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Harvick wins, Johnson wrecks in chaotic NASCAR race in Phoenix

November 11, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Kevin Harvick celebrates in victory lane with his pit crew after his win at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix.
Kevin Harvick celebrates in victory lane with his pit crew after his win… (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kevin Harvick won a heated, chaotic NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday after a spree of crashes that included a wreck that seriously damaged Jimmie Johnson's bid for a sixth Sprint Cup Series title.

But it was Jeff Gordon's crash with Clint Bowyer, which Bowyer's car co-owner Michael Waltrip said was intentional, that sparked a wild brawl between the drivers' crew members, first on pit road and then in the garage.

Gordon's Chevrolet had hit the wall after making contact with Bowyer's Toyota, then Gordon crashed into Bowyer in apparent retaliation, triggering the melee.

Bowyer was so furious that he ran from the crew members' scrum on pit road to the garage, where tried to enter Gordon's transporter. But he was held back by NASCAR officials.

And the crashing wasn't over. In the race's two-lap overtime finish, Danica Patrick hit the wall and, as she was limping around toward the finish and leaking oil, another multi-car crash happened behind her that immediately collected her No. 10 Chevy as well.

Earlier, Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet crashed into the outside wall after it appeared the car's right front tire blew or the car had some sort of braking malfunction.

He returned to the race after repairs but finished 32nd and fell 20 points behind Brad Keselowski, who finished sixth, in the Cup title standings with only one race left in the season.

Johnson had led Kesowski by seven points when the race began.

The season finale is next Sunday at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.


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