Kyle Busch won for the eighth time this NASCAR season to tie Kevin Harvick for the most victories this season and set up a head-to-head battle for the championship.
Busch’s victory at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix was the final qualifying event for next week’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick was the favorite to win and started from the pole but an early flat tire made Sunday’s race more eventful than Harvick expected.
He found himself racing late against Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola for the fourth transfer spot to Homestead, but Busch was wrecked late and Almirola had to win the race to snatch the berth away from Harvick.
“We were in big trouble out there with the flat tire,” Harvick said.
The final four will be NASCAR’s Big Three of Kyle Busch, Harvick and reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr., as well as Joey Logano. The field is two Ford drivers, two Toyota drivers and represents four different organizations. Chevrolet was shut out of the finale.
Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson, both already eliminated from the playoffs, finished second and third on Sunday. Almirola was fourth and Harvick fifth.
Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, helping his Mercedes team take the Formula One constructors’ title.
The British driver finished 1.4 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium at Interlagos.
J.R. Todd wrapped up his first Funny Car season title during the first round of Funny Car eliminations in the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona, California, and went on to win the event.
Matt Smith won his third Pro Stock Motorcycle title in the final event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. All of the event winners won season titles, with Steve Torrence winning in Top Fuel and Tanner Gray in Pro Stock.
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