AVONDALE, Ariz. — Ricky Stenhouse moved a big step closer toward defending his Nationwide series championship with a strong run at Phoenix International Raceway.
He also got some help from Elliott Sadler.
The title contenders started Saturday's Great Clips 200 tied for the championship. In the end Saturday, as Stenhouse battled Joey Logano and Brian Vickers for the lead headed to the white flag, Sadler was racing hard for 12th with Justin Allgaier and Cole Whitt when he triggered a three-car wreck.
"I just got loose. It's hard to put this into words," Sadler said. "It's been a long, great season and my guys deserve better effort from me than wrecking the car on the last lap."
Logano pulled away in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for his ninth series win this season, with Vickers finishing second and Stenhouse third.
Stenhouse has 1,212 points, 20 ahead of Sadler, who finished 22nd. The season finale is this Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NHRA: Allen Johnson clinched his first Pro Stock series championship by earning bonus points in qualifying and Eddie Krawiec wrapped up the Pro Stock Motorcycle title at the Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif. Johnson qualified second, eliminating Jason Line's chance of catching him in points. Krawiec clinched just by making today's 16-bike elimination field. Shawn Langdon led Top Fuel qualifying with a run of 3.73 seconds at 327.82 mph and Ron Capps (4.007 seconds, 319.29 mph) topped Funny Car.