Hendrick, Gibbs among teams testing this week at Phoenix

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The Contender Round finale at Talladega Superspeedway is five days away, but a good number of Chase hopefuls are getting a head-start on next month’s Eliminator Round finale at Phoenix.

Hendrick Motorsports (Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and Joe Gibbs Racing (Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth) are among a group of 11 cars that are testing today and tomorrow at Phoenix International Raceway.

PIR’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500k on Nov. 9 will determine the final four Chasers that will compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway the following weekend.

However, Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega will determine how many of those Hendrick and JGR drivers will even have a chance to advance from PIR to the winner-take-all battle in South Florida.

Also testing in Phoenix as we speak are Michael Waltrip Racing and Leavine Family Racing.