Trump to test racing skills, mingle with supporters at Daytona 500

Carla Harmon
February 16, 2020

About 100,000 people are expected to attend this year's race and millions more will watch on television.

President Trump is set to appear as the grand marshal, meaning he will give the classic command to drivers to "start your engines" - the first time a president has held the role.

The Daytona 500 starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 16, 2020.

"There's a real sense of positive, overwhelming affirmation to hear the roar of the crowd", Ari Fleischer, White House spokesman under the younger Bush, told the Associated Press.


Crew members make adjustments to Joe Nemecheck's vehicle sponsored by Patriots PAC of America during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Where: Daytona Motor Speedway, Daytona Beach (101,500).

The senior Bush's trip to Daytona occurred in 1992. In an interesting statistic, Stenhouse Jr. ends a five year run of drivers from Hendrick Motorsports, who have been in the pole position at the Daytona 500.

President Barack Obama's initial presidential campaign was presented with the opportunity to sponsor a vehicle in a NASCAR race, but eventually declined that chance.


Trump, who was endorsed in 2016 by former NASCAR CEO Brian France Jr., has hosted series champions Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.at The White House and gave NASCAR team owner Roger Penske the Presidential Medal of Freedom past year. The 2019 NASCAR Cup champion was Kyle Busch of Las Vegas, NV. Many fans at the Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina, booed and heckled him.

NASCAR fans in the US will have plenty of options to watch the 2020 Daytona 500 but the easiest way to do so is on television. About 9 million people took in last year's race on television.

Trump is also viewed more positive by Republicans, white Americans and older adults, compared with other Americans.


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