President Donald Trump addressed all the drivers and their crews at the Daytona 500 race in Florida on Sunday, using the official radio to wish them a safe race and God’s blessing.
“Drivers, this is President Trump,” he said, as the racers circled the track awaiting the green flag.
“It was an honor to open the Daytona 500. Have a phenomenal day. Have a great race. Be safe. God bless you. We love you,” added Trump, who served as grand marshal for the 62nd running of the event.
Trump made an impressive entrance to the event, doing a flyby on Air Force One before the aircraft landed at neighboring Daytona Beach International Airport.
“Never have I felt the excitement and energy.”
“We’ve had great races on the track, but we’ve got the president landing right now and the fans are pumped up. I mean, wow, what a day!” he added.
Air Force One, carrying President @realDonaldTrump, arrived in Daytona, where he served as Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500.
Race coverage continues today at 4p ET on FOX. pic.twitter.com/pC1At3YKeF
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 17, 2020
Fellow NASCAR great Jamie McMurray, who came in first in 2010 at Daytona, agreed.
“It’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen!” he exclaimed.
“They say that plane’s 800 feet above the race track right now. What an entrance by the president of the United States.”
KTLA reported an estimated 100,000 people were on hand for 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 told the crowd.
“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,’’ he continued, drawing cheers from the crowd.
Trump’s armored limousine, known as The Beast, led the racers in a warm-up lap on Sunday.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2020
Later, the president kicked off the race with those iconic words, “Gentlemen, start your engines!”
After running 20 laps, the Daytona 500 was rain-delayed until Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
Trump returned to Washington on Sunday evening and is slated to make a four-stop western swing, starting in Los Angeles on Tuesday for a fundraiser, followed by “Keep America Great” campaign rallies in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday, Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Thursday, and Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday.
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