Story By: BRANDON LEE / RFK RACING – BRISTOL, TN – Brad Keselowski clinched his position in the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs Saturday night in the Bristol Night Race, and went on to finish eighth in the Castrol Edge Ford.
“It’s good to move into the next round,” Keselowski said after the 500-lap race. “We certainly are going to have our work cut out for us, but that’s what this thing is all about. It was a good day for us for both cars. It was a good Round of 16 for us and let the Round of 12 begin.”
Intermittent rain was the storyline for the opening moments and laps as the race was initially delayed, and was stopped a pair of times for rain showers. It ultimately subsided with all 500 laps being completed in the first cutoff race of the NASCAR Playoffs.
Keselowski had a solid qualifying effort on Friday, putting the No. 6 Ford sixth on the grid. A pair of early cautions broke up the opening 125-lap stage, as Keselowski took right-side tires only under the team’s first stop of the day at lap 68. He would stay out during the next yellow some 20 laps later, and went on to finish the stage in seventh, earning stage points.
Following a brief delay for rain in the stage break, track position flipped for Keselowski as he restarted 26th to begin stage two. That stage ran all green, though, as teams had to manage a full tire run. He finished the second segment in 19th, setting up the final, 250-lap run to the checkered.
He would restart 17th, and officially clinched his Round of 12 position with 70 to go. He later battled back into the top-10, and worked to an eighth-place finish, his 14th top-10 of the season.
Texas Motor Speedway hosts the first race of the Round of 12 next weekend. Race coverage on Sunday is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.