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 ruined Elliott's chances at his first career victory in the Round of 8 opener at Martinsville, putting him into the wall in the final laps two weeks ago. Keselowski entered the race 19 points ahead of Hamlin and 22 points ahead of Blaney. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr. have already advanced to the Championship four. Get the app and get the game.
Kenseth led 60 laps, the second most of any driver on the day.
Elliott battered Hamlin's bumper with 43 laps to go, likely causing a tire rub to Hamlin's left-front.More news: Twitter doesn't even know what "verification" means anymore
50 laps to go: Chase Elliott passes Denny Hamlin for second place on the restart before Cole Whitt's auto slams the wall with 51 laps remaining, bringing out another caution.
After Stage 2: Denny Hamlin got more good luck as Kyle Larson, who won Stage 1 and had the strongest vehicle Sunday, suffered his fourth consecutive DNF when his engine expired.
Also helping Hamlin's cause: He won the race off pit road and will begin the final stage as the leader. Johnson's day ended early thanks to a blown tire just before the end of Stage 2. He led for 193 of 312 laps. Sunday's victory could easily be the last of his career, and next weekend's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway could be his last altogether.More news: Three Chinese students injured in French vehicle attack
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.
The Manchester High School graduate finished second to Kyle Larson in the opening stage, earning nine bonus points.
Stage 2: Hamlin dominated the second stage and cruised to a stage win without any fuss.More news: Skyview High School thanks local veterans with a special assembly
"I raced him how raced me".
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