President Trump attended the Daytona 500 in Florida and served as grand marshal for the annual NASCAR race.
Just before landing Air Force One at the Daytona International Airport, which is right next to the speedway, Trump first provided the fans with a close fly-over at the impressive altitude of only 800 feet, sending the crowd into an epic roar.
“I have been to a lot of Daytona 500s,” one commentator said as Air Force One flew in, “never have I felt the excitement and energy. We’ve got great racing on the track but we’ve got the president landing right now, the fans are pumped up, I mean, wow, what a day!”
“It’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen,” said another commentator. “They said that plane’s 800 feet above the racetrack right now. What an entrance by the president of the United States!”
The NASCAR crowd erupted into chants of “four more years” and “USA” as President Donald Trump was introduced at the Daytona International Speedway Sunday.
Trump addressed the 100,000-seat racetrack at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway ahead of the race he called “pure American glory.
“For 500, heart-pounding miles, these fierce competitors will chase the checkered flag, fight for the Harley J. Earl trophy and make their play for pure American glory and that is what it is pure American glory,” Trump said during his speech ahead of the event Sunday.
“The Daytona 500 is the 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.
He called the large number of fans present at the racetrack “patriots,” adding that “NASCAR fans never forget that no matter who wins the race, what matters most is God, family and country.”
In an interview from the track, Trump told Fox Sports that while he’s not able to drive his own car as president, he was tempted to get behind the wheel of one of the race cars.
“Right now, if I can, I’m gonna hop into one of these cars and I’m gonna get into this race, if possible,” he joked.
“Daytona International Speedway, we love our country and it’s truly an honor to be with all of you at the great American race. Gentlemen, start your engines!” Trump said as the racers began to prep.
Trump and Melania took a lap around the speedway in “The Beast” after giving the command for racers to start their engines. Leading the pack of 40 racers, the lap in the 22,000-pound, Cadillac-branded limousine marked a historic first for any president.
President Trump became the second-ever president to deliver the Great American Race’s iconic command for the racers to start their engines. President George W. Bush was the only other sitting president to give the command.
About 9 million people took in last year’s race on television.