U.S. President Donald Trump took "The Beast" — his heavily armored Cadillac limousine — for a lumbering lap of honor around the Daytona racetrack Sunday, February 16, in front of tens of thousands of cheering fans.

READ MORE: Trump, who is gearing up for a re-election battle in November, was the ceremonial starter of the NASCAR Daytona 500 race, issuing the traditional order, "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

The president's motorcade then led the field of 40 race cars on a parade lap of the revered course — a first for a US president, according to NASCAR officials.

Traveling from his Mar-a-Lago weekend resort, Trump arrived at the racetrack on Air Force One, accompanied by first lady Melania, son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The plane did a low flyover of the track, which has a capacity of about 100,000 spectators.

Florida is a key state in the election, and Trump has already been campaigning hard to persuade voters to return him to office in the November vote. (AFP)

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RT 05 Apr 2020 14:00 CEST

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