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Keselowski Crashes at Talladega, Drops to Playoff Cutline


(Photo: Riley Thompson | The Podium Finish)

LINCOLN, Ala. — Brad Keselowski unintentionally caused a crash with 28 laps remaining in Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, taking himself out of the race and falling to the NASCAR Cup Series playoff cutline.

Running toward the rear of the field, Keselowski gave Carson Hocevar an untimely shove as they tried to form a third line and sent the No. 42 car spinning. Keselowski nearly escaped the carnage, but Austin Dillon got tagged in the mess and came up the track to claim Keselowski. The RFK Racing driver had too much damage to continue.

The accident also involved Chase Briscoe, AJ Allmendinger, Chris Buescher, Harrison Burton and Ty Gibbs.

“I just feel bad for Carson. I gave him a little push and it just took off on him,” Keselowski said outside the infield care center. “We got shuffled there a few laps before the incident and was trying to claw our way back in the third lane. The 42 pulled up in front of me and I just gave him a push and it kind of instantly spun out on him. It’s unfortunate, but part of the deal.

“I guess anytime you spin somebody out, you pushed him too hard, but you just don’t know until you push somebody how good their car is gonna be.”

Before the crash, Keselowski had a solid race going and seemed to be one of the cars to beat. He qualified fifth and won Stage 2, 10 points and a playoff point that came in handy making up for the day gone awry. The 38-year-old from Rochester Hills, Michigan led twice for five laps in a race that saw 69 lead changes. Twenty-four cars led at least one lap.

Brad Keselowski’s No. 6 car get serviced at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo: Riley Thompson | The Podium Finish)

“We were having a good day with our Solomon Plumbing Ford,” Keselowski said. “We were leading laps and won the second stage. I got shuffled there a few laps earlier and were trying to claw back and it all just gathered up.

“I thought I worked well with [Joey] Logano and we were able to get to the front there, and Aric Almirola was really good, and [Ryan] Blaney, all those guys. We were in a good spot I just hate that it unraveled for us.”

Despite getting scored 32nd, Keselowski holds a narrow two-point margin over Tyler Reddick for eighth in the playoffs. Bubba Wallace is seven points behind Reddick and Ross Chastain is eight points behind. After the Oct. 8 elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, only the top eight transfer to the semifinal round.

In five starts at the ROVAL, Keselowski’s best finish is fifth with Team Penske in 2019. He’s winless in 42 career starts on road courses.

While the damage from Talladega could be much worse, Keselowski will still have plenty of work to do to maintain his points position in Charlotte.

“It’s certainly not ideal,” he said. “I’m glad we were able to win the stage. That certainly helps our points at least a little, but not as much as if we were able to finish the race out.

“I’d be devastated if we ran terrible and wrecked, but we ran good and I’m proud of our team for putting the effort we need to run up front and lead laps and win the second stage. It just didn’t come together at the end.”




Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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