Jimmie Johnson raced to his fourth consecutive Texas fall victory, overcoming Brad Keselowski's dominating Chase-contending car with three laps to go Sunday.
Keselowski led a track-record 312 of 334 laps after starting off the pole. He worked hard to hold on to the lead after the final restart with 18 laps left in a race he felt he needed to win to get one of the four spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship finale in two weeks.
"I did everything I could to hold him off but he was way faster that last run," Keselowski said. "As I sit right now, and maybe I'll change my mind, I don't know what I would have done differently, or could have done differently."
With the already-eliminated Johnson winning, three spots are still up for grabs at Phoenix, the last race before the Nov. 22 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The only championship contender set is retiring four-time champion Jeff Gordon, the Martinsville winner last week and Johnson's teammate at Hendrick Motorsports.
Kyle Busch leads the points race for at least two of the spots, ahead of defending Chase champion Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. Carl Edwards is next, followed by Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano.
Keselowski almost as quickly got back in front, and Johnson went charging past Truex as well into second place and right on the leader's tail. Truex lost his power steering in those closing laps.
Knox wins HSBC Champions
Russell Knox became the first player to win a World Golf Championship in his debut when the 30-year-old Scot was flawless on the back nine and closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Kevin Kisner in the HSBC Champions.
Jordan spieth shot a 70 and tie for seventh, enough for the 22-year-old Texan to return to No. 1 in the world. Kisner birdied the 18th for a 70 to finish alone in second.
... Roberto Castro clung to a one-stroke lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship after playing the first six holes in the suspended third round in 2-over par. D.J. Trahan and Michael Thompson were a shot back.
... Billy Andrade won the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, beating Champions Tour points winner Bernhard Langer with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff. Langer won the Charles Schwab Cup points title for the second straight year, earning a $1 million annuity.
... Sun-Ju Ahn won the Toto Japan Classic for her first LPGA Tour victory, beating Ji-Hee Lee and American Angela Stanford with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
around the horn
Tennis: Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 6-2, 6-4 to win the Paris Masters.
Grand Prix: Jorge Lorenzo won his third MotoGP title with a victory at the season-ending Valencia GP as Valentino Rossi failed to make enough ground from the back of the grid.
Augustana wins soccer title
Minnesota scene: Second-seeded Augustana won its first NSIC women's soccer championship, defeating No. 4 seed Winona State 1-0 to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II tournament.
staff AND wire reports