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

Kurt Busch Gerald Wayne ‘Jerry’ Grant

Hamlin is one of five drivers trying to secure the last open spot in next week's championship race.

Larson took the lead with a pass of playoff driver Denny Hamlin, who led 40 of the stage's 75 laps.

For the fourth time in the 2017 playoffs, Chase Elliott finished second in a NASCAR Cup race.

A win in that race, much like a win on Sunday, would have locked Elliott into the final round of the playoffs.

Elliott finished second Sunday, failing to advance to the title race but was asked about nudging Hamlin out of the way. Truex advances to Homestead next week and will compete with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski for this season's championship. He will join the three drivers who already had clinched - Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick - in a first-to-the-line championship battle on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Johnson's day ended early thanks to a blown tire just before the end of Stage 2. He ran down Elliott and passed him easily to cruise to the 39th win of his career.

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

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. - Brad Keselowski on the way he snuck into the championship at Homestead.



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