President Donald Trump served as the grand marshal of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. However, a postponement due to inclement weather caused the race to restart on Monday. As a result, Trump was not able to attend the second day of the event. He did, though, take a minute to share a tweet at the start of the race.
Completion of the Daytona 500 on Fox Network now. Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2020
Prior to the race beginning on Sunday, Trump sent a message over the drivers' radios. A clip of the audio was shared by the Fox Sports: NASCAR account.
"Drivers, this is President Trump, and it was an honor to open the Daytona 500," his message began. "Have a phenomenal day. Have a great race. Be safe. God bless you. We love you."
Trump also enjoyed a lap around the raceway as he hopped into his presidential limo and took a trip around the Daytona International Speedway. Upon his arrival at the event, he was welcomed with various chants, including those chanting "Four more years" and "U-S-A."
In an interview with FOX News, Trump talked about the spectacle beforehand, explaining how important the race is to the country.
"The Daytona 500 is the 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 said.
While the initial race was cut short before kicking back off the next day, the Sports Business Journal revealed that the race actually surpassed the ratings from the year before. The event earned 10.935 million viewers, which was more than the 9.184 million that tuned in for the 2019 race. All of this occurring when just 20 laps were completed on Sunday.
Trump's presence certainly played into those ratings as many on social media appreciated seeing him so involved.0comments
"Thank You Sir For all that you do for this country," one user tweeted. "We have a president that actually cares and protects us. [Thank you very much] Mr. Donald J Trump! Me and My family really like you and your Work. #TrumpDaytona."
After Sunday's initial race, the leaderboard saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. atop the chart. Behind him was Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick.