If Brad Keselowski can stay out front Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, then he won't have to worry about rusty drivers getting in his way.
Keselowski was concerned earlier this week about having to compete on one of NASCAR's most difficult tracks after two months without real racing. He told NBCSN's Mike Tirico his trust level is "very little to none." He said the recent iRacing events that used racing simulators could compound the problem.
"The reality is, it's not the same. The tactics are not the same," he told Tirico. "It looks pretty good, the graphics are pretty cool, but the way the cars drive is not the same. The way the race flows is not the same. Everything about it is much, much different.
"And so the problem with that is, is if you had success with some of the simulators or the internet events, you build almost like a false sense of confidence, and that false sense of confidence when you get on the real racetrack can be a big problem.
"There's a lot drivers that have been putting a lot of time behind the simulator and I'm not sure that's a good thing."
Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Darlington?
Brad Keselowski will be on the pole for NASCAR's return from the coronavirus, the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. He won it Thursday night in a weighted random drawing rather than through qualifying. He was eligible for the pole because his Team Penske squad is in the top 12 in points through the season's first four races.
And for the record...
Second Darlington pole.
First one won from my living room. pic.twitter.com/js247XGgn2
— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) May 14, 2020
Alex Bowman will be on the outside of the front row after drawing the No. 2 position. Matt DiBenedetto. Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola round out the top five.
NASCAR is not conducting on-track qualifying for the majority of its upcoming races. There will only be qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend.
The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington (3:30 p.m., Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be run without fans. It will be the first event on NASCAR's revised schedule, which now extends through June 21 after a series of reschedulings Thursday.
12 (42) Matt Kenseth Chevrolet
NASCAR starting lineup at Darlington
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
John Hunter Nemechek