AVONDALE, Ariz. — Ryan Blaney won the pole Friday in a last chance to qualify for NASCAR’s championship race.

Blaney turned a lap at 137.942 mph around Phoenix Raceway to take the top starting spot for Sunday’s next-to-last race of the playoffs. There is one slot available in the field of four that will race for the championship next week, and Blaney is one of the five drivers chasing that spot.

Blaney bettered Denny Hamlin in qualifying. Both playoff drivers need to win to grab the final spot in the finale, and Hamlin waited until the third and final round to cut a corner on the track in an attempt to better his time.

Hamlin’s lap at 137.936 briefly put his Toyota on top of the leaderboard, but Blaney bumped him moments later.

Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. have locked up spots in the finale. Busch and Truex are in Toyotas, while Harvick drives a Ford. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott are the only two Chevrolet drivers with a shot to make the finale.

Kyle Larson, who has been eliminated, qualified third. He was followed by playoff drivers Elliott, Truex and Harvick.

Busch was eighth and Johnson qualified 12th.

Brad Keselowski was the lowest-qualifying playoff driver at 16th.