He's the second president ever to attend the Daytona 500 and has been given the honor of commanding drivers to start their engines. The annual event is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 16.
The start of the Daytona 500 was delayed by an unexpected rain shower that began moments after President Donald Trump and his motorcade finished a ceremonial parade lap. The president was invited to Daytona by Rep. Michael Waltz (R), the U.S. House member who represents the area of Florida that includes Daytona Beach. This year will also see the end of the "Generation 6" cars as the "Next Gen" auto will be introduced next year.
Connolly did three laps in the passenger seat around the 2.5-mile track, which hasn't changed since it opened in 1959. Only 40 cars will compete in this year's race and Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are the current favorites to take the title with 8 to 1 odds. He also won the 2016 race. Austin Dillon who won in 2018 is also in the lineup but he doesn't seem to be a favorite as his odds to win are now 40 to 1.
In an interview with Fox just before giving the command, Trump said he viewed the Daytona 500 "as nearly a patriotism kind of thing".
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The president's visit was widely welcomed by NASCAR fans. About 100,000 people were expected to attend this year's race and millions more will watch on television. Don't worry! There are plenty of ways to watch it without a long-term contract commitment. 50 hours of cloud DVR space means you can record all of your favorites (including the race) and Hulu works with Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One as well as iOS and Android.
Sling: Sling Orange, Blue and Sports Extra gives fans access to races on the NBC and Fox networks.
Trump described the crowd in attendance at the Great American Race as "patriots", according to Fox. The first month costs $15.