NASCAR Playoffs at Phoenix preview: Qualifying results, TV schedule, live stream, standings, stage lengths

Two races remain in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as the circuit travels to Phoenix for the cutoff race in the Round of 8. When the checkered flag flies Sunday, one driver will join Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in the Championship 4 for a shot at the title.

Those drivers are Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. While it's mathematically possible for all drivers to clinch on merit, Keselowski looks to be the only one with a path to Homestead on points alone. The No. 2 would need to finish 37 points ahead of fifth place in addition to having neither Hamlin, Blaney, Elliott nor Johnson win in order to advance. Keselowski has never won at the track, but claims five top fives and eight top 10s. Of course, any of the drivers would advance with a win.

Now let's talk winners. Johnson and Hamlin have both made trips to Victory Lane at Phoenix before and have run well consistently. In 28 career starts Johnson owns four wins, 15 top fives and 20 top 10s. If he were to take the checkered flag on Sunday, he'd earn the opportunity not only to defend his 2016 championship but also surpass Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt (seven titles each) with a record eighth crown. As for Hamlin, he has one win (March 2012), 10 top fives and 14 top 10s in 24 career starts. 

"Overall we had a good day in Texas," Hamlin said after last week's race. "We scored a lot of points, and that helped us, we just need to keep digging to give ourselves a shot at a win this weekend. That's the way we're going to pull this thing off. We've been up front to contend for a win at the end of these past two races, and that's our plan again at Phoenix."

Moving on to the young bucks. Blaney and Elliott are each attempting to reach their first career Championship 4. Blaney will look to continue his hot streak from the pole after placing in the top 10 three straight races and punch his ticket to Victory Lane this time around. As for Elliott, he's coming off a Phoenix race earlier this season where he led 106 laps and won Stage 2. The sophomore driver has a 9.7 average finish in three career starts at the track and is hoping to earn his first career win on Sunday.

"I think it's been a lot of learning processes," said the 21-year-old Elliott, who finished 10th in the standings last season. "I don't necessarily know if it's one thing that I've learned from year one to year two. There's been a lot of, I think more just as you go along you face the different situations that you haven't seen yet. When you're put in those situations, and if they were to come back around at least you seen them before."

For our full interview with Elliott from earlier this week, please listen via the Soundcloud player below. Or click here to read along.

Please follow along with our live blog for up to the second updates, highlights and analysis of the final cutoff race. Also, feel free to check out our picks as well as the latest odds. 

If the live blog below is not loading properly for you, please click here to view it. 

Can-Am 500 starting lineup

  1. Ryan Blaney
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Martin Truex Jr.
  6. Kevin Harvick
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Kyle Busch
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Daniel Suarez
  11. Erik Jones
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Jamie McMurray
  14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  15. Kurt Busch
  16. Brad Keselowski
  17. Kasey Kahne
  18. Ryan Newman
  19. Paul Menard
  20. Clint Bowyer
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. Aric Almirola
  23. AJ Allmendinger
  24. Danica Patrick
  25. Trevor Bayne
  26. David Ragan
  27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  28. Michael McDowell
  29. Ty Dillon
  30. Matt DiBenedetto
  31. Chris Buescher
  32. Landon Cassill
  33. Corey LaJoie
  34. Cole Whitt
  35. Joey Gase
  36. David Starr
  37. DJ Kennington
  38. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  39. Kyle Weatherman
  40. Derrike Cope

BOLD - indicates NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8 driver

How to watch the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500

Location: Phoenix Raceway
Date: Sunday, Nov. 12
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Length: 312 laps/312 miles
Stage 1: Ends on lap 75
Stage 2: Ends on lap 150
Final stage: Scheduled for lap 312
TV: NBC
Live stream: NBC Sports App

*Qualifying will take place Friday, Nov. 10 at 6:45pm ET on NBCSN

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 standings

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR #

POINTS

BEHIND

WINS

1.

Martin Truex Jr. (advanced)

78

4168

LEADER

7

2.

Kyle Busch (advanced)

18

4118

-50

5

3.

Kevin Harvick (advanced)

4

4112

-56

2

4.

Brad Keselowski

2

4111

-57

3

5.

Denny Hamlin

11

4092

-76

2

6.

Ryan Blaney

21

4092

-79

1

7.

Chase Elliott

24

4062

-106

0

8.

Jimmie Johnson 

48

4060

-108

3

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