CONCORD, N.C. -- Alex Bowman secured a top-five finish at Kansas Speedway on Sunday in the first race of the Round of 8.
The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE finished third after making a hard run after the leaders in the closing laps. It's Bowman's second-best finish at Kansas.
Chase Elliott, who also is in the hunt for a championship, finished closely behind Bowman in sixth. William Byron earned another top-10 result after he placed eighth and Jimmie Johnson crossed the finish line in 31st after he had an incident on the track.
Joey Logano won the race.
Since Logano now has a berth in the Championship 4, that places Elliott eight points under the playoff bubble and Bowman 27 points behind the fourth-place driver.
"We have to be perfect each and every week and we weren't quite perfect (Sunday)," Bowman said. "We can do it, for sure."
Take a look below to see how the first race in the Round of 8 shook out for the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After his win at the Charlotte roval the week before, Elliott started the race at Kansas in first. He kept the top position through the competition caution.
- Elliott returned to the track in second after teammate William Byron beat him off pit road. He slipped to third for a lap but was back in second by lap 33. Despite having radio issues, the 24-year-old driver retook the lead on lap 64 and finished Stage 1 out front.
- Elliott started Stage 2 in second after he pitted for tires, fuel and to fix the radio issue. He slipped to third by lap 90 and was in fourth 15 laps later. However, Elliott pushed back to third by lap 113. After a pit stop, Elliott was in 16th on lap 128. He was back in the top 10 in seventh 10 laps later.
- Elliott was in sixth when the first accident-related caution dropped on lap 144. He pitted and came back out in seventh and moved into fifth with 10 laps left in Stage 2. Elliott battled teammate Alex Bowman for third place and eventually moved into the top three. He fell to fifth with six laps left in Stage 2 and finished the segment in that position.
- The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE kicked off Stage 3 in seventh. Elliott was in ninth when a caution fell on lap 199.
- He restarted in the same position and moved right behind teammates William Byron and Bowman in seventh by lap 211. Four laps later he was in sixth.
- A caution on lap 60 allowed Elliott to pit. He restarted in eighth and was in fifth with 27 to go. Elliott dropped back a spot in the closing laps and finished sixth.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Byron rolled off the grid in 10th and jumped to seventh within the first seven laps. Ten laps later he fell back to 10th and remained there through the competition caution.
- Byron pitted, took two tires and returned to the track in first. He held the lead for a couple of laps but had slipped to 14th by lap 39. Byron continued to slip down the leaderboard and finished Stage 1 in 22nd.
- Stage 2 started with Byron in 19th. With fresh tires, he worked his way to 15th by lap 137. When the first accident of the race happened on lap 144, Byron was in 16th. He pitted, came back out in 17th and worked his way up to 11th by the end of the second stage.
- Byron returned to the track in 16th and jumped to 12th within a lap. He was riding in 13th when a caution fell with 68 laps left. Byron restarted in 11th and was in 10th a lap later. He jumped to sixth on lap 208 but soon fell back to eighth.
- Byron was in ninth when a caution dropped with 46 laps to go. He restarted in the same position and moved to seventh quickly. Byron fell to eighth maintained that position for the rest of the race, earning his 13th top-10 of the year.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Johnson started 14th and edged to 13th by the ninth lap. By the time the competition caution was called on lap 26, Johnson was back in 14th.
- He pitted and came back out in 16th. By lap 40 Johnson was riding in 19th. He slapped the wall 48 laps in but managed to stay in 17th. Johnson finished the first stage in 16th.
- He began Stage 2 in 27th after pitting and repairing some damage. Johnson jumped six spots to 21st 17 laps into the second stage. He pitted on lap 128 and returned to the track in 26th.
- Johnson moved up to 22nd when the first on-track incident occurred. He restarted in the same position and finished the second stage in 25th.
- The seven-time Cup Series champion pitted between stages to repair damage to his Chevrolet and returned to the track in 23rd.
- Johnson was in 17th when a caution dropped on lap 199. He restarted in 20th and edged to 18th when another caution fell with less than 50 laps left.
- Johnson restarted in that position on lap 223 but tagged the wall within the first lap and needed to head to pit road. He came back out in 31st and finished the race in that position.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 TRUCK HERO/CHEVYGOODS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman was sixth for the start of the race and edged to fifth seven laps in. Two laps later he was down to seventh and he was in eighth for the competition flag.
- After pitting, Bowman restarted in 11th. He edged to eighth by lap 35 and was up to sixth 14 laps later. Bowman dropped a spot to seventh several laps later but pushed back to sixth by the end of Stage 1.
- Bowman returned to the track in 10th after pitting. He pushed to ninth on lap 91 and moved to eighth 14 laps later. By lap 113 he was in seventh. Bowman pitted under green with the first half of the field and was in 17th by lap 130. He surged to 10th less than eight laps later and was in that position when a caution was brought out on lap 144.
- Bowman restarted in fourth with 11 to go in Stage 2. He moved to third with eight laps left but fell to fourth a couple of laps later, finishing the stage in that spot.
- The driver of the No. 88 started Stage 3 in fourth. He was down to eighth 15 laps in but moved into sixth by lap 182. Bowman inched to fifth 13 laps later and was in that spot when a yellow flag dropped.
- He restarted in sixth and was in fifth when a caution fell with 46 laps left. He came back out in third but dropped to fourth within the first lap. Bowman moved back into third with 16 laps left and started chasing down the leaders. He crossed the finish line in third despite the hard-fought effort.