Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior advisor to President Donald Trump, had exactly one word and one hashtag for her father's appearance at the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon. She took to Twitter to share a Fox Sports video of the president doing a lap around the Daytona International Speedway inside the presidential limousine, also known as "The Beast." The president served as the grand marshal for the race.
"Epic!" Trump wrote on Twitter, adding an American flag emoji. She also included the hashtag "Daytona Donald."
By the time Trump posted the tweet, the president had already left the race. He left during an early rain delay, and Air Force One was spotted flying over the racetrack.
Although there were complaints on Twitter, Florida sports journalist Jon Alba tweeted Air Force One's early departure was already planned. The rain delay just gave Trump and First Lady Melania Trump a chance to leave earlier.
"For clarification: President Trump was seemingly going to stay for at least a few laps, but there was a rain delay almost immediately after he told the drivers to start their engines. Lasted about 45 minutes," Alba tweeted. "Daytona official confirms to me the plan was for President Trump to stay for a few laps, but because of the rain delay, he didn't get to. Pool says his vehicle rolled out around 3:41 p.m. ET."
Before the race started, Trump told a Fox Sports reporter he respected the "bravery" of NASCAR drivers and pointed out he had been to Daytona four times before.
"It really is the great American race and I look at this as almost a patriotism kind of thing," Trump said of the race. "It's incredible. The people are incredible. We love the area. We love this state and it's very exciting."
Trump served as grand marshal, meaning it was his job to tell drivers to "start your engines" to begin the race. He also delivered a short speech and was met with "USA" and "four more years" chants from the friendly crowd.
Trump's father only the second president to serve as grand marshal at the Daytona 500, following President George W. Bush in 2004.
"The Daytona 500 is one of the greatest events in sports and the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Cup Series," Daytona International Speedway track president Chip Wile said in a statement last week. "Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting Presidents of the United States over our history. We're honored that the President of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of 'The Great American Race' by attending Sunday's 62nd annual Daytona 500."
Photo credit: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images