BRISTOL, Tenn. – Chase Elliott led the way for Hendrick Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway, securing a fifth-place finish under the lights in Saturday night’s 500-lap race.
Following Elliott to the checkered flag was teammate Alex Bowman in 15th with Jimmie Johnson and William Byron finishing 19th and 21st, respectively.
Denny Hamlin won the race.
Below is a closer look at how the four teammates faired at Bristol.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 HOOTERS SPIRITS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Rolling off in sixth, the No. 9 Hooters Spirits Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver moved inside the top five by Lap 58 and was tracking down the leader by Lap 88. With two laps left in the stage, Elliott took over the lead before sliding back to second, finishing Stage 1 in the runner-up position and earning nine points.
- A lightning-fast pit stop under the stage break by the No. 9 crew put the driver in the lead for the restart. He fell to third when a caution came out on Lap 190 and continued to race in the top five during the majority of the 125-lap stage. With 10 laps to go in Stage 2, Elliott brought the No. 9 Hooters Spirits Chevy to pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment and raced his way to a sixth-place Stage 2 finish.
- Elliott began the final segment in second but by Lap 306 he had dropped back to third. He maintained that position on track and through caution periods before advancing to second on Lap 404. Elliott tried to chase down the leader over the 50-plus ensuing laps, but his No. 9 Chevy got tight in the closing laps that resulted in a solid fifth-place finish for the No. 9 team.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron began Saturday night’s 500-lap event in 21st and worked his way up to 18th by the stage’s halfway point. He found himself inside the top-15 at Lap 87 after visiting pit road for routine service under caution. As the stage started to wind down, the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 moved into 13th at Lap 100 and fought through traffic in the closing stage laps to score a 12th-place Stage 1 result.
- After restarting in 12th, the No. 24 Chevy fell to 14th but quick work by the No. 24 Liberty University pit crew placed Byron 12th for the restart on Lap 196. He advanced one more position when crew chief Chad Knaus opted to keep Byron on the track during the ensuing caution. The sophomore driver fell to 13th after the field went back to green but another strategic call by Knaus to keep Byron on track again during a caution with six laps remaining in the stage left the No. 24 team with fifth-place Stage 2 finish. As a result, Byron earned six extra points.
- Byron started the final segment in 18th and raced in traffic as he battled to stay ahead of the leaders. On Lap 358, he was unable to hold the leaders off and went one lap down. While riding in 15th, the yellow flag waved on Lap 361 after Byron was involved in an incident that left caused damage to the nose of his car. He headed to pit road to fix the damage and restarted two laps down in 25th. By Lap 455, the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy was four laps down in 23rd but Byron was able to make up two spots and finish the 500-lap race in 21st.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After starting Saturday night’s race in 30th, Johnson was able to quickly make up ground and advance to 22nd by Lap 25. Trying to stay ahead of the leader while maneuvering through traffic, the No. 48 Chevy made contact with a competitor at Lap 81 and the duo brought out a caution. Because the leader passed Johnson prior to the yellow flag being displayed and Johnson being involved in the incident, he was unable to receive the free pass. He brought the No. 48 Chevy to pit road twice during the caution for service and repairs, falling two laps down to the leader as a result. At the conclusion of Stage 1, Johnson was scored 28th.
- During the stage break, crew chief Cliff Daniels opted to keep Johnson on track and receive the wave around, placing the No. 48 Chevy only one lap down for the restart. But just prior to the halfway point in the second stage, Johnson was placed another lap down before opting once again to use the wave around under a caution with 55 laps to go in Stage 2. He restarted 28th and advanced three positions by the time he made a trip to pit road for fresh tires and adjustments with 20 laps to go. Johnson was able to muster four more spots by the time the green-white-checkered flag waved and scored a 21st -place finish in Stage 2.
- During the final stage break, the No. 48 crew worked on the car’s body damage from earlier in the race and he restarted one lap down in 27th for the race’s final 250 laps. He advanced to 24th and then visited pit road for routine service under a Lap 362 caution period. Eleven laps later, the No. 48 Ally Chevy was involved in a multi-car incident, causing damage to the right side of Johnson’s racecar. The No. 48 crew worked to fix the damage under caution and sent Johnson back on track two laps down in 24th. In the race’s final 100 laps, Johnson was able to pick off positions one by one and ultimately cross the line in 19th.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman, who took the green flag in 10th, experienced a loose No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the opening laps of the race and fell to 15th on Lap 54. When the first yellow flag of the race waved, he headed to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, restarting 18th. By the end of the stage, he was able to pick up a couple spots and finished Stage 1 in 16th.
- Bowman began Stage 2 in 18th and worked his way inside the top 15 just before a caution flag waved on Lap 189. The No. 88 team opted for four tires and fuel under the caution period, which placed Bowman in 14th for the restart. He raced inside the top 15 for the next 23 laps before the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy made slight contact with the wall, forcing Bowman to head to pit road for four tires, fuel, trackbar adjustment and repairs. He restarted 18th and was able to notch two positions to cross the line 16th to finish Stage 2
- The driver lined up 11th to start the final segment but had fallen to 16th by Lap 283, reporting his car felt loose. On Lap 362, Bowman made contact with the wall due to a tire going down and immediately brought the No. 88 Chevy to pit road for repairs. He restarted one lap down in 20th and battled those in front of him as he worked to make up positions, advancing to 17th by Lap 372 and 16th by Lap 400. At Lap 475, Bowman grabbed the 15th spot and held it over the next 25 laps to bring home his 16th top-15 finish of the season.