The Latest: NASCAR Cup Series race begins with a clean start

Brad Keselowski (2) and Jimmie Johnson (48) practice for a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

NASCAR's Consumers Energy 400 has begun with a clean start

BROOKLYN, Mich. — The Latest on the NASCAR Cup race at Michigan International Speedway (all times local):

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3:25 p.m.

The Consumers Energy 400 has begun with a clean start.

Brad Keselowski was on the pole when the NASCAR Cup Series race began and stayed out front early in the 200-lap race.

Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is among the drivers, desperately trying to improve his position for the playoffs with just four races left in the regular season.

The race at Michigan International Speedway marked the 500th start in the career of Martin Truex Jr.

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2:23 p.m.

Brad Keselowski is hoping to make pole position an advantage, helping him win at Michigan International Speedway in front of family and friends for the first time.

Keselowski will start out front Sunday afternoon in the Consumers Energy 400, one of four NASCAR Cup Series races remaining before the playoffs begin. The former series championship has 30 Cup victories, but hasn't won any of his 20 starts at MIS about 70 miles from his hometown in suburban Detroit.

Kevin Harvick will start second and will be followed by William Byron, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott. Points leader Kyle Busch will start 24th in the 38-car field.

Jimmie Johnson may have the most at stake on the 2-mile oval.

The seven-time champion qualified 12th and is desperately trying to earn a spot in the playoffs. He is tied with Ryan Newman for the 16th and final spot. Johnson has been in each postseason since the format was created 15 years ago.

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More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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