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Redskins' Robert Griffin III to drive pace car at NASCAR race

Redskins' Robert Griffin III to drive pace car at NASCAR race
The Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III walks along the sidelines before a game against the San Francisco 49ers in Landover, Md. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was tapped to drive the pace car for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series race in Richmond, Va., on Saturday night, thanks to prodding on Twitter by his friend Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt, this year's Daytona 500 winner and a longtime Redskins fan, tweeted a month ago that perhaps Griffin could be grand marshal at the race at Richmond International Raceway.

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Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier then asked Earnhardt if Griffin could drive the pace car that leads the 43-car field to the green flag. "Of course he can," Earnhardt tweeted back.

The raceway said Wednesday that Griffin would go through some pace-car training with Earnhardt and spend time this weekend with Joe Gibbs, the NFL Hall of Famer and former Redskins coach who now owns one of NASCAR's leading teams.

"This will be great for fans of both sports," Earnhardt tweeted Wednesday. Griffin, in turn, tweeted that he was "honored to have the opportunity."

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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