DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Speculation started to begin on Tuesday night about the prospects of President Donald Trump being in attendance for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series season opener at the Daytona International Speedway. The 62nd annual Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN) already had a ton of hype around the event, but the news of a potential visit from the President of the United States gave this race an unexpected boost of attention.
On Wednesday, several sources were confirming that President Trump would in fact be attending the World Center of Racing on Sunday afternoon. On Thursday, the news became official when the track, DIS, confirmed that the President would be a guest for the Great American Race.
“The DAYTONA 500 is one of the greatest events in sports and the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Cup Series,” said DIS President Chip Wile. “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.”
Trump, is no stranger to Daytona either. He hosted a rally in the Ocean Center in August 2016 and was on the grounds to attend the race in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Plus, former NASCAR Chairman Brian France as well as several owners and drivers in the garage have expressed support of President Trump.
With this being an election year, it’s not too shocking that Trump would be attending this event. After all, he attending the College Football National Championship Game in New Orleans last month.
Also, no matter your political view, it’s a big deal for an active President to attend a race. This will be the first presidential visit to the Daytona 500 since George W. Busch’s in 2004. George H.W. Busch attended the 1992 race while Ronald Reagan came in 1984 to witness history when Richard Petty won his 200th race in the July 4 Firecracker 400.