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Donald Trump takes 'The Beast' on a parade lap at Daytona 500

Donald Trump and First Lady Melania took The Beast out ahead of the Daytona 500. Credit: AP

President Donald Trump took his presidential armoured limo - known as 'The Beast' - on parade lap to open the Daytona 500 race in Florida on Sunday.

He and First Lady Melania treated the audience of nearly 100,000 to a flyover of Air Force One before riding round the famous race track with his security motorcade and race cars in tow.

But despite the grand welcome, the race was eventually postponed following two lengthy rain delays.

  • President Trump and Melania take 'The Beast' around the Daytona 500

The start of the race had already been pushed back to allow for Mr Trump's grand entrance, and drivers were recalled to the pits when rain broke out after his lap.

The race eventually got underway but after 20 laps a heavy downpour soaked the racing surface - which takes hours to dry - forcing organisers to postpone the event.

The event had to be postponed owing to rain. Credit: AP

Mr Trump's reelection team had planned to fly an aerial banner near the speedway and were to run an ad during the Fox broadcast, which was expected to reach millions.

He's the second president to attend the race after George W Bush, who was also in his reelection year at the time.

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After his scheduled return Sunday evening to Washington, Mr Trump plans to take his reelection campaign to rallies scheduled for Phoenix, Las Vegas and Colorado Springs, Colorado.