President Donald J. Trump praised NASCAR drivers for standing during the National Anthem at an event recognizing the 2017 NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. at the White House on Monday.
“One thing I know about NASCAR, they do indeed, stand for the playing of the National Anthem,” Trump said during his speech. “Right? They do indeed.”
The audience applauded as Trump noted that someone suggested that he not talk about it because it would be controversial.
“I said, ‘That’s okay. NASCAR is not going to mind it at all.’ Right, fellas?” he asked as the group laughed. “They don’t mind it at all.”
During his speech, Trump called NASCAR one of the world’s “premier and most beloved sports.”
“This lively sport reflects our national spirit and our can-do attitude,” he said, adding that “I love it.”
Trump also complimented the model of the NASCAR car, which was brought to the South Lawn of the White House for the event.
“Your car looks truly amazing,” he said to Truex Jr. “In fact, I want to get in that thing and just drive it right away. Do you mind?”
“No,” Truex Jr. replied with a grin.
Truex Jr. said that it was “an honor” to be at the White House and thanked the president for welcoming him and his team.
“Just really proud to be here today to represent the sport, to represent our millions of fans out there across the world,” he said.
He presented the president with a replica of his helmet that he wore while winning the race.