Brad Keselowski passed Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings after the second-to-last race of the season, a chaotic event in Arizona.
AVONDALE, Ariz. — When the fighting stopped, the oil had dried and the last of the wrecked cars had been towed away, Brad Keselowski found himself on the brink of a first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.
But he wasn’t in a celebratory mood after Sunday’s AdvoCare 500, a chaotic event won by Kevin Harvick.
“I thought it was absolutely ridiculous, and I was ashamed to be a part of it,” Keselowski said.
Keselowski entered the race at Phoenix International Raceway trailing five-time champion Jimmie Johnson by seven points, had the better car all day and was sixth.
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A blown tire caused Johnson to crash and take his battered car to the garage for repairs. Johnson finished 32nd and is 20 points behind Keselowski going into Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was fourth in the race and is third in the standings, 50 points behind Keselowski. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was seventh in the race and is seventh in points.
Jeff Gordon slowed his car on the track to wait for Clint Bowyer so he could intentionally wreck him as retaliation for several weeks of on-track contact between the two.
It led to a full brawl inside the garage between the crews for the drivers, with Bowyer sprinting from his car to join the fracas.
Of Gordon, Bowyer said, “For a four-time champion, and what I consider one of the best this sport’s ever seen, to act like this is pretty ridiculous.”
Gordon said, “Things just got escalated over the year and I’d just had it.”