EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the post-race disqualification of the fourth-place finisher, the finishing positions of all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers were among those that were improved by one position. Jimmie Johnson is now credited with a 10th-place result, followed by Chase Elliott in 13th, Alex Bowman in 23rd and William Byron in 24th.
RICHMOND, Va. – The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continued Saturday at Richmond Raceway with the second race in the Round of 16. Jimmie Johnson led the way for Hendrick Motorsports by crossing the finish line in 10th.
Following him to the checkered flag was Chase Elliott in 13th, followed by Alex Bowman in 23rd and William Byron in 24th.
Martin Truex Jr. captured the win for the second race in a row.
Below is a closer look at how the Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared Saturday evening at Richmond.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· Starting Saturday’s race on the second row in third, Elliott held his position in the beginning laps of the opening segment. By Lap 31 he had fallen to sixth, and though he battled in and out of the top five for much of the stage, he ultimately fell to eighth before taking the green-checkered flag. The result earned him three extra points.
· After a stop on pit road during the stage break, Elliott began the second stage in sixth after receiving four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. When the field returned to green, the No. 9 car was in fifth. By Lap 183 he had fallen to eighth, which is the position he held at the end of Stage 2 to gain three additional points.
· Following the stage break, Elliott lined up eighth to start the final segment after receiving tires and fuel. After a caution on Lap 243, he restarted sixth and began to fall back in traffic, settling into 12th on Lap 304. He continued to run inside the top 15 in 13th on lap 380, and he would ultimately finish the race 13th.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· Byron opened the second race of the playoffs in 20th and fell to 24th by Lap 33. He worked to make up ground, cracking the top 20 once again by Lap 48. With just six laps remaining in Stage 1, he settled into 20th, which is where he finished the stage.
· Following Stage 1, Byron was a lap behind the leader, and the No. 24 car started Stage 2 in 21st. Though he battled to find the free-pass position, other cars were lapped ahead of him, trapping him two laps down on Lap 168. He finished Stage 2 in 22nd.
· Following the end of Stage 2, Byron was the first car two laps down and received the wave around. He headed to pit road for tires, fuel and adjustments but received a speeding penalty, sending him to the rear of the field. At the first caution of the final segment, Byron was in 27th as he worked to get onto the lead lap after racing two laps down.
· Despite falling to three laps down, Byron made his way to 20th by Lap 309 before restarting 27th following a caution. Working to regain position throughout the final segment, he ultimately finished the race in 24th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· Rolling off the grid inside the top 10, Johnson spent the opening laps of the race settled into the 10th spot. As Stage 1 came to a close, that is where he would take the green-checkered flag, picking up one extra point for finishing 10th.
· Johnson started Stage 2 in eighth and after back-to-back cautions, the driver was knocking on the door of the top five. Not long after, he got caught in traffic and fell to ninth. By Lap 185 he was in 11th, but just before the end of Stage 2, the driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was able to pick up one position and finish the second stage in 10th to gain an extra point.
· Starting the final segment in 10th, Johnson was in 11th at the caution on Lap 243. As he tried to pit, he missed the No. 48 team pit stall, causing him to head back down pit road a second time for fuel, tires and adjustments. That put the No. 48 Ally Chevy in 18th for the ensuing green flag. Johnson quickly gained several positions until on Lap 315 a caution brought the driver to pit road for four tires and fuel and he returned to the track in 11th. Just as he took the green flag he made his way inside the top 10. Johnson continued to battle on the edge of the top 10 throughout the final laps of the race, leading to a 10th-place finish.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· Bowman took the green flag Saturday night in 25th before he began to make up position, cracking the top 20 within the first 20 laps of the race. When the opening stage came to a close, he had gained another position and was scored with a 19th-place finish.
· When the second stage began, Bowman was involved in an incident following contact from a competitor, sending him to pit road on Lap 111 for tires, fuel and damage repair. He restarted in 31st. By Lap 155 the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 had made up ground to move to 23rd. Bowman was scored two laps behind the leader as he worked to make up positions and ultimately he finished Stage 2 in 23rd.
· Bowman returned to the track in 29th to start the final segment. He remained two laps down and was driving in 25th on Lap 235. Following a caution on Lap 243, he took the restart in 24th as he tried to gain back laps on the leader. After taking a wave around during a Lap 315 caution, he restarted 27th and began climbing back through traffic. By Lap 336 he was in 24th, and he gained one more position to finish Saturday’s 400-lap event in 23rd.