CONCORD, N.C. -- Chase Elliott took home the checkered flag after a rain-soaked day at the Charlotte roval and earned his second victory in a row at the 17-turn road course.
It's Elliott's fourth consecutive road-course victory, making him and Jeff Gordon the only drivers in NASCAR Cup Series history to accomplish four road-course wins in a row. Astonishingly, Elliott has won 42% of the time he's competed in a Cup Series road-course race.
Elliott's win automatically places him in the Round of 8 of the playoffs. Alex Bowman will join Elliott among the final eight drivers after he secured an eighth-place finish. William Byron earned his 12th top-10 result of the season by finishing sixth and Jimmie Johnson placed 13th at the twisting course.
Take a look below to see how the final race in the Round of 12 shook out for the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott started on the front row in second but slipped to third within the first lap. He was back in second by the third lap and took the lead for the first time five laps later. The first lap Elliott led also was the 24-year-old’s 1,000th career playoff lap.
- Elliott still was up front when the competition caution dropped on lap 10.
He lost the lead in the first turn of the course when racing resumed and fell to third. Elliott was in seventh by lap 20. He opted to get slick tires a lap later and was in 29th when a yellow flag was waved on lap 22. Elliott moved up to 20th on the restart and ended the stage in that position.
- He kicked off Stage 2 in 14th. Elliott moved into 10th right behind teammate Alex Bowman by lap 33, putting all Hendrick Motorsports drivers in the top 10. He broke into the top five by lap 35 in fourth.
- Elliott still was in fourth when the third yellow dropped with four laps left in Stage 2. He moved up to third for the restart of a two-lap shootout and edged to second before the final circuit, earning stage points with the second-place result.
- Between stages, Elliott pitted for tires and fuel but had to return to pit road to fix a loose wheel. He was in 32nd with 55 laps left in the race and moved to 24th five laps later. By lap 63, Elliott was back in the top 20.
- A sixth caution came out on lap 64, allowing Elliott to pit. He restarted in 16th and quickly surged to 12th. When the seventh caution fell six laps later, Elliott was up to eighth. He pitted for fuel and returned to the track in 11th.
- Elliott was in eighth place with 35 laps to go and worked his way into the top five a lap later. He edged to third three laps later and battled teammate Alex Bowman for the lead on lap 81 but settled for second. Two laps later, Elliott took the lead.
- With 24 laps left, the eighth yellow flag fell due to debris on the track. Elliott pitted and restarted in sixth but jumped to second less than two laps later. Only one more lap passed when Elliott took the lead again.
- He was out front when the ninth caution fell. Once the race resumed, Elliott was in first again. He didn’t relinquish the lead and took home his fourth consecutive road-course win.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron led all non-playoff drivers with a 13th-place start and moved to 12th by the second lap. He jumped another spot to 11th three laps later and maintained that spot when the competition caution was waved.
- Byron restarted in 22nd after he headed to pit road. He pushed to 11th by lap 14 and jumped into the top 10 at ninth one lap later. Crew chief Chad Knaus called him to pit road with five to go in the stage for slick tires and Byron returned the track in 23rd.
- He was in 13th on lap 22 when the first accident-related caution fell. Byron jumped to sixth on the restart and ended Stage 1 in fourth.
- The driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE began Stage 2 in third and he took the lead on lap 30. Byron lost the top spot 10 laps later and was tailing the leader with 10 to go in the second stage.
- Byron still was in second when a caution dropped on lap 46. He pitted for tires and fuel, restarted in 10th and ended Stage 2 in seventh.
- The Charlotte, North Carolina, native didn’t pit between stages and restarted in second. He jumped to first within the first lap and was in that spot when the sixth yellow flag dropped on lap 63. Byron stayed out and kept the lead spot.
- Once again, Byron was in the lead when another yellow flag dropped. He gave it up for fresh tires and fuel but was tabbed for speeding on pit road. He restarted in 33rd.
- Byron worked his way up to 23rd with 34 laps left in the race. Over the next seven laps, Byron worked his way through the field and was in 16th when the eighth yellow fell. He pitted and restarted in 18th with 21 laps left in the race.
- Byron quietly edged to 10th before the ninth caution fell and he restarted in the same position. He was in sixth with two laps left and held on to earn his 12th top-10 finish this season.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Johnson started in 30th and was in 25th by the fourth lap. He was down a position to 26th when the competition caution dropped.
- Johnson restarted in 17th but shuffled back to 26th a couple laps later. On lap 17 he pitted to put on slick tires and returned to the track in 38th. He worked his way up the field and was in 17th when a caution fell on lap 22. Johnson was up to 13th on the restart and ended Stage 1 in 11th.
- The seven-time Cup Series champion began the second stage in eighth. He moved up to seventh five laps into Stage 2 and jumped to fifth by lap 34. He lost his grip a little on the track and slipped to eighth a lap later.
- Johnson was down to 15th with seven to go in the second stage. He opted to pit when a yellow caution fell with four left in the stage and restarted in 26th. Johnson ended the stage in 17th.
- He stayed out between stages and kicked of the final segment in 10th and quickly jumped to sixth. When the sixth caution dropped Johnson stayed out and restarted the race in fourth. He was in fifth when the seventh caution came out and he opted to pit.
- Johnson restarted in 15th and moved up to 13th one lap later. He was in 14th during the eighth caution with 24 laps to go and opted to pit. Johnson restarted in 29th and moved up five spots to 23rd by lap 92. However, his Chevrolet started smoking from tire rub and he needed to make an unscheduled pit stop. Johnson returned to the track in 33rd and was in 32nd when the ninth caution was called.
- Johnson was in 18th when the race resumed with 10 laps to go. He edged to 15th a couple of laps later and jumped to 13th with two laps left in the race. Johnson finished the race in that position.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman rolled off the grid in fifth and fell back to sixth within the first lap. By the eighth lap he was in 12th. Bowman was in 13th when the competition caution dropped on lap 10.
- He restarted in 10th and dropped back to 19th by the 17th lap. He pitted on lap 19 for slick tires and returned to the track in 31st. Bowman worked his way through the field and ended the stage in 17th.
- The 27-year-old driver restarted for Stage 2 in 12th. He was in ninth by lap 32 and jumped to seventh two laps later, putting all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers in the top seven. He passed teammate Jimmie Johnson and slid in behind Chase Elliott for fifth place by lap 35.
- Bowman restarted in fourth for the final two laps of the stage but lost a couple of positions heading into the first turn. He still earned crucial stage points with a sixth-place finish.
- Between stages, Bowman pitted for fresh tires and fuel. He kicked off the final stage in 24th and moved to 21st within the first lap. Ten laps later, Bowman was up to 19th. He pitted when a yellow flag fell on lap 63 and returned to the track in the same spot.
- Bowman was in 16th when the field was yellow for the seventh time. He restarted in fifth place and shifted to second by lap 35. He took over the lead with 28 laps to go and battled teammate Chase Elliott for the top spot, eventually prevailing. Two laps later, Elliott took the lead from Bowman.
- On lap 87 a yellow flag waved due to debris, allowing Bowman to pit. He returned to the track in 11th and was in ninth with 19 laps to go. With Elliott passing competitor Kyle Busch, Bowman was back in eighth in the playoff points standings.
- He edged up another spot to eighth two laps later and was in the same position when the ninth yellow fell. Bowman restarted in eighth and rode steady in that spot for the final laps of the race, earning a spot in the Round of 8.