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MOTORSPORTS

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Finishing second in the race and the championship was Martin Truex, Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing.
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Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. will compete Sunday at Phoenix (3 p.m., NBC) for a NASCAR Cup Series championship.
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Denny Hamlin finished 24th and in doing so still grabbed a berth in the championship-deciding race at Phoenix next weekend based on points. Also advancing to Championship 4 Sunday were Martin Truex, Jr., Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, who locked up his Championship 4 berth by winning two of the first three races in the Round of 8.
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The victory in the Round of 8 race was Larson's third in a row and his series-best ninth on the season.

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Larson's victory at Texas handed him a berth in the season-ending, championship-deciding Round of 4 race at Phoenix Raceway in three weeks.
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The win was Larson's series best seventh of 2021. It was his third win of the year on a road course.
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He won in a car owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and current Cup driver Denny Hamlin.
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The victory, which comes three weeks after he got his first win -- at Darlington -- gives Hamlin an automatic berth in the Playoffs' Round of 8, which begins in three weeks at Texas Motor Speedway.
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The victory secures the Joe Gibbs Racing driver a berth in the second round of the Playoffs.
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Chris Buescher, who restarted in OT with the lead and needed a victory to earn a berth in the 16-driver, 10-race playoffs, finished second. Instead, Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing secured the final berth in the playoffs, finishing sixth.

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The margin between the first- and fifth-place care cars at the finish was .571 seconds.
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Ryan Blaney of Team Penske finished second. Third was Hendrick Motorsports' Kyle Larson, who was looking to win back-to-back races.
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It was the California native's first win at the historic, seven-turn, 2.45-mile Watkins Glen track.

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