Jimmie Johnson’s title chase ends with wreck in Phoenix

Chase Elliott, left, and Jimmie Johnson talk inside the garage area before practice for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Avondale, Ariz. Both drivers are looking to fill the final spot for the Championship 4. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson won’t race for an eighth championship this season.

The reigning and seven-time NASCAR champion was eliminated from title contention Sunday after an accident at Phoenix Raceway. Johnson had a tire problem with one lap remaining in the second stage that caused his Chevrolet to slam hard into the wall.

He immediately drove his battered car to the garage.

Johnson was one of five drivers vying for the remaining spot in next week’s championship finale. He won a record-tying seventh championship last season and is trying to break the mark he shares with Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

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More AP Auto Racing: http://racing.ap.org/

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