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

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

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

The Kenseth win salvaged the day for Gibbs, which had a chance to get Denny Hamlin into the championship until his feud with Elliott cost him the chance. Both drivers are looking to fill the final spot for the Championship 4.

Too expensive to land a competitive ride for next season, Kenseth has chose to take time away rather than drive a auto that can't win races. "Learning the hard way, I guess, in some ways, but it's hopefully making me a better person and making us better down the road".

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.

NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth doesn't have a job next year, but racing legend Mario Andretti would give him one, if he had one to give. According to NBC Sports, Elliott's seven runner-up finishes are tied for the most without a win in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Elliott ran five races for Hendrick in 2015 and was named the Cup Series rookie of the year in 2016 after finishing 10th in the overall standings.

Needing a win to advance to the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, Hamlin took his auto to the garage.

The one hole in his resume: A victory. Blaney finished the stage in 13th.

"I hope I grow as a person every week and grow as a racer every week", Elliott said.

"I don't ever want to go through that again". 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. "We've had so many good opportunities and at some point, we've just got to close". Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr. have already advanced to the Championship four.

After dominating the race to that point, Hamlin retired from the race in the final 50 laps after contact with Elliott gave him a tire rub that led to a blown tires, sending his vehicle hard into the wall. Elliott admitted he raced Hamlin aggressively, same as Hamlin did when he wrecked Elliott from the lead at Martinsville.

"A wise man once told me that he'll race guys how they race him with a smile on his face, so that's what I did today", Elliott said.

Hamlin didn't appreciate the retaliation, particularly the timing of it.

Brad Keselowski earned the final spot in the championship on points because a playoff-eligible driver did not win the race. "I was telling my guys we'll get it right someday, or I'll get it right someday", Elliott said.

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