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NASCAR Playoffs at Phoenix LIVE updates: Chase Elliott gets revenge on Denny Hamlin

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are underway at Phoenix Raceway for the final race in the Round of 8. When the checkered flag flies, just one more driver will join Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in the Championship 4 next weekend.

See who we have tabbed to win and advance as well as the latest odds for the big race.

Follow along with our live blog below for updates, highlights and analysis of the NASCAR Playoffs.

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

Stage 1: Hamlin and Elliott battle again

Kyle Larson won Stage 1 at a sold-out Phoenix Raceway. Denny Hamlin, who finished the stage second, was the top points getter of all the Round of 8 drivers. Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson also collected points. Hamlin led 42 of the first 75 laps. 

Playoff competitors Ryan Blaney and Hamlin started on the front row with the No. 21 creating separation early. Chase Elliott caught up on lap 12, taking the lead from his fellow Round of 8 first-timer Blaney.

On lap 27, Hamlin and Elliott began shuffling in and out of the lead while Blaney fell back in the pack. The No. 11 eventually won the early battle, passing Elliott who then dropped to third behind Larson. 

Larson went on to pass Hamlin with less than 10 laps to go in the stage. After a short battle, the No. 42 Chevrolet pulled away from Hamlin’s Toyota and drove on to take the green-and-white checkered. It was a clean first stage, with no caution flags flying except the one to signal the end of the stage.

Stage 1 results:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Chase Elliott
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Matt Kenseth
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Erik Jones
  8. Martin Truex Jr.
  9. Ryan Newman
  10. Jimmie Johnson

(Ryan Blaney 14th, Brad Keselowski 18th)

BOLD – indicates NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8 driver

Stage 2: Hamlin wins as Johnson is eliminated

Denny Hamlin led every single lap in Stage 2, holding off Matt Kenseth at the end to collect 10 more points. Truex, Busch, Harvick and Elliott also placed in the top 10. Keselowski moved up to 13th while Blaney finished 11th. Johnson was eliminated after bringing out the yellow on the final lap. 

The No. 11 regained the lead from Larson on pit road in between stages and held it on the restart. Larson had to take his car to the garage just over 20 laps into Stage 2 with engine problems. The No. 42 now has four-straight DNFs including the one that shockingly knocked Larson out of the Round of 12.

Jimmie Johnson went into the wall on the final lap of the stage and had to bring his car into the garage. That eliminated him from playoff contention and a shot at a record eighth championship in 2017. 

Stage 2 results:

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Erik Jones
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kevin Harvick
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. Ryan Newman
  9. Chase Elliott
  10. Clint Bowyer

(Ryan Blaney 11th, Brad Keselowski 13th, Jimmie Johnson into the garage)

BOLD – indicates NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8 driver

Matthew Mayer

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