KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sunday a Kansas Speedway, a thrilling, double-overtime race at Kansas Speedway saw Chase Elliott cross the finish line in second and race his way into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 8 in the process.
"Proud of the effort today," said Elliott, who will compete in the Round of 8 for the third consecutive season. "Just excited we get to fight another race. Back up against the wall, to come out here and battle for a win, that’s what you have to do when you’re in the position that we were in."
William Byron joined him inside the top five with a fifth-place finish, but it was not enough to move on to the next round of the playoffs. Jimmie Johnson finished 10th and Alex Bowman followed him to the checkered flag in 11th, but he was also eliminated from playoff contention.
It marked the third time in the last six races that three Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished inside the top 10.
Denny Hamlin captured the win.
Below is a closer look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates fared Sunday at Kansas.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Starting Sunday’s race in 14th, it took Elliott just 10 laps to make his way to the verge of the top five in sixth. Following a trip to pit road for a green-flag stop, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was running fifth before a caution on Lap 75. The No. 9 team elected to make another stop under caution and Elliott was the second car off of pit road, but several competitors stayed out on the track. Restarting sixth with two laps to go in the opening segment, he leaped into the runner-up position when the green flag waved, holding onto it to finish Stage 1 in second. He picked up nine extra points for the result.
- Staying on the track between segments, Elliott began Stage 2 in the race lead. He fell back to third on the restart but held onto a top-five position as the stage progressed. He settled into fifth as the laps wound down, holding that position through the green-checkered flag. The result earned him six extra points.
- Quick work by the No. 9 team allowed Elliott to pick up a position on pit road before the start of the final segment. He held onto a top-five position on Lap 171 but dropped to sixth on Lap 185, and with 70 laps to go he had been shuffled to eighth. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Elliott remained in eighth with 40 laps remaining.
- A caution flag with 15 laps remaining provided a chance to move further forward on a restart. Elliott headed to pit road for four fresh tires and he lined up seventh for the ensuing restart. Fighting for position, he raced up to third as he teetered on the edge of advancing in the playoff standings. With five laps to go he made his way to the runner-up spot before a caution flag one lap later sent the race to overtime. Taking the overtime restart in second and was one point out of the eighth spot when the green flag waved. He dropped to third on the restart but another caution forced a second overtime restart. When the green dropped, Elliott moved up to second and chased the leader all the way to the finish line, ultimately earning a second-place result. It proved enough to move the No. 9 team on to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 UNIFIRST CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Rolling off the grid 25th, Byron worked his way into the top 10 by Lap 37, then stayed on the track as competitors began to make green-flag stops, moving into the top five. After making a stop of his own, he returned to the track in eighth. He found himself 10th for a restart with two laps to go in the stage following a caution, and took the green-checkered flag to end Stage 1 in 11th.
- Byron began Stage 2 in seventh, and he once again began working his way through traffic to advance into the top five by Lap 134. He advanced into fourth as the laps wound down in the segment, and he held that position through the finish line to end Stage 2 in fourth, picking up seven extra points.
- Early in the final segment, Byron settled into sixth place before advancing to fifth on Lap 185. He continued to hold that top-five position with 70 laps remaining, and even after a cycle of green-flag pit stops, he held the fifth position once again with 40 laps to go. A caution flag waved with 15 laps to go and Byron remained in fifth, but he headed to pit road for four fresh tires and lined up eighth for the restart. That’s where he remained when another caution sent the race to overtime, and when yet another caution forced a second overtime restart, Byron lined up fifth. He ultimately took the checkered flag in fifth, but it was not enough to advance to the Round of 8 in the playoffs.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY FUELING FUTURES/JIMMIE JOHNSON FOUNDATION CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Johnson took Sunday’s green flag in 12th and continued to battle outside of the top 10 for the early laps of Stage 1. As competitors began to head to pit road, he stayed on the track to move into the top five before making a green-flag stop of his own, returning to the track in 14th. That’s where he would take a restart with two laps to go in the stage following a caution, and he finished Stage 1 in 15th.
- Starting Stage 2 in 11th, Johnson was one of the first drivers to make a green-flag pit stop just after Lap 100. That put him a lap down until competitors made their way to pit road when he returned to the lead lap outside of the top 20. A brush with the wall saw the No. 48 team working to repair damage on pit road, and Johnson ultimately finished Stage 2 in 24th.
- The final segment began with Johnson in 15th, and he spent the first half of the stage moving toward the top 10, which he found with 70 laps remaining in the race. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Johnson was once again running 10th with 40 laps remaining. He had advanced to eighth before a caution flag waved with 15 laps to go, and the No. 48 team elected to take two tires to gain five positions on pit road. He lined up third for the restart and maintained a top-five position when another caution sent the race to overtime. He was running sixth when another caution forced a second overtime restart, and he maintained a top-10 position through the checkered flag, finishing 10th.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE AGRIBUSINESS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman’s Round of 12 finale race began with a 16th-place starting spot, but it took him just 10 laps to make his way inside the top 10. He made contact with the wall, however, which caused him to drop outside of the top 20 as the first car a lap down on Lap 37. The No. 88 team worked to repair damage under caution later in the segment, but Bowman remained a lap down at the end of Stage 1, finishing 25th.
- The driver of the No. 88 Nationwide AgriBusiness Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 started Stage 2 in 29th, but when a caution flag waved, he got he free pass as the first car a lap down, returning to the lead lap. That allowed him to move back up through traffic, re-entering the top 20 on Lap 134. He continued to push forward as the laps wound down, finishing Stage 2 in 15th.
- Taking the green flag for the final segment in 14th, Bowman held that spot for much of the early goings of the stage, continuing to run 14th with 70 laps to go in the race. As competitors headed to pit road for green-flag stops, the No. 88 team elected to keep Bowman on the track, and he moved into the race lead. He paced the field for seven laps in hopes of a caution flag but ultimately headed to pit road from the lead with 42 laps remaining. He returned to the track in 18th and tracked down the free pass position as the first car a lap down. He was running 17th when a caution flag waved with 15 laps to go and lined up 16th for the ensuing restart. Another caution sent the event to overtime, and he moved up to 12th before a caution caused a second overtime restart. He gained one additional position before the checkered flag waved, finishing 11th, but it was not enough to advance to the Round of 8.