Now it’s time to be both lucky and good.

With the NASCAR Cup playoff field cut to eight drivers, advancing to be among the four drivers competing for the championship at Homestead will take strong performances and perhaps some good fortune.

Even Martin Truex Jr. refuses to think he can avoid calamity even though he has nearly a one-race lead on the current cutoff. He has a 27-point lead on second-place Kyle Busch as his seven race wins and 19 stage wins are both series-highs.

But Truex has never won a Cup race at the next three tracks — Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix. Like the other rounds, a win automatically advances a driver and the four winless drivers with the fewest points will be eliminated after Phoenix.

“They all say I’m a lock because I got so many playoff points,” Truex said “I’m telling you, it’s not that simple.

“We’ve got to go out and perform, can’t have an engine failure, can’t get in a crash five laps into Martinsville. We’ve got to focus on one race at a time and do the best job we can do, try to keep the momentum going.”

Here’s how they stack up going into the semifinal round:

1. Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota

Second-round wins: 2

Second-round points: 3,163 (first)

Playoff points: 69

Why he will advance: He doesn’t need to win any races. He most likely could even have a crash or two and still advance with his playoff points.

Why he won’t: If a couple of drivers can pull off upset wins and he has a bad round, he could find himself second or third in the standings and missing the cut.

2. Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota

Second-round wins: 0

Second-round points: 3,110 (seventh)

Playoff points: 42

Why he will advance: He has a strong history at all three tracks.

Why he won’t: Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing made too many mistakes in the second round. They won’t be able to overcome them in this one.

3. Brad Keselowski

Team Penske No. 2 Ford

Second-round wins: 1

Second-round points: 3,133 (fourth)

Playoff points: 26

Why he will advance: He can win Martinsville.

Why he won’t: He likely can’t win Texas or Phoenix.

4. Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford

Second-round wins: 0

Second-round points: 3,136 (third)

Playoff points: 17

Why he will advance: With Kyle Larson getting knocked out, Harvick is the guy who can most likely have strong enough runs and point his way through. Having Phoenix as an elimination is a great place for him as he has eight career wins at that track.

Why he won’t: His good-but-not-great year will catch up with him.

5. Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet

Second-round wins: 0

Second-round points: 3,106 (eighth)

Playoff points: 17

Why he will advance: Anyone who can spin twice in an elimination race and still advance has something in his DNA that allows him to find a way to get it done. Plus, in a win-and-in format, Johnson knows how to do that — he has a combined 20 Cup victories (nine at Martinsville, seven at Texas and four at Phoenix) at the tracks in this round.

Why he won’t: He said he needs to win in this round, and he’s on a 19-race winless streak.

6. Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota

Second-round wins: 0

Second-round points: 3,138 (second)

Playoff points: 14

Why he will advance: He’s good at Martinsville and has won in Cup at all three tracks. Oh, and that Toyota he’s driving should help.

Why he won’t: He did not have good runs at these tracks — 30th at Martinsville, 25th at Texas, 10th at Phoenix — earlier this year.

7. Ryan Blaney

Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford

Second-round wins: 0

Second-round points: 3,120 (sixth)

Playoff points: 9

Why he will advance: He wasn’t supposed to make it this far, so why stop now?

Why he won’t: He will need to improve on his performances at these tracks from earlier in the year, and the Fords have not improved as much as the Toyotas throughout the year.

8. Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet

Second-round wins: 0

Second-round points: 3,126 (fifth)

Playoff points: 6

Why he will advance: He has consistently been one of the strongest cars throughout the playoffs. He led 106 laps at Phoenix earlier this year, so he’ll have confidence going into the elimination race.

Why he won’t: Consistency won’t be enough without playoff points and what seems to be an elusive win.