Kenseth wins in Phoenix, Keselowski grabs final championship berth

Kurt Busch Gerald Wayne ‘Jerry’ Grant

Kurt Busch Gerald Wayne ‘Jerry’ Grant

Finish: Matt Kenseth passed Chase Elliott with 10 laps remaining at Phoenix Raceway for his first Monster Energy Cup victory of the season.

Matt Kenseth earned a surprising win at the Can-Am 500 and Brad Keselowski grabbed the final spot in the Championship 4 on Sunday.

Kenseth won the Cup Series' Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, and while congratulating the 45-year-old driver - who wants to race next season but doesn't have anything lined up - Andretti said he'd give Kenseth a job in NASCAR if he had a team.

During the ensuing pit stop, the jack on Hamlin's vehicle was dropped before all the lugnuts on the tire were secured. Hamlin ruined Elliott's chances at his first career victory in the Round of 8 opener at Martinsville, putting him into the wall in the final laps two weeks ago. As a result, Hamlin, like Elliott, was eliminated from the playoffs.

After the red flag to extinguish the fire, Elliott started marching to the front and had his run-in with Hamlin.

The fourth driver eliminated from the playoffs was Blaney.

But Kenseth's auto came to life within the final 15 laps.

Brad Keselowski struggled through most of the race but headed into Phoenix with enough of a point cushion to join already-clinched drivers Harvick, Truex and Kyle Busch in the Championship Four. Keselowski finished 16th, and while Chase Elliott finished second, Keselowski's points advantage proved enough.

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. Johnson's day ended early thanks to a blown tire just before the end of Stage 2.

Through Stage 1, Hamlin is on track to punch his ticket to Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Not long after winning the opening stage, Larson wound up in the garage, retired from the race because of an engine issue. Keselowski ran outside the top 15 the entire stage and did not earn any points.

"I raced him how raced me".

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