Peyton Manning adds a dose of NFL to Sprint Cup race at Bristol

Dale Jr. and Peyton on their worlds coming together (1:52)

Peyton Manning and Dale Earnhardt Jr. discuss how their relationship has grown and how much Manning is looking forward to this fall's Virginia Tech-Tennessee game that will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway. (1:52)

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Two high-profile Washington Redskins fans had a chance to hang Sunday with retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, who attended the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. relished the moment as a big sports fan and got to spend some time with Manning, who walked out with Earnhardt to the "Rocky" theme during driver introductions. NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs got to say hello to Manning but also had to relive some not-so-great memories.

Manning, a Tennessee alum, was a guest of the track, which will transform its infield into a football field in September, when the Vols play Virginia Tech. Manning also has an endorsement deal with Earnhardt sponsor Nationwide. He met with various drivers throughout the morning and rode in a pickup truck around the high-banked concrete oval with Earnhardt after they were introduced to the crowd.

About 20 minutes before the race, Manning stood by Earnhardt's car, and team members kept having to move fans back from the car to keep from damaging it. Manning left before the end of the race after staying until around lap 100.

"I was glad he was here," Earnhardt said. "I'm very curious as to what he thought about our sport because he's been to Indy a couple times [for] the Indy 500, but this is a real unique racetrack, and when we went around the track for intros, he was pretty surprised.

"He couldn't believe the banking and all that. I tried to explain it to him, but you really can't until you come here and see it."

Manning had a 4-1 record against the Redskins, including a 1-0 record against Gibbs.

"I don't like Peyton," Gibbs quipped. "The man tried to cost me a job, OK?"

Gibbs then made sure to let people know he was joking. He said he could remember watching Manning's father, Archie, play in the 1970 Sugar Bowl, a performance for Ole Miss that Gibbs considers one of the greatest games ever played.

"I've got great respect for Peyton, and yeah, it seems like every time we played them, we came out on the short end of the stick," Gibbs said. "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."