The two non-racing words I heard most during the tour, and I never brought them up, were Julius Peppers.
The pace car at the Coca-Cola 600 will be a Camry Hybrid. The cars have to pass a speed and handling test to qualify, and the Camry Hybrid did. Yet, I wonder if kids grow up dreaming about driving a Camry Hybrid the way we grew up dreaming about driving a Corvette? True, not everybody could grow up to drive a Corvette. You had to have a mustache. Do drivers of Camry Hybrids rev up the engine at street corners when they pull next to a Hyundai? I don't know. What I know is that if you're a pace car, you're a race car, no matter what anybody thinks.
I talked to Justin Allgaier, who will drive a Dodge in the Nationwide Tour. Nice guy. Talented. But man, does he look young. When Jeff Gordon came up, I thought he looked too young to drive a car, let alone a race car, and Allgaier makes the young Jeff Gordon look old. If somebody asked me what Allgaier drives away from the track, I would have said a Schwinn.
The NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway reminded me how many classy and interesting people there are in racing. When you're standing there on a Monday afternoon minding your business, and Richard Petty walks up to say hello, you know it's going to be a good tour.
And it was.