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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Jimmie Johnson seized control of the championship battle following a disastrous performance by Matt Kenseth on Sunday in the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Johnson widened his lead in the Sprint Cup standings to 28 points over Kenseth heading into next Sunday’s season finale at Homestead by finishing third in a workmanlike performance for the five-time champion. Johnson will take his sixth title by finishing 23d or better next week.
‘‘We’re heading into Homestead in the position we want to be in,’’ Johnson said.
Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix for the second consecutive year, but all eyes were on Kenseth, who struggled mightily for the first time in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Kenseth finished 23d.