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NASCAR at Phoenix: Matt Kenseth wins, but Brad Keselowski advances to championship

13 November, 2017, 02:21 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Kurt Busch Gerald Wayne ‘Jerry’ Grant

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch already had spots in the final round with wins in the last two races, while Martin Truex Jr. had enough points to clinch prior to this event. He entered the race 19 points behind Brad Keselowski, who is fourth in the standings.

The Team Penske driver came into Sunday's Can-Am 500 race at Phoenix International Speedway leading the remaining NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers in points, and that proved to be enough to get him through to Homestead even without a win.

Stage 3: Elliott had the lead with about 10 laps to go, but Kenseth passed him and was able to hold off the youngster for the win.

Elliott battered Hamlin's bumper with 43 laps to go, likely causing a tire rub to Hamlin's left-front. Scalding hot brake rotors from Chris Buescher's vehicle flew in between the SAFER barriers on the outside wall as Buescher had a mechanical failure that caused an accident.

Hamlin got out of the pits first to take the lead at the start of the second stage and maintained his advantage throughout the stage.

After Lap 235 of 312: A caution from Trevor Bayne's Ford slamming the wall led to Denny Hamlin's first real problem Sunday.

Hamlin leads in the final 100 laps, though the cars have not yet pitted in the final segment. Johnson's day ended early thanks to a blown tire just before the end of Stage 2. The race was dominated by Denny Hamlin, who was unable to finish the race, yet still led 191 of the 275 laps he was on the track for.

The Manchester High School graduate finished second to Kyle Larson in the opening stage, earning nine bonus points. Sunday's victory could easily be the last of his career, and next weekend's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway could be his last altogether. Blaney finished the stage in 13th.

Stage 2: Hamlin dominated the second stage and cruised to a stage win without any fuss.

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