CONCORD, N.C. -- This weekend, the eight-driver playoff field will be trimmed to four.
And both Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson still have the opportunity to advance to Homestead-Miami Speedway and continue their drive toward a title.
The teammates rank seventh and eighth, respectively, in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs standings. Elliott is 49 points behind the fourth-place driver and Johnson is 51 points behind fourth place.
With Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick having clinched their Championship 4 spots via a win and Martin Truex Jr. joining them by clinching via points, that fourth-place position is the only one available in the final group.
If one of those three already clinched drivers -- or a non-playoff driver -- wins Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, either Elliott or Johnson could still advance based on points alone. But it would require plenty of help ahead of them in the standings.
With that in mind, the surest route for either driver to advance to the Championship 4 is to find Victory Lane at Phoenix.
A win would mark Hendrick Motorsports' 250th in the NASCAR Cup Series and it would either be Elliott's first or Johnson's 84th -- tying him for fourth all-time with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.
And the milestone would propel either driver to Homestead with a shot at a championship.
Johnson's four wins are the second-most all-time at Phoenix, and his 15 top-five finishes at the track are the most all-time. In three career starts at Phoenix, Elliott has two top-10 finishes, and though he finished 12th at the track earlier this year, he led 106 laps along the way.
The crucial elimination race at Phoenix is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET this Sunday on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.