Chase Elliott (P) was the fastest in final Cup Series practice at ISM Raceway with a lap of 138.627 mph (25.969 seconds).
The Hendrick Motorsports driver must win the race Sunday afternoon if he’s going to advance into the Championship 4. Elliott is 78 points below a transfer spot, which he cannot erase in a single race.
“It takes some talent to fall (that many) points behind in two weeks, but we’ve achieved it,” said Elliott. “Certainly self-inflicted. I hate that I messed up last week as badly as I did; there’s really no excuse. But we’re in the position we’re in; we’re there, it’s reality, and we have to win to have a shot next week.”
Ryan Blaney (P) was second fastest at 137.206 mph with Kevin Harvick (P) third quickest at 136.913 mph. Blaney is also below the cutline going into Sunday while Harvick will compete for his second championship after earning a spot at Homestead through a win last weekend.
Completing the top five were Martin Truex Jr. (P) at 136.820 mph and Alex Bowman at 136.581 mph. Truex is also locked into the Championship.
The rest of the top 10 were Aric Almirola at 136.121 mph, Joey Logano (P) at 136.024 mph, Matt DiBenedetto at 135.941 mph, Denny Hamlin (P) at 135.921 mph, and Kyle Busch (P) at 135.619 mph.
Kyle Larson (P) was 11th quick at 135.343 mph.
Denny Hamlin was fastest in the best-10-consecutive-lap average over DiBenedetto, Blaney, Harvick, and Logano.
There were no incidents in final practice.
UP NEXT: Qualifying at 2 p.m. ET Saturday.