Brad Keselowski starts Playoffs with decent finish

JOLIET, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 17, 2017 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

JOLIET, Ill. – For a driver who stirred up controversy before the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Brad Keselowski had a relatively uneventful afternoon in Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Before qualifying on Friday, Keselowski raised the issue of parity in the sport, ascribing to the Toyota camp a significant performance advantage. True enough, Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. ran away with the playoff opener. Keselowski didn’t have the speed to match Truex’s Camry. Then again, no one else did either.

But for Keselowski, the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, it was the sort of solid start to the playoff he needed, leaving him fourth in the standings heading to next Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.

“Yeah, we can be happy with sixth,” Keselowski said. “We scored a bunch of stage points and had a solid day up front. One more of these races—either Loudon or Dover—and we should be good to advance to the next round.

“I think we can pull that off. We’re still looking for a little speed but execution today was really, really strong. Great day on pit road, great restarts. All that stuff was what you look for. We just need to marry that up with some speed, and we can win any of these races.”

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