While NASCAR fans were left disappointed by the Daytona 500 and the rain that caused havoc and postponed the race until Monday, the entire event was already different thanks to President Donald Trump.
Due to Trump's presence, security for The Great American Race was tighter than ever before. Trump is the second sitting president to attend the race and was named grand marshal at the event. Considering how the race turned out, Sunday acted as a Trump campaign stop supported by NASCAR, with security creating frustration for both those attending the race and competing in it.
Driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was dressed in his firesuit according to ABC News and still had to take extra time to make it through security. Luckily Stenhouse was a good sport and wanted to give back to the fans who were stuck waiting in the long lines.
"I didn't have anything to do because my appearances got moved around and I saw that line and I felt so bad for everybody out there having to wait," Stenhouse said according to The Associated Press. "Everybody seemed patient and didn't mind having to wait too much. The atmosphere was pretty good."
He was also gracious of President Trump, remarking that his presence reflects on NASCAR and its prestige.
"Any time the President who runs your country is coming to a sporting event that you are involved in, it says a lot about the sporting event and how much this race means to everybody," Stenhouse told the media. "You've got to respect the one that's in charge"
Not everybody was as happy as Stenhouse, though. Many complained of the long lines, delays, and other aspects exacerbated by Trump's attendance.
"We would like a refund," one first time attendee said according to ABC News. "My feet are sore. I've been standing in that line for three hours. I paid $100 to stand in line for three hours, and that's not a good thing. We got water, but there's no place to go to the bathroom. It's definitely very unorganized."
"This is really ridiculous," another added. "All the people pay for this thing and it's holding them up. We paid extra to get in here and we're not getting to enjoy it."
Still, the president had a lot of support at the event and was greeted with cheers despite the long lines. He also had a sponsored car in the race supporting his campaign, so it was clear it was on friendly ground.
The race may have been rained out, but Trump apparently won the day anyway.