Keselowski in box seat after dramatic Phoenix race

  • Monday 12th November, 2012 10:05am
  • Author: SpeedCafe ©
johnson phoenix 344x224 Keselowski in box seat after dramatic Phoenix race

Jimmie Johnson crashed after a brake-heat induced tyre failure

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has taken a dramatic twist in its penultimate race at Phoenix, where a crash from Jimmie Johnson allowed Brad Keselowski to take a comfortable points lead.

Johnson blew a tyre and slammed into the Turn 4 exit wall with 76 laps to go, causing significant damage to the right-side of the #48 Hendrick Chevrolet. The five-time champion returned to the circuit to finish 32nd – 26 places behind title rival Keselowski.

The result has turned Johnson’s seven point lead into a 20 point deficit, meaning that, even if Johnson scores maximum points, the #2 Penske Dodge need only finish inside the top 15 next weekend at Homestead to secure the crown.

The AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix was won by Kevin Harvick, who led home Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Keselowski in a wild finish.

Two big wrecks occurred in the closing stages. The first saw a limping Jeff Gordon deliberately fence Clint Bowyer as payback for earlier contact, leading to trackside fisticuffs between the pair and their respective crews.

The race was restarted after a 15 minute red flag, with a second major wreck – this time due to oil dropped in a penultimate lap incident for Danica Patrick – occurring as the field took the chequered flag. Keselowski only narrowly escaped both accidents.

Australian Marcos Ambrose also survived all of the carnage to finish with a straight #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford to finish 18th.

Ironically, the first victory of the season for both Harvick and Richard Childress Racing comes amid speculation that the long-time driver-team combination will split up after the 2013 season, with Harvick tipped to be heading to reigning championship winning squad Stewart-Haas Racing.

See below for the full race result

FIN

ST

DRIVER

MAKE

SPONSOR

PTS/BNS

LAPS

STATUS

1 19 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 47/1 319 Running
2 3 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 43/1 319 Running
3 1 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 43/2 319 Running
4 4 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 40/0 319 Running
5 12 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans 40/1 319 Running
6 14 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 39/1 319 Running
7 20 Greg Biffle Ford Filtrete 37/0 319 Running
8 6 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row 36/0 319 Running
9 7 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Rheem 35/0 319 Running
10 10 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 35/1 319 Running
11 13 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 33/0 319 Running
12 21 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 32/0 319 Running
13 33 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 31/0 319 Running
14 22 Matt Kenseth Ford Ford EcoBoost 30/0 319 Running
15 30 Bobby Labonte Toyota Vektor Vodka 29/0 319 Running
16 5 Aric Almirola Ford Farmland 28/0 319 Running
17 37 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 0 319 Running
18 17 Marcos Ambrose Ford Black & Decker 26/0 319 Running
19 39 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King 26/1 319 Running
20 9 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 24/0 319 Running
21 23 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew 23/0 317 Running
22 25 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 22/0 317 Running
23 18 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Allstate 21/0 317 Running
24 8 Regan Smith Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 20/0 316 Running
25 27 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King 19/0 316 Running
26 42 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Accell Construction 18/0 316 Running
27 15 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 17/0 312 In Pit
28 16 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 16/0 312 In Pit
29 41 Timmy Hill Ford U.S. Chrome / TMone 15/0 312 Running
30 11 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 14/0 309 In Pit
31 26 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 0 299 In Pit
32 24 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 12/0 281 Running
33 29 David Ragan Ford CertainTeed / 31-W Insulation 11/0 280 In Pit
34 32 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 10/0 86 In Pit
35 35 Stephen Leicht * Chevrolet Little Joes Autos.com 9/0 74 In Pit
36 31 David Gilliland Ford Loan Mart 8/0 50 In Pit
37 38 Josh Wise * Ford MDS Transport 7/0 50 In Pit
38 28 Michael McDowell Ford Phil Parsons Racing 6/0 36 In Pit
39 43 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM-FM Energy 0 30 In Pit
40 34 David Reutimann Ford No Label Watcher 4/0 28 In Pit
41 36 Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical / Value Place 0 15 In Pit
42 40 Jason Leffler Toyota Plinker Tactical / Value Place 0 10 In Pit
43 2 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 1/0 10 Out of Race

See below for the updates points standings

RANK

DRIVER

POINTS

1 Brad Keselowski 2371
2 Jimmie Johnson 2351
3 Kasey Kahne 2321
4 Clint Bowyer 2319
5 Denny Hamlin 2309
6 Matt Kenseth 2297
7 Greg Biffle 2293
8 Kevin Harvick 2285
9 Tony Stewart 2283
10 Jeff Gordon 2281
11 Martin Truex Jr. 2260
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2211
13 Kyle Busch 1091
14 Ryan Newman 1009
15 Carl Edwards 998
16 Paul Menard 973
17 Joey Logano 935
18 Marcos Ambrose 918
19 Jeff Burton 858
20 Jamie McMurray 844
21 Aric Almirola 831
22 Juan Montoya 794
23 Bobby Labonte 753
24 Regan Smith 733
25 Kurt Busch 700
26 Mark Martin 673
27 Travis Kvapil 621
28 David Ragan 609
29 Casey Mears 597
30 David Gilliland 594
31 Landon Cassill 581
32 AJ Allmendinger 453
33 Dave Blaney 405
34 David Reutimann 363
35 Brian Vickers 250
36 David Stremme 230
37 Michael McDowell 184
38 J.J. Yeley 157
39 Josh Wise* 143
40 Ken Schrader 139
41 Stephen Leicht* 126
42 Scott Speed 124
43 Michael Waltrip 94
44 Terry Labonte 94
45 Tony Raines 71
46 Scott Riggs 54
47 Brendan Gaughan 50
48 Boris Said 34
49 Timmy Hill 15
50 Bill Elliott 14
51 Hermie Sadler 13
52 Mike Olsen 11
53 Robby Gordon 11
54 Mike Skinner 10
55 Kelly Bires 9
56 Tomy Drissi 6
57 Stacy Compton 5
58 David Mayhew 4
59 Patrick Long 2
60 Sam Hornish Jr. 0
61 Trevor Bayne 0
62 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
63 Danica Patrick 0
64 Austin Dillon 0
65 Mike Bliss 0
66 Elliott Sadler 0
67 Robert Richardson Jr. 0
68 Joe Nemechek 0
69 Reed Sorenson 0
70 T.J. Bell 0
71 Jason White 0
72 Jason Leffler 0
73 Cole Whitt 0
74 Chris Cook 0
75 Tim Andrews 0
76 Brian Simo 0
77 Mark Green 0
78 Jeff Green 0
79 Mike Wallace 0
80 Kenny Wallace 0

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