President Donald Trump opens the Daytona 500: 'So exciting'

The president acted as the Grand Marshal at the race.

President Donald Trump on Sunday addressed NASCAR fans before the start to the 62nd Daytona 500, calling the race "pure American glory."

“Soon, the cars will take to the track for the start," he said. "Tires will screech, rubber will burn, fans will scream and the great American race will begin.”

In his remarks, the president thanked the military, veterans and “tens of thousands of patriots” gathered at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. He also honored Gold Star families at the race and around the country.

"Gold Star families everywhere throughout our land, your fallen warriors will live in our hearts forever," he said.

The president's motorcade took a lap around the famous track before the green flag. The president also acted as the Grand Marshal, telling drivers to start their engines.

Trump is the second president to make an appearance at the Daytona 500; President George W. Bush was the first in 2004.

ABC News' Elizabeth Thomas contributed to this report.