Brad Keselowski Wins Fifth Talladega Superspeedway Cup Race & Secures Spot in Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs

Brad Keselowski captured the checkered flag with a last-lap pass in a wild Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Talladega Superspeedway to secure his spot in the Round of Eight of NASCAR’s Playoffs. The victory was Keselowski’s fifth Cup Series triumph at Talladega, which moves him into third on the all-time wins list at NASCAR’s Biggest and Baddest track.

In his final career Talladega start, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished seventh at the track he calls a second home. He ends his ‘Dega career with six triumphs, tied with former teammate Jeff Gordon. Dale Jr. trails only his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., who has ten career victories at the famous 2.66-mile tri-oval.


“It’s a special day any day you can win, but to win at Talladega for the fifth time is something I was never sure I’d ever have the opportunity to do,” said Keselowski. “Just winning here once felt pretty incredible, and it’s hard to believe that was eight‑some years ago. To win here again, it still feels pretty darned good. Today, we had the luck that we needed, and then we were able to execute at the end with the moves on the last two or three laps, so just really, really special win to be able to put it all together at the end.”

The victory was Keselowski’s sixth overall at Talladega including five in MENCS and one in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS).


Six-time Talladega winner Dale Jr. led seven laps and finished his final career ‘Dega race in seventh place.

I really do owe a lot to this track and the support that we have had here from the fans,” said Dale Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. “When I was a little kid ‑‑ we got to go to a handful of race tracks throughout the year, and this was always a fun trip. Just so many good memories as a kid coming here.” 

“This is the first place I really ran any laps outside of a late model car,” continued Dale Jr. “A lot of great memories here, and then obviously the career in Cup here, four in a row, all those things mean a lot to me. I hope to always have a great connection here, and trust me when I say that whatever the track needs from me, anytime they want anything, I’ll be here to help promote and support this place no matter what the request is. They’ve done so much for me, and I want to remain very close.”

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, came home second, just 0.210 second behind Keselowski.

“I would have maybe played it different, backed up in hindsight, but I don’t know if it would have made a difference,” said Newman. “I kept my foot in it (the gas) and did what I thought what was right. Just not the end result that we wanted but a good finish.”


Trevor Bayne finished third followed by Joey Logano in fourth and Aric Almirola in fifth.

Keselowski won Stage One and Ryan Blaney won Stage Two, but fell to 18th by the end of the 500-mile event after being caught up in a late-race accident.

Martin Truex Jr. (3,120 points, 1 win) leads the points standings heading into the final race in the Round of 12 of the MENCS Playoffs. The rest of the field is as follows: Keselowski 3101 (-19 behind leader), Kyle Larson 3096 (-24), Kevin Harvick 3089 (-31), Denny Hamlin 3088 (-32), Chase Elliott 3087 (-33), Ryan Blaney 3076 (-44) and Jimmie Johnson 3074 (-46). Kyle Busch 3067 (-53), Matt Kenseth 3066 (-54), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3052 (-68) and Jamie McMurray 3045 (-75) are on the MENCS Playoff bubble.

NASCAR returns to Talladega for its spring triple-header race weekend on April 27-29. The weekend gets underway with theGeneral Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Friday, Apr. 27, with the Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race taking place on Saturday, Apr. 28. The action-packed weekend concludes on Sunday, Apr. 29 with the GEICO 500MENCS race.

Tickets for Talladega’s spring race weekend will be on sale soon. For more information, go to or call the Talladega Ticket Office at 855-518-RACE (7223).

TSS PR/Photo Getty Images for NASCAR

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