It was a good day for Redskins talk during the Food City 500, which took place at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday. Legendary head coach Joe Gibbs was on hand and earned a victory with Carl Edwards' first place finish while Redskins fan Dale Earnhardt Jr. sped to a close second.
But the day was all about football.
That's because Peyton Manning showed up. The Tennessee alum was invited as a guest of the track, which will transform into a football field this September for a game between the Volunteers and Virginia Tech. It also helped that Manning has an endorsement deal with Earnhardt's sponsor Nationwide.
Earnhardt walked out with Manning to the "Rocky" theme for driver introductions while Gibbs had a moment to chat with him, too. But the quarterback's 4-1 record against the Redskins and 1-0 mark against Gibbs haven't sit too well with the former head coach.
"I don't like Peyton," Gibbs said jokingly. "The man tried to cost me a job, OK?"
"I've got great respect for Peyton," Gibbs qualified shortly after. "Yeah, it seems like every time we played them, we came out on the short end of the stick. I've got great respect for him [with a] great family too. ... I haven't spent a lot of time with him. Like I said, he was always kind of on the other side."
Manning, who said he's now "freed up in the fall," also got peppered with questions from Earnhardt, broadcasting his Redskins fandom during an ESPN interview.
"Dale's obviously a huge Redskins fan so he's been asking me how I thought the Redskins would do this year," Manning said. "He follows them real hard. But I'm no longer on a football team and I'm proud to be on the Nationwide 88 team and I'm real proud of the association."
What a marketer. But what did Manning tell Earnhardt about the Redskins?
"He likes Kirk," Earnhardt said. "That's all that matters. Every team likes to get a great quarterback and a steady guy behind center and there's not many of them floating around in the league so I think we're lucky to have Kirk and looking forward to the season."