Brad Keselowski to Start on Pole Position for Cup Race at Watkins Glen

Published 08/07/2021, 8:24 AM EDT
FONTANA, CA – MARCH 16: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 16, 2019 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


This weekend is the NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen. For this race, there is no qualifying session, so the sport has to rely on the championship formula to decide the grid. As a result, Brad Keselowski won the pole position and will start alongside teammate Joey Logano. It gets even better for Team Penske because Ryan Blaney will start third on the grid.

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Blaney will start ahead of Kyle Larson in the Hendrick Motorsports car and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick. Championship leader Denny Hamlin has a bit of a task on his hands from sixth on the grid. Christopher Bell heads the rest of the Top 10, with Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, and Alex Bowman rounding it out.

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Defending champion Chase Elliott just missed out on a Top 10 start, ahead of Ross Chastain. Row 7 of the grid will consist of Tyler Reddick and Matt DiBenedetto. William Byron, the last of the Hendrick drivers, will start in 15th place, ahead of Austin Dillon in the #3 Richard Childress car at Watkins Glen.

How does the rest of the grid line up behind Brad Keselowski?

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Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Cole Custer, and a disappointed Kyle Busch will round out the Top 20. Just behind the quartet will be Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones. Ryan Preece will sit in 23rd place, ahead of Chris Buescher and Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell. Alongside McDowell will be 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace, who will be ahead of Chase Briscoe and Ryan Newman.

Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Corey LaJoie and Justin Haley will complete the Top 30 drivers. Meanwhile, Anthony Alfredo will lead the remaining drivers in 31st place. He is ahead of Garrett Smithley, Kyle Tilley, Josh Bilicki, Quin Houff, James Davison, and RC Enerson.

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Without a doubt, Brad Keselowski will be keen to add to his Cup Series win at Talladega. However, he will face plenty of stiff competition from his rivals. On the bright side, he has all of his teammates surrounding him, and a nice bout of teamwork could protect him.

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Dhruv George

12018 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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