Monday is officially Presidents Day, but to the drivers, crews, spectators and officials at the 62nd Daytona 500, it was actually Sunday.
Before the start, President Donald Trump served as the grand marshal for the race, including taking a spin around the 2 1/2-mile track in his presidential limousine. Pole-sitter Ricky Stenhoure Jr. led all 20 laps, while Joey Lagano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman ad Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-5.
Prior to calling for the race to resume on Monday, NASCAR ordered drivers to their cars before rain resumed.
Former President George W. Bush attended the 2004 Daytona 500.
Trump, who was endorsed in 2016 by former NASCAR CEO Brian France Jr., has hosted series champions Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.at The White House and gave NASCAR team owner Roger Penske the Presidential Medal of Freedom past year.
The president will return to Washington later Sunday, and on Tuesday he'll begin a four-day swing through western states that includes campaign rallies in Phoenix; Las Vegas and Colorado Springs. Daytona has lights, which increases the chances of the full Daytona 500 (or at least enough to call it an official race) being run Sunday night.
Before Trump attended the race he posted on Twitter, "Getting ready to go to the Daytona 500".
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Jimmie Johnson, starting his final full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, then drove a lap of honor at the front of the field, but moments before the field was able to take the green flag precipitation started to fall and the start of the race was waved off.
He will be the grand marshal of the event and give the "start your engines" command.
Trump thanked the "tens of thousands of patriots" gathered at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, describing the race as "pure American glory".
Asked what he enjoyed most about NASCAR, the president said, "I think it's really the bravery of these people".
"Rubber will burn, fans will scream and the great American race will begin", he said in remarks met with chants of "USA, USA!"
President Barack Obama's initial presidential campaign was presented with the opportunity to sponsor a auto in a NASCAR race, but eventually declined that chance. At 4:42 p.m. ET, the red flag came out. "I am unfortunately not there today, but apparently I won the Daytona 500 photography before the race even started".
The Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain for the first time since 2012.
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