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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Brad Keselowski rolled into Phoenix International Raceway a year ago locked into a tight championship battle with Jimmie Johnson, and left the track poised to claim his first Sprint Cup title.
Back at the track where his fortunes turned, Keselowski is a mere spectator to this year’s title fight.
‘‘I’m relaxed, but not in a good way,’’ he admitted. ‘‘I’d much rather be fighting for a championship, everyone can agree with that.’’
Instead, it’s Johnson, again, in the mix.
The five-time champion leads Matt Kenseth by 7 points — the same margin Johnson held over Keselowski at this stage last season — heading into the Sunday’s penultimate race, Advocare 500, at Phoenix.