President Donald Trump attended the Daytona 500 NASCAR race on Sunday as the event’s Grand Marshal.
As the grand marshal for the most high profile race in the NASCAR season, Trump’s role included giving the command for the drivers to start their engines. Prior to the race, Trump took his own wheels out on the race track, for a couple laps around the Daytona Speedway in the presidential limousine.
The presidential motorcade entered the pit lane of the track before the limousine, sometimes referred to as “The Beast,” drove onto the race track.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 16, 2020
The Presidential airplane, Air Force One, performed a flyover of the track prior to Trump’s limousine lap around the speedway.
— John Gallas (@JohnGallasNJ) February 16, 2020
The U.S. Air Force “Thunderbirds” Air Demonstration Squadron also performed a flyover during the singing of the national anthem.
— Keith Kuder (@UtahGuru) February 16, 2020
Trump rounded out his Daytona 500 appearance with remarks ahead of the race.
“The Daytona 500 is a legendary display of roaring engines, soaring spirits and the American skill, speed and power that we’ve been hearing about for so many years,” Trump said. “The tens of thousands of patriots here today have come for the fast cars and the world class motorsports, but NASCAR fans never forget that no matter who wins the race, what matters most is God, family, and country.”
— The Hill (@thehill) February 16, 2020
Following his speech, President Trump, standing beside First Lady Melania Trump, gave the command to start the race.
“Daytona International Speedway, we love our country and it’s truly an honor to be with all of you at the great American race,” Trump said. “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
“GENTLEMAN, START YOUR ENGINES.”
President Trump gives the starting command at the 62nd #Daytona500
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 16, 2020