Brad Keselowski will lead the field to green for Sunday’s Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) as he won his first pole since 2019 with a fastest lap of 188.990 mph in Saturday’s qualifying session. The pole win for RFK Racing follows up on the momentum built from Chris Buescher’s win at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend.
This is the 2012 series champion’s 18th career pole. He is looking for his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Texas Motor Speedway.
“It’s certainly a lot of progress,’’ Keselowski said, adding, “You do things in this sport and it takes six to eight months to be noticed. It takes months and months of hard work for it all to come together and it’s super painful.”
It will be in all-Ford front row Sunday as Joey Logano joins his former teammate on the front row.
William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Michael McDowell will start inside the top five while Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson and Daniel Suárez make up the rest of the top 10 in the starting lineup.
Six playoff drivers will start outside the top 10: Austin Cindric (11th), Ross Chastain (12th), Ryan Blaney (14th), Alex Bowman (17th), Christopher Bell (22nd), Chase Briscoe (30th).
Despite being the most-consistent playoff driver in the Round of 16, Bell will have to work through the field to hold his spot above the current playoff cutline as he sits just four points above it.
The Richard Childress Racing duo of Dillon (187.643 mph) and Reddick (187.576 mph) owned the fastest laps during practice, which was reminiscent of their 1-2 finish at Texas in the summer of 2020. Alex Bowman, Joey Logano and Erik Jones also posted top-five speeds.
Logano posted the best 10 consecutive lap time with an average of 185.528 mph. Three Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets posted top-five 10-lap averages with Bowman, Byron and Elliott cracking the list.
The NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.