AVONDALE, Ariz. – Jimmie Johnson's bid for a sixth NASCAR championship took a huge hit when he crashed late in Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Johnson appeared to have a tire problem 77 laps from the scheduled finish, and his car shot hard into the wall. The crash came just seconds after championship contender Brad Keselowski moved into the lead on the track.
Johnson started the race with a seven-point lead over Keselowski in the standings in a two-man championship battle.
The race resumed with Johnson in the garage and his Hendrick Motorsports team frantically working to make repairs to his heavily damaged Chevrolet.
The season ends next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Keselowski will be looking for the first Sprint Cup championship for both himself and team owner Roger Penske.