Crisp white shirts, a pristine race shop and a billionaire team owner. Yep, Penske Racing was the third stop on the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.
Dinner was Ruby Tuesday's (of course) and the beverage choices included Miller Lite (naturally). Dessert was a lengthy sponsor plugfest that recalled the Ganassi stop earlier in the day.
Personally, I skipped Kurt Busch and used the allotted the media time on Brad Keselowski instead.
Keselowski, for all the trouble he gets himself into with other drivers on the track, is an extremely intelligent, quotable guy. In fact, he's one of the most enjoyable interviews on the circuit thanks to his opinionated, honest approach.
A couple Keselowski samples (we'll have a separate Keselowski blog at a later date):
-- (On old school drivers saying they used to race hard every lap) "Ah, that's bullshit. I call bullshit right there."
-- (On why people are criticizing the current points system) "The only reason people are bitching about it is because they don't like the guy who's winning."
-- (On his candid nature) "You do what you do because it's what you mean and it's how you feel – so you're true to yourself. The more I've been around fans, the more I've seen them appreciate that more than anything else. When I talk to them or I talk to you, I tell you what I think."
You get the idea.
We also heard from Sam Hornish Jr., who is clearly trying to keep his head up under trying circumstances. The three-time IndyCar Series champion who was once known as one of the top American drivers has fallen on hard times.
Bumped from the Sprint Cup Series, Hornish will now drive an 11-race Nationwide Series schedule in a part-time effort. He claimed to be OK with the decision, but referenced getting back to Cup several times and said he must prove himself all over again.
After the Penske visit, the buses returned to the media hotel, where Fox Sports chief David Hill had some interesting comments about the sport.
We'll save those for tomorrow.