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A first win and a shot at the title, it was all on the line for Chase Elliott in Phoenix on Sunday, but he couldn’t hold on. With 10 laps to go, Matt Kenseth, who doesn’t even have a car to race in 2018, took the lead away from No. 24 and never let go, stretching it for the remaining nine laps at Phoenix Raceway to take the checkered flag at the Can-Am 500.

It was quite the moment for the 45-year old, who before this race was winless in 2017. The last time Kenseth won in Phoenix was in 2002. With his 39th career win, in what could be the second-to-last race in his illustrious career, Kenseth is going out on top.


Playoff Leaderboard

The full playoff standings are per

1. Kevin Harvick (5,000 points)

2. Kyle Busch (5,000 points)

3. Martin Truex Jr. (5,000 points)

4. Brad Keselowski (5,000 points)


Upcoming Schedule

The remaining schedule for the 2017 playoffs can be found on

The final race in the playoffs to crown the champion for the 2017 season will take place at the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19.

With No. 20 pushing Elliott to second place, the Championship 4 is set. After finishing 16th, Brad Keselowski secured the last playoff spot that was up for grabs on points. He joins the three drivers who had already punched their ticket to Miami: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. Of the four drivers in the first-to-the line championship next week, only Truex Jr., who has seven wins this year, hasn’t won a title.

Keselowski got it done in Phoenix, but with him getting in, that eliminated Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson from the playoffs.

There was some drama in the desert, though. To take his place in the front, Elliott bumped Hamlin, who bumped him out of the race back at Martinsville Speedway. With Hamlin crashing into the wall and unable to continue the race, it looked like it was payback time for Elliott, who was trying to secure a win in order to keep his playoff hopes alive.

On the television , Elliott said:

“I’m going to race guys how they race me and keep a smile on my face regardless, so I’m happy to race guys how they race me, that’s how I see it”

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