Earnhardt said on Friday it's starting to hit him that the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway next Sunday will be his last Cup Series race.
Blaney and Hamlin are among the five remaining championship contenders. Elliott qualified fourth at 137.641 miles per hour, one position behind Kyle Larson (137.926 mph), who fell.003 seconds short of matching the pole-winning speed. The oval features ten to eleven degrees of banking in turns one and two and eight to nine degrees of banking in turns three and four.
"Hopefully, I'm just as proud of my accomplishments in the booth as I am on the race track", he said.
"I felt lucky that we were running good enough to win the race", he said.
"I don't know, maybe that's my style. Certainly would be a stretch by any means by how we ran today to say we're the favorite, but we are glad to be there, and you never know how those races are going to shake out".
Keselowski's lackluster qualifying effort, won't change Hamlin's approach to the race.
Truex, who started the Phoenix race fifth in the blue No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry, powered by a TRD engine, basically ran in the top-five for the entire race. And I was thinking, 'Man, that is how it's supposed to work.' Your crew chief is supposed to have that vision and, man, he had it that day.
Harvick's last championship came in 2014.
Elliott trails Keselowski by 49 points entering the final event in the Round of 8.
Getting the fourth pick of pit stalls should help. Harvick earned his spot after beating Truex Jr in a late-race battle for the victory, with Truex Jr's sheer number of playoff points that he has earned throughout the year meaning that he can no longer be pushed below the cutline. "We'll take advantage of that and try to go get 'em on Sunday".
Jimmie Johnson also wrecked early in the race, ending his bid to make the championship. Elliott led a number of laps and took the stage two win at Phoenix back in March, if luck is on his side and he has the vehicle underneath him, Elliott could very well get to victory lane and fight for a championship against all the adversity he has faced thus far in 2017.
"I feel like I nearly need to apologize because I've got a pregnant wife, I'm retiring and I just feel like I'm going to break down any minute", he said. "I think we would have only been about fifth or sixth if I had got it right".