Trump will be the second sitting president to attend the Daytona 500

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Drivers stop on pit road as rain begins falling before the first of two Daytona 500 qualifying auto races at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fl (CBS) – President Trump is attending the Daytona 500 on Sunday, becoming the second sitting president after George W. Bush to attend the popular NASCAR event. Mr. Trump’s campaign will also run a television ad during the race, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Trump will serve as grand marshal at the race and give the signal for drivers to start their engines. Fox News’ John Roberts reported that Mr. Trump will take a lap at the race in the “Beast,” the presidential limo.

President Reagan became the first sitting president to attend a NASCAR race in 1984. President George H.W. Bush attended a race in 1992 as well, but not the Daytona 500.

The younger Bush became the first sitting president to attend the Daytona 500 in 2004, also an election year. The NASCAR audience generally leans Republican, so attending the race gives Mr. Trump the opportunity to shore up support with his base.

Mr. Trump was endorsed by Brian France, NASCAR’s chairman and chief executive, in 2016.

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