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Keselowski, Penske capture first Sprint Cup Series championship

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Homestead, FL (Sportsbooks) - Brad Keselowski claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a 15th-place finish, while Jeff Gordon won Sunday's season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Keselowski essentially clinched the title when Jimmie Johnson had his rear-end gear burn up on his Chevrolet, forcing him out of the race with 40 laps to go in the 267-lap race. Johnson wound up finishing 36th. The five-time Sprint Cup champion entered this event 20 points behind Keselowski.

Keselowski gave team owner Roger Penske his first title in NASCAR's premier series. He also delivered Dodge a huge going-away present, as the auto manufacturer bid farewell to NASCAR competition. Keselowski became the first Dodge driver to win a championship since Richard Petty last did it in 1975.

Gordon avoided suspension for this race after he intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer in last weekend's event at Phoenix. He claimed his second win of the season and the 87th of his Cup career. NASCAR penalized the four-time series champion last week with a $100,000 fine and a loss of 25 points for his altercation with Bowyer at Phoenix.

Clint Bowyer's second-place run at Homestead allowed him to finish second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings, 39 points behind Keselowski. Johnson ended the year third in the rankings (-40).

November 18, 2012, at 06:37 PM ET
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