Talladega High Five for Keselowski

Brad Keselowski

Keselowski won at Talladega for the fifth time and will advance to the Round of 8 in the playoffs. (Photo: Getty Images)


Race Results

Making his 300th career start, Brad Keselowski survived a battle of attrition to win Sunday's Alabama 500 for his fifth Talladega Superspeedway victory.

Keselowski escaped a crash-filled afternoon to win and advance to the round of eight in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

“I survived” Keselowski said. “What a special day. We haven’t been as good a we want to be on the mile-and-a-halfs, so we knew we needed to come to Talladega and get it done. This is a great track for us and one we really enjoy coming to. It’s great to get a win here. No. 5. I never thought I would win at all at Talladega, but five times. Oh my gosh."

Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola rounded out the top five.

Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Gray Gaulding and David Ragan completed the first 10 finishers.

Keselowski and Ryan Blaney won the day’s first two stages.

Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jamie McMurray are the bottom four in the playoff standings.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wraps up the second round of the playoffs next week at Kansas Speedway.

How Keselowski Won: He was able to fight off what was left of the field in a dash to the checkered flag. After the day’s third red flag for a multi-car accident, Keselowski got some initial help from Team Penske teammate Logano and rushed to the top spot. He was locked in a battle for that position until the white flag lap, when Keselowski’s big run off Turn 2 gave him a decent advantage down the backstretch to get around Newman and he was able to stay ahead of the rush behind him to win.

Who Had a Good Day: Newman had his best Talladega finish in 32 career starts…Earnhardt Jr. finished top 10 in two of the last three races of 2017, his only top 10s in the last 15 races of the season…Almirola got his third top-five of the season, all on plate tracks…Gaulding had his best career finish.

Who Had a Bad Day: Jamie McMurray was the first playoff driver to have trouble Sunday when he got caught in an accident trying to come to pit road. McMurray was hit from behind by Erik Jones and then spun in front of Jeffrey Earnhardt, who had nowhere to go but into the side of the Chip Ganassi Racing driver’s Chevrolet…McMurray got off lucky because a multitude of other drivers got caught up in multi-car accidents, including a 17-car “Big One.” The list of those playoff drivers who exited the race because of an accident included Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Ricky Stehouse Jr. Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.

What Else Happened: Outside of wrecking, there were stretches of the usual edge of your seat Talladega racing on display. The huge crowd came to life several times through the nearly 4-1/2 hour race but was at its loudest when Earnhardt Jr. got to the front as well as when Elliott wrestled the lead away. Unfortunately for the two favorites their day did not end up in Victory Lane.

Quotable: "I was worried about this one and I'm glad I got through it,” Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Notable: There were 14 cars running at the finish, tied for the fewest ever at Talladega set in July 1986…Keselowski has won four of the last five races at Talladega…Keselowski is the seventh driver to win in his 300th career start.


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