Brad Keselowski pulled off a big victory at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday when he powered his way through the leaders on a last lap pass catapulting him into the Round of 8 in the Alabama 500.
He also won Stage 1 to pick up 10 race points and an all important playoff point. This was Keselowski’s fifth win at Talladega and his third since 2012. Ryan Blaney was the Stage 2 winner and took the lead on Lap 92. He also picked up 10 race points and one playoff point.
Keselowski charged past the pack and beat Ryan Newman to the checkered flag who finished in second place in the No. 31 Richard Childress race car. Trevor Bayne was third, Joey Logano fourth, Aric Almirola was fifth. The remaining drivers in the top ten include Denny Hamlin sixth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. seventh, Kasey Kahne eighth, Gray Gaulding ninth and David Ragan finished tenth.
A few drivers after this race fell below the cutoff line for the Round of 8, to be determined next week at Kansas Speedway. The drivers on the bubble are Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jamie McMurray.
Talladega was a race filled with wrecks including a major incident collecting 16 race cars with only 17 laps remaining in the race. The wreck was started by the No. 38 Ford driven by David Ragan when he was tapped by Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Toyota. The wreck impacted six of the Round of 12 drivers competing for the championship. Truex Jr’s. racing machine received significant damage and he finished in 26th place. Other drivers who were impacted include Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth. The red flag delayed the race for almost 13 minutes for the track to be cleaned up.
Another important wreck occurred with 11 laps remaining and more playoff drivers felt the impact which includes Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Ford and Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford suffered severe damage knocking them both out of the race.
Finally, with only six laps remaining Chase Elliott was knocked out of the race when he turned Daniel Suarez charging for the lead and then collected Kyle Larson in the action. This time the red flag was out for just over 17 minutes delaying the race.
Talladega race track on Sunday experienced 16 different leaders, 14 caution flags and 3 red flags.
The NASCAR Monster Cup Series Playoffs shifts to Kanas Speedway next Sunday at 3:00 pm eastern time. Follow all the action on NBC, MRN Radio and Streaming on NBC Sports.