BRISTOL, Tenn. — With the first elimination race ahead at Bristol Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski is sitting in a unique position. Keselowski, the driver of the No. 6 RFK Racing Ford Mustang, is currently fifth in points heading into the Bass Pro Shops Night Race.
As a co-owner of RFK, Keselowski is hoping that he and also the No. 17 Ford Mustang driven Chris Buescher, can advance to the Round of 12. Buescher is sitting in the ninth position, putting him 13 points above the cut line. That gives both RFK Racing entries a little bit of breathing room as elimination looms.
“It’s good to have both cars in the black, and not in the red when it comes to points. Of course, the No. 6 car having a good 30-something point cushion, which is enough to feel pretty comfortable as long as we just don’t have a complete disaster of a race,” Keselowski stated. “The No. 17, still having a cushion somewhere over 10 points – I think he’s 12 or 13 up – that’s better than nothing certainly and better than being in the red. But not as much as we’d hoped”
Keselowski has won at Bristol three times in his career and Buescher is the defending fall race champion, so Keselowski has a good reason to be confident.
“I’m pretty confident that we can have two strong cars and good runs this weekend. Looking forward to repeating our results from last Fall at Bristol,” Keselowski explained. “A lot of energy, a lot of excitement for RFK with both teams and certainly pumped to go to Bristol this week – it’s one of my favorite tracks.”
Being both a driver and an owner, Keselowski reflected on balancing trying to win the championship but also having a driver who is trying to do the same.
“It’s a balance. I have to focus on my race. I can’t run his race and my race at the same time, right? I just tell people at the time that I just feel like I have more opportunities to win on any given weekend. It might not always be as a driver, maybe it’s as an owner and a driver. That’s a good thing,” Keselowski said. “We know we’re entering the playoffs with two cars that can win the championship, and I hope I win it with my car. If I don’t, and Chris wins the championship, I’ll still feel like I’ve won.”
Keselowski will be starting the No. 6 car sixth in Saturday’s race after a qualifying time of 15.233 seconds, just 0.124 seconds behind the pole winner, Christopher Bell. Buescher, however, will have to fight his way to the front with his 20th-place starting position. Buescher posted a lap time of 15.345 seconds and failed to advance to the second round of qualifying.
Saturday’s race at the “The Last Great Colosseum” has been moved up to 6:30 p.m. ET in an effort to try to get the race completed before forecasted rain. It’ll air on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.