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


The 2003 champion, Kenseth isn't getting a spectacular or months-long sendoff, but going out with a trip to Victory Lane in his second-to-last race - ending a winless streak that dated back to July 2016 - is flawless for the driver who the sport is going to miss. He will be trying to keep Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson behind him all day.

Pole-sitter and playoff driver Ryan Blaney led the first 10 laps before losing the lead to Elliott. Truex advances to Homestead next week and will compete with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski for this season's championship.

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Hamlin led for 193 laps on Sunday and was in position to make a run for the win when he saw the 21-year-old Elliott come up on his bumper in the Final Stage. Elliott kept his cool at Texas but with his spot in the title race on the line, Elliott tagged Hamlin, then passed Matt Kenseth for the lead with just under 40 laps to go. Johnson's day ended early thanks to a blown tire just before the end of Stage 2.

Stage 2: Hamlin dominated the second stage and cruised to a stage win without any fuss.

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Matt Kenseth might have gotten the final victory of his Cup Series career on Sunday.

"I raced him how raced me". Still, this win is a nice send-off for the former champion. This may well have been the most frustrating second-place finish of his career because it was his final chance to get into the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a shot at winning the championship.

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