President Donald Trump is taking part in this year’s Daytona 500 – not as a driver, but as grand marshal for NASCAR’s season opener. It will be the first time a president has ever held the role.
When Trump arrives Sunday at Daytona International Speedway to deliver the famous phrase “Gentlemen, start your engines” to the 43 entrants in The Great American Race, he might feel as though he is at one of his campaign rallies. High above banners flying for NASCAR stars like Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, Trump flags wave atop row after row of flashy RVs.
Fans asked about Trump’s presence were thrilled he was attending the race.
Former NASCAR Chairman Brian France in 2015 recruited several drivers to attend a Georgia rally for the candidate. France, Chase Elliott and Hall of Famers Mark Martin and Bill Elliott spoke from the stage in support of Trump as they flanked the candidate.
Trump has hosted series champions Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. at The White House. He also gave NASCAR team owner Roger Penske the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year.
There is even talk Trump may take a lap around the track in the presidential limo.
Meanwhile, Joe Nemechek will be driving a Mike Harmon Racing car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race today sponsored by the Patriots PAC of America that will have Trump/Pence 2020 logos on it.