NASCAR at Phoenix 2017 Results: Matt Kenseth Wins, Brad Keselowski Advances

Credit Chris Trotman  NASCAR via Getty Images

Keselowski is running in 14th and must pass Hamlin on the track to get the final spot in the championship race.

First, the singularly happy one: Brad Keselowski.

Denny Hamlin's playoff hopes went up in smoke in Sunday's Can-Am 500 on Lap 274 after Elliott made contact with Hamlin's auto just under seven laps earlier.

Hamlin easily won Stage 2 and has pulled even with Brad Keselowski in points entering the final stage. Five drivers are competing for the final spot in next week's championship race.

Jimmie Johnson, who qualified for the round of 8, had a tire go down on Lap 150 and hit the wall, ending his championship hopes. Hamlin also saw his day end early due to a blown tire, which was more unexpected since he led for the majority of the race.

Stage 1: Kyle Larson hung around the front of the pack for most of the first stage, but he finally passed Hamlin with a couple to go to win Stage 1.

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

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

Keselowski, who finished in 16th place, was the beneficiary as he advanced in the playoffs through points.

Kenseth led 60 laps, the second most of any driver on the day. He has now won 39 races on the Monster Energy Cup Series throughout his career.

Kenseth, 45, said last weekend that he's got no ride for the 2018 season and isn't sure if he'll ever have one again. Still, this win is a nice send-off for the former champion.

After Lap 235 of 312: A caution from Trevor Bayne's Ford slamming the wall led to Denny Hamlin's first real problem Sunday.

NOTES: Ryan Blaney dominated the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, leading 147 of 200 laps, winning two stages and finishing second.

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