Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88, stopped at Richmond Raceway on 8/8 in advance of the track’s NASCAR weekend in September. The fan favorite was joined by five players from the Washington Redskins, who are currently preparing for the National Football League (NFL) season at the team’s training camp in Richmond. The day in Richmond gave Earnhardt and the Redskins players an opportunity to see how each athlete competes in their respective sport.
The day started with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney presenting a proclamation to Earnhardt declaring 8/8 “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Appreciation Day” in the City of Richmond. The Proclamation congratulated Earnhardt for his accomplishments on the racetrack and successful achievements off it. Todd “Parney” Parnell, Vice President & COO of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, joined Earnhardt in Richmond’s Victory Lane to present a personalized Flying Squirrels jersey.
Earnhardt, a lifelong Redskins fan, gave players a unique view of Richmond by driving them a few laps around the historic Richmond Raceway ¾-mile D-shaped oval in a two-seater No. 88. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, cornerback Josh Norman, linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Will Compton, and right tackle and Richmond native Morgan Moses stopped by the track to take a ride with Earnhardt.
“Being a fan, it’s great to be able to meet the players and get a chance to chat with them,” said Earnhardt. “You never think you are going to be able to take them around a racetrack like Richmond Raceway in a race car. It has been an incredible experience for me from the track to training camp.”
“I felt like we were a foot or two from the wall going 110, 120, 130 [miles per hour] and to go that fast and be that close to the wall is unbelievable,” said Kirk Cousins. “You start talking about foot-hand-eye coordination, it’s pretty impressive.”
“I can’t wait to get in my car and drive, because I feel like I’m in my rookie year in NASCAR now,” said Richmond native Morgan Moses. “Only one rule about racing. You have to go fast or you go home.”
Once the Redskins got to feel what it is like to race at Richmond, Earnhardt took to the frontstretch to visit with several hundred RICHMOND NATION season ticket holders. Mike Bagley, Motor Racing Network turn announcer and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio broadcaster, hosted the RICHMOND NATION Q&A with Earnhardt. Bagley asked the sport’s most popular driver a variety of questions, including his thoughts on Richmond, their shared passion for the Redskins, and his final season as a full-time Cup driver. RICHMOND NATION members in attendance even asked a few questions to Earnhardt.
“As we draw closer to Fan Appreciation Weekend, we wanted to take the first opportunity to thank our loyal RICHMOND NATION members by hosting an event with Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “It was a great day of partnership with our Richmond friends at the Washington Redskins celebrating the tremendous athletes in NASCAR and the NFL. We look forward to welcoming Dale Earnhardt back next month for his final career two-race appearance at Richmond on September 8-9.”
After visiting with RICHMOND NATION members, Earnhardt made his way to Washington Redskins training camp. There, he observed practice and chatted with Redskins players from earlier in the day. At the end of practice, he was invited to experience what it’s like to be an NFL player by running some plays as a wide receiver with quarterback Kirk Cousins and being defended by cornerback Josh Norman. Dale caught two passes from Cousins and ended the drill with Norman handing over his practice used Redskins gloves. The day concluded with Norman and Earnhardt joining together to hand out snow cones to kids at Redskins training camp from a Kona Ice truck.
Dale Earnhardt returns with NASCAR to Richmond Raceway for two nights of racing “under the lights” on September 8-9. The fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will see history on display as Earnhardt makes his final, career, two-race appearance as a driver.
Richmond has partnered with JR Motorsports to give any member of JR Nation the ultimate race weekend experience. JR Nation can purchase the 2 for $88 ticket package that includes two tickets to the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Cup Series race in rows 1-5 in the Capital or Commonwealth grandstands. JR Nation can also purchase a general admission ticket to the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race for $20. The offer comes with an exclusive JR Motorsports t-shirt. For more information on both ticket packages, please visit richmondraceway.com/jrnation.
The weekend gets started on Friday, September 8, with on-track practice for both series and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for both weekend races. The action then dials up as the rising stars of tomorrow compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m., the sport’s best take to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as NASCAR crowns its Regular Season Champion.
Tickets are available now for both races and can be purchased online at richmondraceway.com or by calling the Richmond Ticket Office, toll-free, at 866-455-7223.