NASCAR: Kenseth Wins at Phoenix

Matt Kenseth came away with an emotional win at Phoenix International Raceway in what might be the second-to-last race of his career, while Chase Elliott narrowly missed out on both the win and qualification for the Championship 4.

Instead of Elliott, who was passed late by Kenseth and finished second, Brad Keselowski claimed the final spot in the Championship 4 next Sunday at Homestead. Keselowski finished 16th and qualified on points. Keselowski joins Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick as a competitor in the championship race.

"It's been an incredible journey and there's no way you could write it any better than this," Kenseth said on the NBC Sports broadcast after the race. Kenseth will be taking a hiatus from NASCAR after the season, and might be stepping away for good.

Denny Hamlin led 193 laps and looked like the clear frontrunner to take the playoff win. However, Chase Elliott bumped him with 37 laps left in the race. This led to one of Hamlin's tires giving way and Hamlin slamming into the wall. Hamlin left the race and didn't finish. The drama at Phoenix reminded of Oct. 29 at Martinsville, in which Hamlin spun Elliott out late and ruined Elliott's chance to win.

"Each person has their own opinion of how to do things. It just proves ... that he (Elliott) would do the exact same thing in the same situation," Hamlin told NBC Sports after the incident.

Hamlin won Stage 2. Kyle Larson won Stage 1. Jimmie Johnson searched to keep the chance to win his eighth NASCAR title alive, but his bid ended during Stage 2 as he blew a tire and was forced to the garage.
Denny Hamlin led 193 laps and looked like the clear frontrunner to take the playoff win. However, Chase Elliott bumped him with 37 laps left in the race. This led to one of Hamlin's tires giving way and Hamlin slamming into the wall. Hamlin left the race and didn't finish. The drama at Phoenix reminded of Oct. 29 at Martinsville, in which Hamlin spun Elliott out late and ruined Elliott's chance to win.

"Each person has their own opinion of how to do things. It just proves ... that he (Elliott) would do the exact same thing in the same situation," Hamlin told NBC Sports after the incident.

Hamlin won Stage 2. Kyle Larson won Stage 1. Jimmie Johnson searched to keep the chance to win his eighth NASCAR title alive, but his bid ended during Stage 2 as he blew a tire and was forced to the garage.

Kenseth takes the win in Phoenix. And Keselowski hangs on to the final spot at Homestead on points. Elliott finished second.


MATT KENSETH wins Phoenix!

BRAD KESELOWSKI makes Homestead!

Chase Elliott finishes second, gets eliminated.