Trump tweeted Sunday morning: "Getting ready to go to the Daytona 500". The rain put a halt to any plans Trump had of watching the first few laps of the race as his motorcade exited the track at just before 3:45 p.m. without a green flag lap being completed.
The order for the rest of the 40-car field was determined during two more qualifying races Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.
Trump is only the second president ever to attend the Daytona 500, after George W. Bush. It would be the first public appearance at a race for the former CEO of NASCAR since he was arrested for DWI and drug possession in August of 2018. The race itself is actually the culmination of Daytona Speedweeks which is made up of a week of qualifiers and practices that lead up to the Daytona 500. In an interesting concept that is simply not followed by any other professional sport in North America, in the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (better known as NASCAR), the biggest race of the year takes place at the beginning of their season rather than the end. About 100,000 people were expected to attend this year's race and millions more will watch on television. Fans reportedly waited up to three hours to get into the infield areas behind pit road because of the Secret Service's security protocols.
Trump's presence also created huge lines at entrances, with many fans complaining while waiting hours to get through security.
The presidential motorcade for Donald Trump arrives prior to the Daytona 500 USA TODAY Sports
Air Force One flew in low over the track, spurring roaring cheers from the thousands of fans gathered for the annual Daytona 500.
Even though Hendrick Motorsports does not have the pole position driver, they have plenty of contenders.
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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