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Updated Nov 12, 2012 - 12:29 am

Wild race blows championship open for Keselowski

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A chaotic race at Phoenix blew NASCAR’s championship fight wide open Sunday, 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.

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.

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