Jerry Markland

NASCAR at Homestead-Miami: Brad Keselowski wins 2012 Sprint Cup championship; Gordon wins Ford 400

Brad Keselowski won the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, besting Clint Bowyer by 34 points. Jimmie Johnson fell out of the race and dropped to third. Jeff Gordon won the Ford 400 for his first win at Homestead and the 87th of his career.

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Keselowski wins championship, Gordon wins race

Brad Keselowski won the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, besting Clint Bowyer by 34 points. Jimmie Johnson fell out of the race and dropped to third. Jeff Gordon won the Ford Eco-Boost 400 for his first win at Homestead and the 87th of his career.

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Busch leads at lap 100

Through 100 laps of the Ford Eco-Boost 400, Kyle Busch still held the top spot as he had for much of the race to that point. Busch had led all but 15 circuits around the Homestead-Miami Speedway, but engine problems seemed to be creeping up with his No. 18 Toyota Camry. Busch reported to crew chief Dave Rogers that the engine had quit running, then started running again, several times in succession.

A similar issue plagued teammate Denny Hamlin at Martinsville Speedway last month, ultimately derailing a likely win for Hamlin and His No. 11 team when the master switch - installed improperly - shorted out.

Martin Truex Jr. held down the second-position at the century mark, while Matt Kenseth ran third in his last race for Jack Roush. Best friends Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon, fresh off their brouhaha last Sunday in Phoenix, rounded out the top-five. Gordon of course intentionally crashed Bowyer last Sunday as retaliation for several incidents earlier in the year. Their pit crews subsequently erupted in a fight, and Gordon wound up fined $100,000 and docked 25 championship points.

As far as the championship fight is concerned, Jimmie Johnson runs sixth, while Brad Keselowski sits eighth.

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Busch leads early, Keselowski sixth

After 30 laps, Kyle Busch holds the lead in the Ford-Eco Boost 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Closing out what he described following Saturday's Nationwide race as the worst season of his career, Busch has one more chance to break into the winner's circle for the second time this season. He won at Richmond in the spring in Sprint Cup, but went winless in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series after dominating those divisions for years.

Carl Edwards, closing out a likewise frustrating season after losing the 2011 championship on a tie-breaker, holds down second spot. Marcos Ambrose, who announced this weekend that he will return to Richard Petty's No. 9 Ford in 2013, led the opening 14 circuits before giving way to Busch and now runs third. Clint Bowyer sits fourth, obviously looking for a much quieter evening than last Sunday's debacle in Phoenix. Matt Kenseth, making his last start in Jack Roush's No. 17 Ford, rounds out the top-five.

Sprint Cup point leader Brad Keselowski holds down the sixth position early on as he seeks the first-career championship in top-level stock car racing for legendary car owner Roger Penske. Keselowski can finish as low as 15th and be guaranteed the title no matter what Jimmie Johnson does. Johnson currently is shown in the 10th position.

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The 2012 Sprint Cup season draws to a close

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season draws to a close with this weekend's Ford Eco-Boost 400. Brad Keselowski holds a relatively comfortable point lead, a far cry from Tony Stewart's dramatic race and championship victories of a year ago.

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