Reagan puts his mark on Indy 500
May 30th, 2011
09:12 AM ET
12 years ago

Reagan puts his mark on Indy 500

(CNN) - Former President Ronald Reagan, who once started a NASCAR race from Air Force One, was able to posthumously put his mark on the Indianapolis 500 Sunday.

The Reagan Presidential Foundation's seal honoring the centennial of his birth adorned the nose of the car, driven by racer Dan Wheldon that took the checkered flag Sunday.

"What a historic and poetic moment", Reagan Centennial Celebration executive director Stewart McLaurin said in a statement after the race. A replica of the car with the seal is on display at the Reagan Library.

But this year's race was not the first time the late president was associated with Brickyard. As a presidential candidate in 1976, he drove the pace car for the race, according to his library..

In office, Reagan became the first sitting president to attend a NASCAR race, even giving the "Gentleman, start your engines" call from aboard Air Force One en route to the Firecracker 400 at Daytona, Florida.

- CNN Political Coverage Manager Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Filed under: Ronald Reagan
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Republicans - "The not Intened to be factually accurate Party"

    So, didn`t Republican Fat Cat Donald Trump make a commitment to drive the Pace Car at the start of the race?

    Did he keep his word?

    May 30, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    What a waste. Yeah, I love watching cars drive around in a circle for hours on end. Waste of space, sport, and 8 years of a really bad president.

    Go Mavs!

    May 30, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. NVa Native

    All hail the neo-con messiah who started all of this trickle down crap, raised taxes three or four times, and de-funded the Veterans Administration dumping thousands of our veterans on the street in a huge wave of homeless people, and there is so much more this "Hollywood Elite" and long statnding union member did to our country. Talk about idolizing a false god.

    May 30, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |