You often hear about an athlete thanking God or their family for the win. Sometimes you’ll even hear someone give a tearful shout out to their agent who stuck with them and helped them grow as a person, even as that agent learned a valuable life lesson involving Renee Zellweger and an abnormally adorable kid. It’s not too often that you hear about an athlete giving some of the credit to video games though, but that is exactly what NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski did after winning a race at the Watkins Glen race track in New York.
Keselowski is the current Sprint Cup Series Champion, making him one of the best drivers ever to turn left hundreds of times in a row. Following an August 10 Nationwide Series win, the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen, Keselowski gave some love to gaming, and credited part of his understanding of the track to the unnamed video games he played growing up that featured Watkins Glen.
“I remember I spent a whole summer when I was kind of locked in my parent’s shop, because I was just young enough to where they wouldn’t let me touch anything and just old enough to where I wasn’t getting a babysitter,” he told NBC Sports. “And I remember spending a whole summer sitting on the computer in the office area running Watkins Glen as a video game.”
“My Mom could tell you that story. I guess it was only a month or two that you have off, but Watkins Glen was always a track I ran,” Keselowski continued. “It was just a place I really liked and, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain, but it’s something about this track I have a real deep appreciation for.”
Beyond being a good example of how video games have positive benefits, Keselowski is actually a fairly stand-up guy as well. Just ask fellow racer Kyle Busch.
The day after his Nationwide Series win, Keselowski raced Watkins Glen again, this time as part of the Sprint Cup series. Although he continues to do well in the Nationwide Series, Keselowski has yet to win a race in the Sprint Cup and desperately needed a first place finish to keep in contention. As the final lap began Keselowski trailed the leader, Busch. During the final corner Keselowski had a clear opportunity to wreck Busch into the wall – something almost every video game player would do with glee – but he instead backed off, later saying that he knew he “did the right thing.”
“When you just run in the back of someone and drive them head first into the wall, that’s BS racing and I just don’t like it,” Keselowski said.