Daytona 500: Watch Donald Trump Give 'Start Your Engines' Call at NASCAR's Biggest Race

The NASCAR season started on Sunday afternoon with the 62nd running of the Daytona 500. President Donald Trump was on hand for the event while serving as the grand marshal. He also set the stage for the festivities by telling the racers to "start your engines" as part of a time-honored tradition.

Prior to Dale Earnhardt Jr. waving the green flag as the honorary starter, the president grabbed the microphone and said the most famous words in the racing world. "Drivers, start your engines," he shouted as the crowd went wild. In response, the 40 contestants fired up their 550-horsepower cars in anticipation of the race.

"HE SAID IT RIGHT!!! #Daytona500," one NASCAR fan wrote in response to Trump's call. There were several fans of the sport that were worried about him blowing the call, but they were relieved to hear the words spoken by the president.

Heading into the weekend, there were questions about whether or not Trump would be able to match the intensity of previous grand marshals. Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt set a high bar after making the traditional call prior to February 2019's race. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year grabbed the microphone and screamed to the crowd with the intensity of someone that chases down quarterbacks for a living.

Trump is only the second sitting president to attend the Daytona 500. George W. Bush was on hand for the "Great American Race" in 2004, the same year that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his first of two 500s. Ronald Reagan attended the 1984 July race at Daytona International Speedway, where he witnessed Richard Petty's 200th career Cup Series win.

"The Daytona 500 is one of the greatest events in sports and the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Cup Series," Daytona president Chip Wile said in a statement. "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."

With Trump making the call, the race is on. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and 38 other drivers will set off in search of a memorable victory at the Daytona International Speedway.


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