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Monday February 17th, 2020 10:03PM

Trump expected to attend Daytona 500 race Sunday in Florida

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Daytona International Speedway is going to be a little more crowded than usual for the annual Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Track officials said Thursday that President Donald Trump is expected to attend NASCAR's season-opening race.

“Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting presidents of the United States over our history,” track president Chip Wile said. “We’re honored that the president of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race.'”

Trump is scheduled to spend part of the Presidents Day weekend at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The White House didn't confirm his attendance at the race, but the Federal Aviation Administration issued a flight restriction for Sunday indicating that Trump is expected to attend the race in Daytona Beach. The U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security, also tweeted to fans that drones are prohibited within 30 miles of the race — a restriction put in place for presidential visits.

Trump has hosted previous NASCAR champions at the White House and last October awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to motorsports titan Roger Penske. Last year, Trump also praised retired driver Mario Andretti, the Daytona 500 winner in 1967, reminiscing about a ride Andretti gave him in a race car for his reality show “The Apprentice.”

“I said, 'Mario, get me out of here. I want to get out of this car,'” Trump recalled. “We went so fast. We literally -- we covered four blocks in like a second.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, AP Online Headlines - Washington, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup
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