US President Donald Trump lapped the Daytona International Speedway in ‘The Beast’, his heavily armoured presidential limousine before the start of the Daytona 500, which ultimately was delayed by showers.
Trump’s motorcade lead the NASCAR entrants for the parade lap on the oval circuit after he made a special entrance with Air Force One performing a flyover above the track. The special 747 landed just yards away from the circuit at Daytona International Airport and the President then served as the grand marshal for the event.
This is just the second time a sitting president has attended the Daytona 500, with Trump following in the footsteps of President George W. Bush who did the same in 2004.
“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.
But right after Trump’s parade lap came to an end, rain began to fall which threw a spanner in the works for the teams, drivers and the thousands of fans in attendance. Organizers decided to delay the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 until Monday.
The race was won by defending champion Denny Hamlin but only after a serious, last-lap accident involving Ryan Newman who was leading at the time. While doing 190mph, his Newman’s Ford was knocked into the wall by Ryan Blaney causing it to flip over onto its roof and then explode when it was hit again by Corey LaJoie. Newman was transported to Daytona’s Halifax Medical Center suffering serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
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