WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) – Rhythm and technique are essential in road racing, and reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski seems to have mastered it at Watkins Glen International.
He credits video games for his success at The Glen, which has been pretty staunch.
Keselowski finished second to Kyle Busch on Sunday, his third straight runner-up finish in the race. He was beaten the previous two years by Marcos Ambrose, who had an amazing average finish of second in his first five Cup starts at the track and also has won all three Nationwide races he’s entered at The Glen.
“I like video games,” said Keselowski, who finished 21st at Sonoma in June at the other road course the Cup series visits. “For some reason when I first started racing growing up, this track was one of my favorite places to run in video games. I don’t know why. I just liked it probably because of … the speed and the handling dynamics. I remember spending a whole summer sitting on the computer running Watkins Glen as a video game.”
Smart idea in retrospect.
Keselowski led more than half of last year’s Nationwide race before settling for second again after getting beaten on a late restart by Carl Edwards, then dominated Saturday’s Nationwide race for his first career road course win.
He was poised for a weekend sweep on Sunday and pulled to the rear bumper of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota on the final lap, but Busch held him at bay to win for the third time this season.
“Three years in a row in second. That kind of stinks,” said Keselowski, who recovered nicely from an early spin. “But proud of the effort, proud of the effort because I dug us a deep hole very early in the race.”
A year ago, Keselowski hit Busch on the final lap of the Cup race and spun him out to take the lead, then lost a fender-banging duel with Ambrose on a track slick with oil from a blown engine.
There was no bump this time and Keselowski settled for second again. That moved him up to eighth in points as he tries to avert not being able to defend his title.
“In my mind, points are great when you’re in the Chase. Before that, to me it’s about wins,” Keselowski said. “I wanted to win the race. I’d rather be a wild card with four or five wins than be a guy in the Chase with zero wins.
“I could have definitely dumped Kyle and won the race. That stuff goes back and forth. I know I did the right thing. I feel like last year was a racing deal. He went off the track, I filled the hole when he came down. That’s racing.”
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