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giftedviz.com December 19, 2018


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

13 November 2017, 02:07 | Pamela Mathis

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Kurt Busch Gerald Wayne ‘Jerry’ Grant

Elliott took the lead shortly after Hamlin's blown tire and pulled away from Kenseth.

Hamlin stays out, as does Kenseth (first), Elliott (fourth), Blaney (fifth) and Keselowski (seventh).

Keselowski, who finished in 16th place, was the beneficiary as he advanced in the playoffs through points.

Pole-sitter and playoff driver Ryan Blaney led the first 10 laps before losing the lead to Elliott.

There was always going to be one delighted driver and four jealous ones when Sunday's playoff cutdown race finished, but now we know who falls into which category.

Denny Hamlin's playoff hopes went up in smoke in Sunday's Can-Am 500 on Lap 274 after Elliott made contact with Hamlin's auto just under seven laps earlier.

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Stage 2 will end on Lap 150.

After Stage 2: Denny Hamlin got more good luck as Kyle Larson, who won Stage 1 and had the strongest auto Sunday, suffered his fourth consecutive DNF when his engine expired. A win would lock him into the championship race automatically.

Matt Kenseth: Kenseth hadn't won in 51 races, and his career won't continue after this season for lack of a ride, even though he has said he would like to.

35 laps to go: Denny Hamlin's chances of advancing go up in smoke as his tire blows and his vehicle slams the wall. This may well have been the most frustrating second-place finish of his career because it was his final chance to get into the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a shot at winning the championship.

"I don't ever want to go through that again".



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