Ultimately, the race was postponed until 4 p.m. ET Monday after 20 laps of the 200-lap scheduled distance were completed Sunday afternoon.
After addressing the crowd, President Trump gave the command to start engines and paced the field for a lap before returning to the Daytona 500 Club. Pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led all 20 laps and will restart the race in first.
Crew members push the auto of Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Team Penske Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang, after rain postponed the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush visited the track, but during races other than the Daytona 500. Trump said on the track beside first lady Melania Trump. But instead of a traditional pace vehicle leading the way, the Trumps hopped into The Beast and led the pace lap with a presidential motorcade.
"For 500 heart-pounding miles these fierce competitors will chase the checkered flag. and make their play for pure American glory, and that's what it is, pure American glory, " Trump said before the race. 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.
The president's enthusiasm for the appearance was shown when he tweeted on Sunday morning: "Getting ready to go to the Daytona 500".
In a scoop by John Roberts of Fox News, the news company's White House representative, President Trump is said to be planning to take a lap at the Daytona International Speedway with the "Beast" limo.
"God bless you, we love you", Trump said.
Inside, President Trump met NASCAR Cup Series drivers Clint Bowyer, Bubba Wallace, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, former Cup Series champion and two-time Daytona 500 victor Bill Elliott and young gun Hallie Deegan.
The last remaining event of Speedweeks for the NASCAR Cup Series is the 2020 Daytona 500.
The start of the race was delayed by 50 minutes because of rain that moved into the area moments after Trump and his motorcade finished their ceremonial lap. "Rubber will burn, fans will scream and the great American race will begin".
President Barack Obama's initial presidential campaign was presented with the opportunity to sponsor a vehicle in a NASCAR race, but eventually declined that chance.
"The Daytona 500 is the biggest race in the world and all of America is watching".