CONCORD, N.C. -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway proved to be a difficult test for the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers on Sunday.
Three of the four Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LEs were involved in incidents on the track, which ultimately ended the race for Alex Bowman and Justin Allgaier.
“We had a pretty decent car, but through a series of events it just got worse,” Bowman said. “We suffered a tire issue right before we made a green flag stop, which ended our day. I hate it for my guys and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports because they have been putting in a ton of hours both at track and at the shop.”
Allgaier, who is filling in for Jimmie Johnson on the No. 48 team, was caught up in the accident on pit road that sent several cars to the garage. Despite the pit crew’s best efforts, the damage to Allgaier’s Camaro was too extensive and he only got 15 laps in.
“It’s just a shame. I hate it for these guys on this Ally No. 48,” he said. “They’ve done such a great job. They’ve prepared so well for the circumstances.”
The event was especially frustrating for Byron, who led for 15 laps, had won Stage 1 and was in the lead when a front tire issue forced him to pit road for repairs.
“Our Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was super-fast (Sunday),” Byron said. “We just need to bring that same speed to Kentucky and hopefully we won’t have any issues there. To be leading the race like that and have a tire issue is, I guess, a good way to go out. We’ll just see what we can do in Kentucky.”
However, Chase Elliott ran a solid race and was able to reclaim the lead in stage points, which allowed the No. 9 driver to jump to second in the standings. Elliott placed 11th at Indy, which was his second-best finish at the track.
Now the focus is toward Kentucky, which will be the last event before the All-Star Race on July 15.