President Trump gives election-year embrace to NASCAR, fans

Noah Gragson gives Earnhardt another win at Daytona

Noah Gragson gives Earnhardt another win at Daytona

President Donald Trump's campaign manager deleted a tweet featuring a dramatic photo of Air Force One at the Daytona 500 after users pointed out that the shot was from President George W. Bush's visit to the NASCAR race in 2004, not from Trump's visit on Sunday.

After a rain delay of almost an hour pushed back the start of the 2020 Daytona 500, the field of 40 NASCAR Cup Series cars ran 20 laps before weather again haulted the action for the 62nd annual Great American Race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who started from the pole, was the race leader when the action was stopped.

The 200-lap, 805km-long race will feature 40 drivers on the track of the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Previous presidents who attended NASCAR events at the speedway include Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

After jetting over the raceway on Air Force One, the president and Melania then entered the Daytona International Speedway and made a lap around the track in the president's 10-ton armored Cadillac sedan, dubbed "The Beast".

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The five Toyotas in the race were together in the back throughout Sunday's laps. But instead of a traditional pace auto leading the way, the Trumps hopped into The Beast and led the pace lap with a presidential motorcade.

In what is likely to be Jimmie Johnson's Daytona 500 swan song, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is 20-1 to win his third Great American Race. Logano and Byron earned spots in the second row of the Daytona 500.

'Getting ready to go to the Daytona 500.

The Trump campaign also was airing a new TV ad titled "New Heights" on Fox News during the broadcast of the race, highlighting the president's record of "a strong and growing economy, protecting our borders and national security, respecting military veterans, and restoring pride in the country", the campaign said in a statement.

While it was the fifth time Donald Trump has attended the Daytona race, it was the first time Trump attended as president.

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Trump described the crowd in attendance at the Great American Race as "patriots", according to Fox.

Mr Trump also served as the Grand Marshal, commanding: "Gentlemen, start your engines". The race is now slated to restart at 4:00 p.m. Daytona 500 qualifying? Check.

The president's visit was widely welcomed by NASCAR fans.

But the start of the race was delayed when light rain hit for almost an hour.

The Daytona 500 was last postponed in 2012. That flag didn't come until almost an hour after it was originally scheduled to.

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