Touchdown Connection

NASCAR

NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III will drive the pace car and lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Richmond. (Photo: Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Twitter prowess has landed an NFL quarterback to be the pace car driver for Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.

Starting with a tweet between Earnhardt, a Washington Redskins fan, and quarterback Robert Griffin III last month, the conversation grew. 

Earnhardt tweeted Dennis Bickmeier, president of Richmond International Raceway, in late March that he should invite Griffin to be the grand marshal for the race because Griffin “needs to come check @NASCAR out!’’

Bickmeier suggested that Griffin could drive the pace car if he was interested.

“Great idea’’ Earnhardt responded.

Earnhardt is a long-time fan of the Redskins. The team and Griffin congratulated Earnhardt after he won this year’s Daytona 500. Griffin tweeted to Earnhardt “much love brother’’ in his congratulatory note.

Griffin won the Heisman Trophy after the 2011 season at Baylor. Washington drafted him in the first round in 2012. He helped lead the team to the its first division title in more than a decade in 2012. 

The track states that Griffin will go through pace car training before the race, spend some time with Earnhardt and also get together with former Washington coach Joe Gibbs.

The race concludes Richmond’s weekend, which includes the ToyotaCare 250 Nationwide race on Friday and the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race afterward.

Tickets for those and Saturday’s Cup race remain. Tickets can be purchased online at rir.com or by calling 1-866-455-7223.

Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – will have live coverage of Saturday's Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond International Raceway at 6 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.

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