President Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania thanked the “tens of thousands of patriots“ gathered at the Daytona International Speedway in a short speech before the race.
President Donald Trump thrilled NASCAR fans on Sunday, arriving to the Daytona 500 race in dramatic fashion with an Air Force One flyby ahead of the race.
Air Force One flew by the track just 800 ft above the racetrack as cheering fans watched and chanted U-S-A!!
Race fans cheered and shouted four more years as the president and first lady arrived at 2:50 p.m.
The president thanked the “tens of thousands of patriots“ gathered at the Daytona International Speedway in a short speech before the race.
“NASCAR fans never forget that no matter who wins the race, what matters most is God, family, country,” he said.
The president welcomed Gold Star families as guests to the race, thanking their fallen loved ones for their service.
“Rubber will burn, fans will scream and the great American race will begin,” Trump said.
The president delivered the famous lines at the beginning of the race, shouting “Gentlemen start your engines!” to begin the race.
The president also participated in an interview with FOX Sports before the race and said that he had attended NASCAR four times prior to his visit.
“I think it’s really the bravery of these people … it takes great courage, it’s the speed, it’s really the technology, looking at what’s happened in the last ten years with the cars. I love to see it, I love to watch it,” he said when he was asked why he was a fan of the race.
When asked if he would drive his own car on the track, Trump replied, “I think I’m going to right now, if I can, I’m going to hop in one of these cars and I’m going to get into this race if possible.”
The president was named Grand Marshal of the race, delivering the famous, “start your engines” command to the race car drivers at the beginning of the race.
The president also did a lap in the presidential limo nicknamed ‘The Beast’ at the Daytona International Speedway ahead of the race.