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Updated Nov 11, 2012 - 5:29 pm

Wild race blows championship open for Keselowski

Kevin Harvick holds the trophy for photographers after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) A chaotic race at Phoenix blew NASCAR's championship fight wide open Sunday, moving Brad Keselowski to the brink of a first Sprint Cup title for himself and team owner Roger Penske.

Keselowski heads into next week's season finale with a 20-point lead over five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. His car was better than Johnson's, but he capitalized when a tire failure caused Johnson to crash hard and finish 32nd.

But that was the least of the drama.

Kevin Harvick snapped a 44-race losing streak in a crash-marred finish, and the crews for Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer brawled in the garage after Gordon intentionally wrecked Bowyer on the track.

It led to a meeting between the drivers and crew chiefs in the NASCAR hauler with police officers standing guard outside.


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