Donald Trump and Melania Trump are scheduled to take lap at Daytona 500, sources confirm

Donald and Melania Trump
US President Donald Trump waves next to First Lady Melania Trump as they walk to Marine One before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on January 31, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

A portion of the presidential motorcade, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, will take a lap around the speedway before the start of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 on Sunday a source familiar with the event and a White House official confirms to CNN. They’ll be riding the car known as “The Beast.”

President Trump will serve as the Grand Marshal who commands: “Drivers, start your engines.” He is the second American president to do so, behind George W. Bush who attended the Daytona 500 in 2004.

A person who attended planning meetings told CNN on Sunday that Trump will address some drivers and team owners in a private area before addressing race fans. He is also expected to make some public remarks before the race begins, two sources told CNN on Saturday.

Considered the Super Bowl of stock car racing, the Daytona 500 has served as the NASCAR season opener since 1982. The race is scheduled to begin at 2:30 pm, ET. The 200-lap, 500-mile-long race will feature 40 drivers on the track of the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The winner takes home a replica of the Harley J. Earl Trophy and about $1.5 million.

“We’re honored that the President of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race’ by attending Sunday’s 62nd annual DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said in a statement last week.

CNN’s Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.