President Donald Trump becomes grand marshal at Daytona 500

President Donald Trump becomes grand marshal at Daytona 500
President Donald Trump speaks before the start of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Alex Brandon/AP)

DAYTONA, Fla. — Racing fans in town for the Daytona 500 took their eyes off the track while Air Force One flew over the Daytona International Speedway ahead of the race.

Just a short time later, the plane landed and President Donald Trump made his way to the track.

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Trump became the grand marshal at the race and even took a lap around the track in “The Beast,” the presidential limousine.

WFTV′s Christopher Heath traveled with the president to the Daytona 500, where horsepower mixed with politics.

There was showmanship and sportsmanship on the track of the speedway as the president started the race and led the cars out of put row.

Sunday’s race underscored the president’s own race for another term.

Rep. Michael Waltz, who represents Daytona Beach, joined Gov. Ron DeSantis in welcoming the president to the track.

“People were asking a couple months ago, ‘Is he going to go to Daytona?’ I thought to my myself: ‘OK, it’s 2020, he’s running for reelection. I bet you he goes to Daytona,’” DeSantis said.

For Trump, this is about as friendly an environment as he could ask for, with NASCAR fans flying his flag and chanting, “Four more years.”

Recent polling has Trump more popular in Florida than the nation as a whole. However, heading into November, the Trump campaign is taking nothing for granted, which means coming to events like the Daytona 500 and reaching out to as many voters as possible.