CONCORD, N.C. -- Alex Bowman earned his first win of the season and second career victory after he crossed the checkered line first in Fontana, California on Sunday.
The win was no fluke as the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE led for 110 laps -- more than half the race -- en route to the win.
Chase Elliott finished in the top five in fourth, while Jimmie Johnson earned a seventh-place finish at his hometown track.
It was Johnson's 18th career top-10 finish at Auto Club Speedway.
William Byron placed 15th in his No. 24 Axalta Tribute Chevrolet.
Below is a closer look at how Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway unfolded for the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott rolled off the grid in 13th place and hovered outside the top 10 for the first 20 laps of the race. He slid up to ninth by the time the second third of Stage 1 began. He climbed to eighth by the 22nd lap, where he settled in until he pitted during lap 28.
- By lap 33, Elliott was in seventh place, but fell back to eighth a few laps later. He finished Stage 1 in ninth place.
- Elliott jumped up to sixth after getting a little maintenance on pit road after the start of Stage 2, but slid back to seventh on lap 67. He entered the top five for the first time 10 laps later, making three of the top five drivers in the race Hendrick Motorsports pilots.
- Elliott slid in and out of the top five in the latter half of Stage 2, but ended the stage in sixth, still earning stage points points.
- Ten laps into Stage 3, Elliott fell back further to 15th, but was able to move up nine spots to sixth 19 laps later. With 41 laps to go, Elliott radioed his crew and said his front right tire was too tight, which prompted him to pit and fall to 10th.
- He moved up to fifth after receiving fresh tires, and with 30 laps to go he rounded out a top five that included teammates Bowman and Johnson.
- Elliott moved to fourth –- his best position of the day -– after he leap-frogged over Johnson with 25 laps to go.
- He fell back to fifth with 20 laps left, but on lap 197 he edged into fourth place, where he finished the race.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron started in 21st in his No. 24 Axalta Tribute Chevrolet, but moved up to 19th place by the time the first 15 laps were done at Fontana. He jumped into second 30 laps in after multiple cars pitted. However, he headed to pit road just one lap later and fell back to 17th when he got back on the track.
- In the last third of Stage 1, Byron had moved into the top 15 and sat in 14th. He inched up to 11th and remained there at the end of Stage 1.
- Bryon fell back to 20th 67 laps into the race and hovered around that spot, but was able to jump up to fifth after multiple cars pitted halfway through Stage 2.
- He took over the top spot 32 laps in the second stage after a yellow flag came out, but only fell to sixth once the other cars came off pit road. He made a huge run 97 laps in, jumping to third and leaping over Bowman. He didn’t hold the position long, falling back to seventh after teammate Elliott came up on him.
- With 22 laps to go in Stage 2, he fell to seventh, then fell out of the top 10 to 11th with 15 laps to go. He ended the stage in 12th.
- Byron fell back to 20th 15 laps into Stage 3, but gained momentum as the stage went on. He was in 13th with 30 laps left in the race.
- In the final half of Stage 3, Byron held steady at 15th, which is where he crossed the finish line.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Johnson started on the outside pole and maintained that position through the first five laps of the race. However, teammate Alex Bowman slid ahead to second for half a lap. By the time the 10th lap started, Johnson had settled back in second.
- He tried to take the lead after the 10th lap, but Bowman was able to edge ahead. By the 24th lap, he fell back to third place, where he remained until he pitted on lap 29.
- With less than 20 laps left in Stage 1, Johnson moved up to third place. He remained in the top three at the end of the first stage, earning valuable stage points.
- A quick turnaround off pit road at the beginning of Stage 2 saw Johnson back in first place, but he dropped down to third as he maintained the rubber on his tires. He and Bowman were moving in and out of second place, then for the top spot just 10 laps in the second stage. He settled into the second spot as lap 13 began.
- Johnson pitted halfway through the second stage, only to come back out behind Bowman. He was in third by the time the first caution of the race came out with 28 laps left in the stage.
- The stage progressed as a battle for second with Bowman. With 16 laps to go, Bowman passed Johnson again for the second spot. He remained in the top three for the rest of the Stage 2.
- Johnson quickly jump out front at his hometown track at the start of Stage 3, but he fell back after Bowman side drafted him. By lap 131, he was in seventh. However, it only took five laps for Johnson to move back into third place.
- A pit stop with 41 laps to go saw Johnson fall out of the top three to ninth, but he started moving back up the order and settled in fourth with less than 35 laps to go.
- Ten laps later, Johnson slid to sixth after Elliott passed him. He maintained that position throughout the rest of the race.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CINCINNATI CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman slipped from third and waffled between fourth and fifth in the first few laps of the race, but jumped back into third by the time the fourth lap started. He edged up to second and battled for the spot less than 10 laps in. He settled back in to third as the 11th lap started.
- Bowman took the lead halfway through the 11th lap, edging out Johnson at his home track. He maintained the top position for 18 laps until he pitted.
- He moved back to second place halfway through Stage 1, but was quick to regain the lead during lap 36. He earned the Stage 1 win after leading the field for 45 laps. It marked his first career stage win.
- Coming off pit road after Stage 1, Bowman fell back to third after he was edged out by teammate Johnson, but inched up to second. Seventy laps in, Bowman and Johnson were jockeying for second place. He fell back to fourth as the 12th lap of Stage 2 got underway, but held steady in third.
- He jumped up to second 24 laps into the second stage, where he remained after he pitted for fresh tires. A huge leap by teammate Byron saw Bowman fall back to fifth, but Bowman threaded the needle and was able to slide right back into third.
- He passed Johnson again for second place 106 laps in and held that spot for the rest of the stage.
- Bowman slid up to second behind Johnson with 74 laps to go at the start of Stage 3, but jumped up for the lead 131 laps in.
- During the 39th lap of Stage 3, Bowman pitted after his front tires started to get tight. He was able to quickly get back on the track in fifth place and it didn’t take him long to get back out front with just 34 laps to go.
- Bowman stayed at the top spot for the rest of the race, earning his first win at Auto Club Speedway and second career victory.