Saturday, 23 February, 2019

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

Kurt Busch Gerald Wayne ‘Jerry’ Grant Getty Images for NASCAR
Kristopher Love | 13 November, 2017, 02:13

The issue cost Hamlin one spot, as Matt Kenseth edged Hamlin off pit road for the lead.

"Just got one race left and everybody dreams of going out a victor", a tearful Kenseth said after climbing from his Toyota.

After Stage 1: Denny Hamlin entered Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway 19 points behind Brad Keselowski for the final transfer spot into the championship race.

The final 50 laps of Sunday's race were, uh, a bit wild and set up by a insane moment.

Elliott finished second for the seventh time this season. He will join the three drivers who already had clinched - Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick - in a first-to-the-line championship battle on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Kenseth had already been eliminated from the playoffs, so his victory was purely personal satisfaction. The 15th-place finish is the lowest in his last five races, but it's not Sunday at Phoenix that matters in the hunt for a title. Hamlin also saw his day end early due to a blown tire, which was more unexpected since he led for the majority of the race.

Keselowski is running in 14th and must pass Hamlin on the track to get the final spot in the championship race.

"I think it shows that there's no reason why he couldn't have gotten a job anywhere else".

"I raced him how raced me".

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. The No. 24 didn't quite spin Hamlin out, but the No. 11 got into the wall enough to wreck on his own just a few laps later.

At Martinsville, contact from Hamlin to Elliott's back bumper sent Elliott into the wall. "That's about all I have to say".

Hamlin erased all of Keselowski's points lead following the second stage. "I got into him and he chose to retaliate".

Jimmie Johnson, who qualified for the round of 8, had a tire go down on Lap 150 and hit the wall, ending his championship hopes. The elimination of the seven-time champion means NASCAR will not have a repeat victor.