Keselowski uses quick pit work to win Southern 500

Denny Hamlin talks with a crew member on pit road before winning the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Darlington Raceway Saturday Sept. 1 2018 in Darlington S.C

Terry Renna Associated Press Denny Hamlin will start on the pole position for Sunday’s Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

Brad Keselowski won the 500 to become the year's 10th victor, joining Kyle and Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, race runner-up Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones and Austin Dillon.

Brad Keselowski scored his first Darlington Raceway win in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200.

Paul Wolfe, Keselowski's crew chief, said he was just hoping the pit crew wouldn't drop any spots during the final stop. Larson fell backward as Keselowski went forward. Keselowski drove a Miller Genuine Draft design inspired by former #2 driver Rusty Wallace, while others like William Byron raced with the iconic rainbow scheme of Jeff Gordon. "The No. 1 pit stall is obviously very important here", Hamlin said in an interview with NBC Sports Network.

Jones finished the stage second followed by Truex, Logano and Keselowski. "I thought Kyle Larson was good, he was flat out flying but I know how it goes". "This isn't one of those, so it's nice to get some extra reps".

Winning the opening two stages and controlling the majority of the final stage, Chip Ganassi Racing's Larson led 284 of 367 laps. Yet, he leaves disappointed with his seventh top-three finish of the season. "I don't want to be in this position (but) we've been around this spot for a while. If we can just start minimizing mistakes, my own included, we'll be much better off and have a shot".

Chase Elliott managed to pass Erik Jones after the final restart to grab fifth place after he had figured in the top 10 through the race. Meanwhile Kyle Busch, the current Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series leader with 1,003 points, looks to build on his lead. Defending series victor Martin Truex Jr. has won four times this season, meaning the three have combined to take 70 percent of the races. He suffered some damage during qualifying and had to start from the back of the field for unapproved changes. Then had to go behind the wall with an oil pump problem that knocked him from the race. It's the first time Hamlin's won the pole here, but far from the first time he's been on top.

Hamlin said he's not racing for points, just wins. We try and go out and win every race, every stage, every week. Bowyer was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

"It's just something about the racetrack that fits my particular driving style, " he said. Denny Hamlin did it last season.

After track officials had twice cleared the stands due to the potential severe weather in the area, NASCAR drivers fired up their cars and got rolling at the track "Too Tough To Tame".

Keselowski will start ninth in Sunday's race, filled with a bit more enthusiasm and belief after the win.

UP NEXT: The Cup Series regular season comes to an end with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne is the defending victor.

Things are finally underway at Darlington Raceway after a weather delay of about 45 minutes. Over the last two seasons, he has collected six of his nine career NXS victories. The next cycle of green flag stops began on lap 163; during his stop, Truex suffered an uncontrolled tire penalty.

NASCAR America "Wednesdays with Dale Jr.", NBCSN's weekly motorsports show featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr., welcomes Daniel Suarez, driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, as a guest tonight at 5 p.m. ET.

As Larson led, he approached Austin Dillon, who was running in thirteenth and determined to not be lapped by the #42.

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