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Keselowski takes NASCAR Chase lead; Oak Ridge’s Harvick wins race

Oak Ridge resident Kevin Harvick gets sprayed while celebrating his victory at Phoenix International Raceway (Associated Press photo by Ross D. Franklin.)

Oak Ridge resident Kevin Harvick gets sprayed while celebrating his victory at Phoenix International Raceway (Associated Press photo by Ross D. Franklin.)

AVONDALE, Ariz. — A chaotic race at Phoenix blew NASCAR’s championship fight wide open today, 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.

Oak Ridge resident 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.

Credit: The Associated Press.

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