Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III appears to be enjoying himself at Richmond International Raceway ahead of tonight’s Toyota Owners 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
RGIII will serve as the honorary pace car driver for tonight’s 400-lap event at the 3/4-mile oval. His good friend, Sprint Cup superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr., had lobbied for Griffin to be named to the post earlier this month.
In a press conference this afternoon at RIR, Griffin talked about how his friendship with Earnhardt began and noted how they both have to deal with plenty of pressure as famous athletes.
“We kind of understand where each other is coming from,” Griffin said. “I’m a younger guy. I’m 24. I have a lot to learn in this process.
“The more guys you can link up with and talk to about these kinds of experiences, the ups and downs, the highs and lows and the great success — that is a true benefit to anybody.”
In addition to speaking with the press, Griffin also took a pre-race tour of the Cup garage and met up with several major NASCAR personalities.
Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.
Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.
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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”
The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.
Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.