Both drivers are looking to fill the final spot for the Championship 4.
While Mario Andretti doesn't have a job to give Kenseth, reaching out to him continues to illustrate how unexpected it is that Kenseth remains a free agent. "That's about all I have to say", Elliott told reporters. "Learning the hard way, I guess, in some ways, but it's hopefully making me a better person and making us better down the road".
After pole-sitter Ryan Blaney and Elliott led laps early, Hamlin took the lead on Lap 26 but lost that lead to Larson on Lap 68.
Kenseth had already been eliminated from the playoffs, so his victory was purely personal satisfaction.
The Kenseth win salvaged the day for Gibbs, which had a chance to get Denny Hamlin into the championship until his feud with Elliott cost him the chance.
LARSON'S WOES: Kyle Larson won the first stage of the race, and then his recent run of bad luck continued.
Kenseth won for the first time this season in what might have been the second-to-last Cup race of his NASCAR career.
The one hole in his resume: A victory.
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Instead, Elliott finished second - again.
"Yeah, that means a lot to me to have great support and great fans", Elliott said.
The final 50 laps of Sunday's race were, uh, a bit wild and set up by a insane moment.
After dominating the race to that point, Hamlin retired from the race in the final 50 laps after contact with Elliott gave him a tire rub that led to a blown tires, sending his auto hard into the wall. At Phoenix, he pinched Hamlin up into the wall and grabbed the lead, but couldn't hold off Kenseth, who celebrated an emotional win in what could be his penultimate Cup Series race.
Elliott battered Hamlin's bumper with 43 laps to go, likely causing a tire rub to Hamlin's left-front. Keselowski will race Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick for the championship next Sunday at Homestead.
"Happy to have them, and hopefully we can - I just want to make them proud someday and tried to do it today".
Hamlin didn't appreciate the retaliation, particularly the timing of it.
After Stage 1: Denny Hamlin entered Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway 19 points behind Brad Keselowski for the final transfer spot into the championship race. "I got into him and he chose to retaliate".