NASCAR title path clear with Harvick out of the way

Kevin Harvick was a sure bet to make the NASCAR finale and likely close out one of the most dominant seasons of the decade. Instead, he’s been eliminated and the hyped head-to-head matchup between Harvick and Denny Hamlin has been scrapped.

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November 6, 2020 - 2:31 PM

In this file photo, Denny Hamlin, driver of the (11) FedEx Office Toyota, and Ryan Blaney, driver of the (12) Menards/Maytag Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. NASCAR will return to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kevin Harvick was a sure bet to make the NASCAR finale and likely close out one of the most dominant seasons of the decade.

Instead, he’s been eliminated and the hyped head-to-head matchup between Harvick and Denny Hamlin has been scrapped. For better or worse, NASCAR’s title-deciding format knocked the strongest team this season from contention for Sunday’s winner-take-all final four at Phoenix Raceway.

“I’m not going to view if we win it any different whether he was in or out,” Hamlin said Thursday.

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