Making a good first impression
But Keselowski clearly didn't care. While Earnhardt Jr. dutifully chatted with star-struck seamen and marveled at the massive firepower of the missile he was leaning on in the hangar, Keselowski quietly, intently quizzed radar men about the objects winking on the large round scope. He had more than the requisite, polite number of questions about missile guidance systems and propulsion than would normally be required of the driver. He seemed genuinely interested in the antique book collection the captain kept in his state room. Keselowski was geeked out and elbow deep in this stuff and he was enjoying it. He was soaking it in.
He was preparing for something that wasn't even an option yet. He was Penske material even before he became a Penske driver, and more than a year later he said -- and he might be right -- that he's ready to "get my hands dirty" in going about the business of becoming the first to win a Sprint Cup title for one of motorsports' most respected owners,
Just 10 races into his Sprint Cup career, he has more wins -- one, this spring at Talladega -- than any of the other drivers that have staffed the third car Penske has tried so hard to establish.
Keselowski, a third-generation racer whom
""I want to be the guy that comes to Penske Racing and gets them their first NASCAR championship," he said. "For everything that's been accomplished here, that's the one thing that's missing. I'm going to put a full effort into being the guy that gets it done." He likely won't miss on the details.
I think the open-wheel car obviously runs a lot different because of the downforce numbers and the lightness of the car and the size of the tires and stuff. I think one of the biggest things you have to overcome a little bit that you find out is driving the Grand Am car, you have to be a little bit more patient with your inputs and be a little bit more patient with everything you do because of the fact the speeds are down and the car reacts slower, it's heavier. So it takes a little bit.
A: Yeah, I think you'll see it a little bit. But you'll never see it to the levels that it used to because motor racing has become so commercial and driven by the commercial dollar, we've all become specialists to some degree in whatever discipline that we're driving in. We don't get to adventure out very often. It's unfortunate what happened over the weekend. It was nice for Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose to run at Montréal (in the Grand Am race last weekend). That was cool. They happened to already be there (for a Nationwide race), worked a deal out, were able to do that. As a general rule, they can't usually adventure out unless the Grand Am cars are running with them. That just happened to be a special fit. Those guys normally run, whether it's trucks, Nationwide, on the same weekend as they run their (Sprint Cup) cars. I think that's where that is at.
A: I've had contact with some people they've been inquiring on what I'm doing. I'll just have to wait and see. There's a lot of things happening. I mean, I'm not ruling anything out. Everything is completely wide open. We'll just have to wait and see.