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NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson Plays the Favorite and the Hunter at Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson finds himself in unusual territory headed into Race 9 for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He’s looking up at Denny Hamlin. Fortunately for the No. 48 team, the next waypoint on the trail to Homestead is Phoenix International Raceway. Johnson heads to the Valley of the Sun trailing Hamlin by 33 points in the Sprint Cup standings, and he enjoys just a 26-point advantage over Kevin Harvick. Phoenix, for Johnson’s sake, is a place where the Lowe’s Chevrolet has shined. Johnson has claimed victory in each of the past three fall races at Phoenix, and four wins overall. He’s been spectacular there, and he’ll enjoy the lightning-fast pit stops from his new over the wall group, imported from Jeff Gordon&rsq...

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