Hailie Deegan, the 18-year-old driver deemed “NASCAR’s Next Big Superstar,” posed for a photo she’ll likely remember for the rest of her life, standing next to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Deegan and the Trumps were all smiles ahead of the race in Florida. The driver posted the photo to Twitter, adding, “Goal complete,” with a check mark.
Earlier Sunday, she tweeted: “Today’s goal. Get my helmet signed by Trump.”
That earlier tweet got the attention of Donald Trump Jr., who responded: “DM me… I may know someone.”
Deegan proudly held her helmet as she posed for the photo. She was not slated to drive in Sunday’s race.
Deegan made her stock car debut at Daytona earlier this month, finishing second to Michael Self in the ARCA Series season opener on Feb. 8.
President Trump spoke ahead of the Daytona 500, calling it “the legendary display of roaring engines, soaring spirits and the American skill, speed and power that we’ve been hearing about for so many years.” He later gave the command, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” and rode for a lap in the presidential limo known as “The Beast” before the race got underway.
NASCAR star Hailie Deegan posed for a photo with President Trump and first lady Melania Trump ahead of the Daytona 500.
When asked about her rising profile in NASCAR, Deegan said earlier this month: “I think there’s that aspect of being a girl that does help. But, once you get in the car, it don’t matter. No one knows. Most of the time I have the most aggressive-looking, guy-looking car on the track.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.