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Podcast: Brad Keselowski: ‘I’m a more complete person’ because of parenthood

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500

MARTINSVILLE, VA - APRIL 02: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses for a photo in Victory lane with his wife, Paige, and daughter, Scarlett, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2017 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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It’s been almost three years since Brad Keselowski and his wife Paige welcomed their first child, Scarlett, into the world in May 2015.

Since then, the 2012 Cup champion believes he’s become “a more complete person.” Even though it’s taken a toll on him physically and mentally, he’s spiritually in a better place than he was before Scarlett’s birth.

The Team Penske driver explained how he believes he’s changed in the latest NASCAR on NBC podcast with Nate Ryan.

Keselowski drew a graph with three axis to help display the changes in him mentally, physically and spiritually.

“I feel like as a dad, I’m probably weaker,” Keselowski said. “I’m more distracted than ever before. It’s natural for having a kid. So if I was like mentally prepared for driving a race car at like a nine before, I’m probably at like an eight now. Physically, if I was nine or a 10 before, I’m probably like an eight now, just because being a dad and all those things pulls away from it.”

“If I go all the way down and look at the third axis, which is spiritual. If I was like a three or a four before I had Scarlett, I feel like I’m a seven now. So what does that mean? Basically, I’m a more complete person than I’ve ever been before in my life. That’s how being a father has changed me. I’ve grown as a person. In some ways I’ve regressed. Mentally and physically. It’s not just getting older, it’s being a dad.”

Keselowski expressed admiration for how Jimmie Johnson (two daughters) and Matt Kenseth (three daughters with a fourth born after his final season) found a balance with their families and careers.

“I give a lot credit to guys like Jimmie and Matt, I know Matt’s not competing anymore, but guys who have kids and how they just keep up,” Keselowski said. “It’s more impressive than anything else. I find myself waking up earlier and that’s very regrettable at times.

“But you know what? I’m a more complete person. I’m happier because I’m a more complete person and that comes from growing in a spiritual way. From being a husband and a dad and feeling more connected to who I am and other people and their lives, which is good. Finding the right path for us as a family. I’m very happy for that.”

During the podcast, which is the second half of two-part episode with Keselowski, the 2012 champion also discusses:
--His reasons for speaking out and touching on controversies such as gun control, and why Jimmie Johnson benefits from avoiding such stands and why drivers will gain from sponsors leaving NASCAR (31:30).

--The origins of his last name and the pronunciation of it (38:00).

--Why he is down on autonomous cars and why a predicted backlash to technology could help NASCAR (11:30).

--The progress of his blog (9:00).

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