This year’s Daytona 500 may have been postponed to Monday due to a rain delay, but for Hailie Deegan, there was one bright spot on Sunday afternoon. The 18-year-old Deegan, who currently races full-time in the ARCA Series, got her racing helmet signed by President Donald Trump during the kickoff to “The Great American Race.”
Ahead of President Trump’s appearance at the Daytona 500, Deegan tweeted, “Today’s goal. Get my helmet signed by Trump.” With a little help from Donald Trump Jr. via social media, she did just that.
NASCAR Star Hailie Deegan Meets Donald Trump at Daytona 500
Though she wasn’t there to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series season opener, Deegan hosted a meet-and-greet at Daytona International Speedway, where she met and took pictures with young fans. Deegan would go from the subject of fangirling to a fangirl herself, after getting a picture with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
“Goal complete,” wrote in a tweet caption, along with a picture of herself and the Trumps.
Deegan also shared a picture on Instagram of the president autographing her helmet, while drivers Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are seen lurking in the background. Maybe they wanted to get their helmets signed, too. Or, just a handshake and a couple words of encouragement.
President Trump, who became the second sitting United States president to attend the Daytona 500 after George W. Bush, served as Grand Marshall for the 2020 Daytona 500, giving the iconic “Gentlemen, start your engines!” command. The POTUS also drove a lap around the track in his presidential limo, nicknamed “The Beast,” after treating thousands of NASCAR fans to a flyover in Air Force One.