Chase Elliott and Kurt Busch collected in late accident at Phoenix

Childers defends SHR denies aero advantage			Image by Kinrade  LAT

Kyle Busch celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Avondale, Ariz. While Logano and Busch are in the Final Four courtesy of wins, Harvick and Truex were ensured spots based on points.

Kyle Busch won for the eighth time this season to tie Kevin Harvick for the most Cup victories and possibly set up a head-to-head battle for the championship.

His win at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix was the final qualifying event for next week's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where it will be winner-take-all between NASCAR's so-called Big Three and the driver once called "Sliced Bread".

But, joining Busch in that title showdown will be the other two members of the "Big Three" of 2018. "The best thing that shows up are results on the racetrack". Chevrolet was shut out of the finale. I can promise you, I haven't watched Phoenix tape when I flew out here.

Kyle Busch was dominant on his way to victory at the Can-Am 500 in Phoenix. An Almirola victory would have eliminated Harvick from the playoffs, which Busch acknowledged considering.

"I drug the splitter off", Harvick said. "I hate it, but we'll try to get a win next week".

"It's amusing, I was talking with Todd (Gordon, crew chief) on the way out here and I told him I said, 'When the playoffs started I kind of felt like we were an underdog of making it and honestly the last six or seven weeks we've led a lot more laps, we've won a lot of stages, won a race, was fast at Kansas, was fast at Texas, you know what, I think we're the favorite now to win now, ' " Logano said. "I just didn't get the job done to get us to Homestead".

"This is the best thing for me, for our team, to be able to know that we're ready to go for next week and we're as best prepared as we can possibly be". "It's just about getting to next week and once we were locked in, it was 'All bets are off and it's time to go'".

Harvick was the favorite to win Sunday and started from the pole, but an early flat tire made the race more eventful than he expected. Its Joe Gibbs versus Roger Penske versus Stewart-Haas versus Furniture Row Racing.

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"We kept ourselves in position all day, and there at the end, it was just like everybody wrecking and all over the place", Harvick said.

Harvick was runner-up the next season - a year in which he deliberately caused a wreck at Talladega to prevent a bad day hurting his title chances - and is trying to requalify for the finale for the fourth time in five years.

The final 45 laps loomed large in the fight to earn berths in the final four. The penalty is old news to him and he's not looking back. Harvick has nine wins there over 31 races and his average finish at the track is 9.5.

That put Harvick back in 30th and one lap down, and he had to work his way back to the front. He could use a win today if he wants to contend for the championship next week. Chase was caught up in the Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin crash, and Chase's hopes were ended. Chase Elliott was caught with speeding, and joined the wave around cars at the rear of the field for the restart.On Lap 262, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.'s No. 17 Fusion spun viciously into turn 1.

"Yeah, don't speed before that and you don't get caught back there in the back", said Elliott, who earlier had won the first stage of the race.

But Kurt Busch never got to find out if his strategy was the right one as he was promptly wrecked on the restart.

The next restart took place with 20 laps to go as Kyle Busch led Almirola, the latter needing to win to advance to the Championship Round. "If I could have been to somebody's outside off 2, then I thought we had a good shot of maintaining the lead, and I just got cleaned out".

Almirola dove to the bottom of the track to slip past Harvick and move into second.

But there was actually a logical argument for Busch to choose to let Almirola go on that last restart. With Almirola out of contention for the victory, Harvick was finally in the clear.

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