For Immediate Release
February 13, 2004
Excerpt From February 13 Press Briefing with Scott McClellan
Q On Sunday, the trip to Florida, the Daytona 500. We knew the President was a baseball fan; didn't realize he was such a NASCAR fan. (Laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, then you must not have been following him too closely the last few years. Certainly, he went to the Texas Motor Speedway back in, I think it was 1999, if I recall, when he was still Governor of Texas. He was Grand Marshall for the Pepsi 400 in -- that was at Daytona in July of 2000.
I think the President looks forward to attending the Great American Race this Sunday in Daytona. He appreciates the invitation and the opportunity to participate in the start of the race. NASCAR is one of the fastest growing sports in America. There are some 75 million Americans who are now considered NASCAR fans. And I think it's also a sport that is followed around the world. It's an international sport now. But it's a great sport that is a great and growing sport in America. And the President looks forward to starting off the race. He's the President of the United States, Alexis, and I think that he -- you know, he was honored to go and throw out the first pitch at game three of the World Series back in 2001. He was honored to participate in other important events. He was honored to participate in an interview with CBS prior to the Super Bowl just a couple of weeks ago.
And as the President of the United States, he really -- he looks forward to attending this big event in NASCAR. And he views it as a way to really honor some true champions, both for what they do on the track and what they do off the track, because NASCAR drivers are people that put a lot back into the communities that they're involved in. They do a lot of work to help those who suffer from disasters like hurricanes. They provide a lot of support for people such as that. They've provided a lot of support for children and families in need. And so the President is honored to be going to the Daytona 500 and kicking off the Great American Race.