NASCAR Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. Honored By Trump At White House [VIDEO]
Trump also thanked NASCAR for supporting him, and added that the organization’s chairman Brian France has been his friend “for a long time.”
“You [had] 19 top-5 finishes and led more than 2,000 laps. Does it get lonely being in front?” Trump asked Truex. “Not at all. Never, right? … Thanks to incredible speed, lightning-fast pit stops and exceptional driving, this team stood alone among NASCAR’s many contenders.”
Trump also honored Truex’s team, Furniture Row Racing, on Monday. The president also remarked how Furniture Row Racing has fought through several hardships, including the death of crew member Jim Watson in October 2017 and Truex’s girlfriend Sherry Pollex’s fight against ovarian cancer.
In addition, Trump took time to thank the NASCAR members for not protesting the national anthem in any way, much like athletes from other major sports leagues — like the NFL, NBA and MLB — have done over the past year.
“At every NASCAR race, you will see thousands of patriotic Americans from the grandstands to the pit stalls proudly waving our flag and roaring with joy at the words, ‘Start your engines,'” Trump stated. “I will tell you, one thing I know about NASCAR, they do indeed, Brian, stand for the playing of the national anthem, right? They do indeed. Somebody said maybe you shouldn’t say that, that will be controversial. I said ‘That’s OK. NASCAR is not going to mind it at all, right, fellas?'”
Truex returned the honor Trump gave him by giving the president a duplicate of one of the helmets he uses for races.
“I’m just really proud to be here today to represent the sport, to represent our millions of fans out there across the world,” Truex said.
Truex, 37, is one of several athletes to visit the White House since Trump took office. The New England Patriots, Houston Astros and the Pittsburgh Penguins all made the trip to Washington after each team won a national championship, although not every member of each team was at the White House. Some players, like the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and several Patriots players, and even some teams like the South Carolina women’s basketball team — which won the NCAA women’s title in 2017 — refused to go to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, citing either personal reasons or their discontent with the current president and his administration.