Keselowski advances with Richmond win in the NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia.
The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continued this past Saturday at Richmond Raceway. There was quite a bit of action in last week’s race at Darlington, and it only increases as this first round comes to a close. Two short tracks at Richmond and Bristol will determine the 12 drivers to advance in the playoffs.
The First Stage
Kevin Harvick paces the field to the green flag and holds an early lead. The competition caution comes out on lap 31, and all drivers make their way onto pit road for early servicing.
Austin Dillon wins the race off pit road and has a chance to lead some laps in the early run. But he does not lead for long, as Denny Hamlin makes a pass for the lead on the restart.
With no other contenders to take the lead, Hamlin presses on and wins the first stage.
The Second Stage
Hamlin wins the race off pit road but is caught speeding. Joey Logano cycles into the lead to begin the second stage. His lead is short-lived, as Brad Keselowski makes a quick pass into the lead.
The Third Stage
Brad Keselowski continues to lead as the final staged returns to green. This final stage runs caution-free as well, and the race is all about pit strategy.
One of the main reasons the playoffs are so exciting is that the series runs at a unique track every week. Meaning teams have a distinct opportunity to run well and gain momentum.
Brad Keselowski runs extremely well at short tracks, and he was able to take advantage of his expertise on Saturday night. He has a solid season thus far, but not a dominating one when compared to Kevin Harvick or Denny Hamlin. However, being able to compete at this stage of the season is what is most important, and sometimes it takes a win to get the momentum rolling.
Next week, Saturday night is the last chance for guys below the cutline to make something happen to advance into the next round of the playoffs. William Byron and Cole Custer are close enough to have solid races and the chance to advance. Both sit just three and eight points below the cutoff line. However, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney need to win if they want to continue their chances at the championship. Expect the race to be intense at the half-mile bull ring of Bristol Motor Speedway.