Commentary

Normally working in the car, Hornish does some working on cars

Sam Hornish Jr. doesn't even like changing his own oil, so why was he doing it for fans? All in a (fun) day's work, he writes in his diary.

Updated: August 14, 2008, 4:24 PM ET
By Sam Hornish Jr.

I did something a little different on Wednesday -- I changed oil.

[+] EnlargeSam Hornish Jr.
Courtesy of Penske Racing Sam Hornish Jr. pours in a little oil -- before he got some on his shirt -- for a lucky fan.

Not for my car, but for some race fans for a Mobil 1 promotion in Redford, Mich. I changed oil and then I had to change my shirt.

They wanted me to keep standing there while I was draining it, and it ended up splattering all over the place. I actually don't like changing my own oil. With the fans though, it's cool getting that interaction, and this was a lot of fun and different.

On Thursday, I'm going to Michigan football practice. I think it's pretty cool. I've been up to the University of Michigan before but not ever for practice.

[Former Michigan quarterback] Jim Harbaugh did a golf tournament that I used to participate in for years when I was associated with Panther Racing, so I had a chance to meet the former players and coaches. This is a whole new group at Michigan under Rich Rodriguez. He's a big race fan, and he requested we come up there, so it's pretty neat.

I know enough about football to be dangerous, but I don't know everything about it. I love college football.

I grew up in Defiance, Ohio, so I was in this triangle where I could be a Notre Dame, Michigan or Ohio State fan.

I didn't really pick any sides because if you pick one, everybody is all over you. I pretty much rooted for the underdog. I had some friends who went to LSU, and I've gone to a couple games down there and really enjoyed it.

Michigan International Speedway is really my home track, and we had a pretty good run there in June. I really think we have an opportunity to do well. We learned a lot and we're bringing back the same car, but we're going to try a few different things that we have found pretty beneficial.

It's a nice chance to be home. After qualifying Friday, I'll come back home and stay at the house, and Saturday after we get done with practice, one of my wife's uncles has a really big grill and we're going to grill brats and hamburgers and all my Penske Racing team guys are going to come over.

That's something I've wanted to do for them, and I'm really glad it's going to work out.

Sam Hornish Jr., 28, drives the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger. He will take ESPN.com readers inside his life on and off the track each week with the help of writer Angelique S. Chengelis.