Cheez-It 355 - Practice

Keselowski credits video games for Watkins Glen success

Leave a comment

After winning today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, Brad Keselowski talked about his affinity for the legendary New York road course and how visits there with his father led to an appreciation for the track’s “atmosphere and ambiance.”

But in an interesting tidbit, the reigning Sprint Cup champion also mentioned that he first learned to drive the Glen through video games – which he said “absolutely” translated to the real world.

Based on his past results at the Glen, we can probably take Keselowski at his word; on the Cup side, he’s garnered back-to-back runner-up finishes in the last two years, and on the Nationwide side, he’s never finished worse than ninth in five starts.

“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 recalled. “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. 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.”

Rolling off from eighth tomorrow, Keselowski will look to finally break through for a Cup win at the Glen that would also boost his chances of getting into the Chase. He is currently 12th in the standings and only seven points out of the Top 10, which is where he’ll need to be if he can’t muster up a victory in the final stages of the regular season.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

jim oberhofer horizontal
Leave a comment

The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

oberhofer 2

Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
(Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski