CONCORD, N.C. –- The winding road to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 has been anything but conventional this season, but Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott now have their eyes forward as they prepare to try and bring home Hendrick Motorsports’ second championship in a row.

Elliott could become the first Cup Series driver since Jimmie Johnson to win back-to-back titles while Larson will attempt to earn his first Cup championship. The driver of the No. 5 has been a dominant force all season, winning nine races, the All-Star Race, securing the regular-season championship and leading the playoffs in points while posting 19 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s. Elliott has two wins under his belt this year, along with 14 top-five results and 20 top-10s.

This marks the first time Hendrick Motorsports has had two drivers in the Championship 4 in this playoff format. Larson earned his position two weeks ago after his win at Texas Motor Speedway while Elliott clinched his spot through points after he won stage two at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

“When you get there, it’s anybody’s game to go out there in that Final Four,” Elliott said. “I’m really proud of this group to make it for a second consecutive year and being amongst those four cars is a big deal. We’re excited to have a shot. I think we can run with the best of them, and we are looking forward to the opportunity.”

Both drivers locked themselves into the playoffs back in the spring – Larson took crossed the finish line first at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March and Elliott earned his spot after he won at Circuit of The Americas in May. After that, the two drivers remained firm in the points standings – Elliott secured another win at Road America and Larson earned four more victories before the playoffs began.

It was after Larson’s win at Watkins Glen International in August that he secured the top spot in the rankings, and  Elliott’s runner-up finish at Kansas Speedway two weeks ago allowed him to move up to second in the rankings.

For Larson, his first trip to the Championship 4 is the richest way to cap off a historic season for himself and Hendrick Motorsports.

“I was confident that I could get some wins and contend for others just based of Chase winning the championship last year and the rules not really changing for this year,” Larson said. “I knew I was going with the best team. I knew it would be competitive - I didn’t know that we would win this much or lead as many laps as we have. I think the more I’ve gotten to work with (crew chief) Cliff Daniels and the 5 team, it’s not too surprising.”

Aside from two drivers punching their tickets to the Championship 4, Hendrick Motorsports has made impressive headlines in 2021. The organization broke the all-times win record in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, posting its 269th win. Hendrick Motorsports also secured a 1-2-3-4 finish at Dover, gave Chevrolet its 800th win and all four team drivers made it to victory lane this season. A 14th championship would be the ultimate way to end a storybook season.

“We’ve accomplished a lot of great race wins that mean a lot to this company,” Larson said. “All those wins would mean more if we win the championship, also. Getting a 14th championship is just crazy. Yes, we’ve had a great season, but I think to really make it a great season, we need to win the championship and cap off, hopefully, one of the best seasons ever.”