Daytona 500: Former NASCAR Cup Champ Darrell Waltrip Recounts Meeting Donald Trump

Former NASCAR driver and broadcaster Darrell Waltrip didn't let a little rain on Sunday ruin his time at the Daytona 500. Waltrip, 73, took to Twitter to share his experience at the Daytona International Speedway, where he reveled in being able to meet President Donald Trump, who was the grand marshal of the race before it was postponed to the next day due to rain.

"Well twitterville, I had an amazing day, meet the President in Palm Beach, got on Air Force One, flew to Daytona for the 500, it's a day I won't soon forget, thanks to everyone that made today possible!!" Waltrip tweeted on Sunday evening.

He also tweeted a few photos of Trump and first lady Melania Trump during the lead-up to the race.

Many of Waltrip's 629,000 followers responded to his tweet, with some happy for the analyst and others not pleased he spent time with the President.

"I feel so bad for you that you were in the same place as Trump," one dissenter wrote.

"You have just lost my respect and money to NASCAR by making it a political venue," another said.

"It was an amazing day for all of us that were able to share this historic event!!" someone said.

"Couldn't have happened to a nicer individual and one who has contributed so much for the sport. And if you have anything to do with the POTUS pace lap. WELL DONE SIR!" another wrote.

Although Waltrip didn't tweet anything regarding the crash during the final lap of overtime that left Ryan Newman hospitalized, he did send some well wishes after Newman was released from the hospital two days later.

"NEWMAN... you're amazing, God Bless You Buddy!!" he tweeted Wednesday.

Newman's crash took over headlines about the race after his car slammed into a crash wall and went airborne after another car slammed its driver's side, sending it skidding down to the finish line on its roof. Safety crews worked to extinguish the flaming car, flip it over onto its wheels, then extract Newman from the vehicle to transport him to the nearby Halifax Medical Center.

Several photos of Newman have surfaced since he left the hospital, including one with his and estranged wife Krissie Newman's two daughters. Although Newman has not made a statement regarding the crash, Krissie shared a clip of him and their daughters leaving the hospital, captioning it "Best sight ever!!!"


Roush Fenway Racing revealed that there is "no timetable" set for Newman's recovery, and no specific details have been released about the nature of his injuries sustained in the crash. The NASCAR group announced that driver Ross Chastain will replace Newman behind the wheel of the No. 6 Ford Mustang Saturday at the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Photo credit: Blaine Ohigashi / Stringer / Getty