy that we have been listening to about for therefore a few years. The tens of 1000’s of patriots right here right this moment have come for the quick automobiles and the world-class motorsports. However NASCAR followers always remember that regardless of who wins the race, what issues most is God, household and nation.”
Trump’s reelection marketing campaign deliberate to run an advert through the Fox broadcast of the race and fly an aerial banner close to the speedway. About 100,000 folks have been anticipated to attend this 12 months’s race whereas hundreds of thousands extra watched on tv. About 9 million folks took in final 12 months’s race on tv.
Trump tweeted Sunday morning:
On the point of go to the Daytona 500. Can be GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2020
The beginning of the race was delayed by 50 minutes due to rain that moved into the realm moments after Trump and his motorcade completed their ceremonial lap.
Trump’s limousine exited Daytona Worldwide Speedway, and the skies opened for a quick bathe that compelled drivers again to pit street.
The beginning already had been pushed again 13 minutes to accommodate Trump’s journey.
After his scheduled return Sunday night to Washington, Trump will embark later this week on a Western state swing that may take him to rallies in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The president’s go to was extensively welcomed by NASCAR followers. Trump 2020 flags flooded the infield, and a few followers wore them as capes within the storage space.
No less than a dozen drivers have been escorted from the prerace assembly to a personal assembly with Trump.
Info from The Related Press was used on this report.