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

Brendan Marks, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

Denny Hamlin: He dominated up front for most of the race until he crashed into the wall late after several bumps from Elliott. He led for 193 of 312 laps.

Chase Elliott: This is Elliott's seventh second-place finish without a win, and while he said after the race he hopes to eventually correct that closing issue, this loss will sting more than others with a championship berth on the line.

Observations

--Ryan Blaney started on the pole, but it didn't take long for him to fall back into the pack. By the end of the first stage, he had already fallen to 13th. He ultimately finished the race 17th.

--There were no unplanned cautions in Stage 1, or in the first 149 laps for that matter, until Jimmie Johnson's burst tire forced one just before the conclusion of Stage 2.

--Larson won Stage 1, but went to the garage about a third of the way through Stage 2 (lap 105) and did not finish the race. This is the fourth straight race he did not complete, two due to engine failure and two to wrecks, dating back to Kansas.

 

They said it

"I don't ever want to go through that again." -- Brad Keselowski on the way he snuck into the championship at Homestead.

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