- Brad Keselowski entered Saturday night’s 400-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway as the hottest driver in the series with three-consecutive wins to vault him and the No. 2 Reese/DrawTite team into serious title consideration.
- After pacing the final practice session on Friday afternoon, Keselowski qualified his Ford in the seventh position, his best start at the .75-mile oval since the spring of 2016.
- Over the course of the first, 100-lap stage, Keselowski flexed the muscle of his No. 2 machine, racing all the way up to the third position before the end of the stage, which ran completely under the green flag. The strength of his run was the forward drive he enjoyed off the Richmond Raceway corners.
- Following a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, Keselowski began the second, 100-lap stage from the eighth position. Despite radioing to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he had lost some of his forward drive, while gaining additional turn in the center, Keselowski was able to maneuver his way to the fifth position before the end of the stage.
- After a second pit stop of tires, fuel and adjustments, Keselowski set sail from the fourth position for the final, 200-lap stage. He quickly moved into the lead for the first time at lap 215, but he still lacked the forward drive of earlier in the race.
- With just under 100 laps to go, Keselowski and the No. 18 of Kyle Busch – the eventual race winner – engaged in one of their typical, hard-nosed battles as the two champions raced side-by-side for several laps. Unfortunately, Keselowski used his rear tires too much in the fight and dropped back to the ninth position at the end of the race.
- Thanks to his win in the opening race of the NASCAR Playoffs, Keselowski is locked into the second round of the playoffs with one race remaining in the first round at the new Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
“We had a lot of short run speed with the DrawTite Ford tonight and I knew that was our chance to win the race there. We ran it pretty hard and it didn’t quite work out. We didn’t quite catch the breaks we needed there. Burned off the rear tires. We ran well but we still have some things to work on.”