CONCORD, N.C. -- Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman secured top-10 finishes in Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Larson, who ran solidly in the top 10 for most of the race, finished seventh while teammate Bowman notched a ninth-place finish.
“A top-10 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the No. 48 Ally team; we’ll take it,” said Bowman after capturing his 12th top-10 finish of the season. “We typically aren’t good here, so a ninth-place finish is pretty good for us. It’s a good improvement versus the last couple of times we’ve been here. I only raced one race car today, which was fantastic. I’ve raced three race cars here before, so we’re doing what we can on the Ally Camaro. Not a bad day.”
The duo’s top-10 efforts mark Hendrick Motorsports’ 40th consecutive Cup Series points race with at least one of its Chevrolet race cars inside the top 10. The 13-time championship-winning organization heads into NASCAR’s two-week Olympics break having tied its third-longest streak of top-10s, matching the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
Chase Elliott led a total of 53 laps, which is more than his prior seven starts at the 1.058-mile racetrack combined, before crossing the finish line in 18th.
William Byron played a different strategy and stayed on track while most of his competitors pitted under green-flag conditions in the final stage, hoping for an early end to the race because of darkness. However, it was not until lap 283 of the scheduled 301-lap race when NASCAR made the decision to shorten the race by eight laps due to visibility concerns around the speedway. Byron finished 21st.
Aric Almirola won the race.
Take a look below to see how the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Rolling off the grid 10th, Larson held his position in the opening nine laps before weather forced NASCAR officials to display the red flag. Upon returning to competition just over an hour and 40 minutes later, the Elk Grove, California, native took the green flag eighth and held that spot before the day’s competition caution at lap 33. A four-tire pit stop placed Larson 22nd at the restart before he started knocking positions off, moving to 18th at lap 45, 15th at lap 54 and 10th at lap 69, which is where the Cliff Daniels-led team ended stage one.
- Larson and his crew took advantage of the stage break to service the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet and restarted stage two in eighth. He jumped to sixth on the ensuing lap but settled in seventh through the next 20 circuits. The season’s four-time race winner then pitted under caution at lap 131, gained a spot on pit road and restarted sixth. He leapfrogged to fourth on the next lap but ultimately settled into seventh 10 laps later. Larson held onto seventh for the remainder of stage two.
- In the race’s final stage, Larson took off from fifth and settled in sixth for the first half of the stage. Green-flag pit stops began just over 50 laps to go and Larson brought his No. 5 Chevrolet to pit road for service at lap 249. After pit stops cycled through, Larson was scored seventh – the same position he took the checkered flag in.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Taking the green flag from the third position, Elliott ran behind the two front runners in the race’s first eight laps before they both spun, giving the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion the lead. Soon after, NASCAR red flagged the race due to rain but green-flag racing resumed at the Loudon, New Hampshire-based venue nearly two hours later. Elliott led the field back to green at lap 24, slipped to second one lap later and returned to the point at lap 26. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native held the top spot for 37 circuits before surrendering the lead at lap 62. Elliott lost one more spot and finished stage one in third.
- During the stage break, Elliott brought his No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy to pit road and restarted the second stage in fifth. The 25-year-old driver flexed his muscle at the restart, jumped to second the next lap and held the runner-up spot for the next 49 laps. Crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott to pit road during a caution at lap 131 for fresh tires and fuel and Elliott restarted fourth. He fell back to ninth at lap 145 but reclaimed some lost positions by advancing to sixth by the time stage two concluded.
- Elliott restarted the final stage in 17th and moved into 15th with 95 laps remaining. He then moved to 19th at lap 244 before making a green-flag pit stop three laps later. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through, Elliott was running in the 20th position and was able to advance two positions before taking the checkered flag in 18th.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron began the scheduled 301-lap race from the 16th position and made quick work of his No. 24 Chevrolet by advancing two positions before the race’s first caution. After a lengthy red flag due to rain, the 23-year-old driver restarted 11th before taking advantage of the race’s second caution flag at lap 33 by pitting for four fresh tires and fuel. Byron set sail from his 22nd restart position and cracked the top 20 18 laps later. He moved into 18th at lap 42 and then into 15th where he ultimately finished in stage one.
- Armed with fresh tires and fuel, Byron began stage two from the 16th position but slipped to 18th two laps later before cracking the top 15 at lap 103. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native used the lap 129 caution to freshen up the No. 24 Chevrolet and set sailed from his 23rd starting position. He moved into the top 20 at lap 138, 16th at lap 145 and 15th one lap later. Byron jockeyed between the 14th and 15th positions over the ensuing 40 laps before ending stage two in 15th.
- Restarting the final stage in 18th, Byron raced his freshly serviced Liberty University Chevrolet between the 16th and 18th positions for most of the stage. As competitors were making green-flag pit stops, the Rudy Fugle-led team opted to stay out as long as they could and advanced to second at lap 255. Unfortunately, the competitor’s fresh tires prevailed and Byron moved to eighth at lap 269, forcing him to make his green-flag pit stop five laps later. Byron crossed the finish line 21st.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After taking the green flag, Bowman held onto his starting position of fifth in the opening laps before getting tapped in the left rear by a competitor. Bowman was able to hold onto his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet and continue before a caution, followed by a lengthy red flag, ensued. When racing resumed, Bowman restarted third but fell to seventh when a second caution flag was displayed. After pitting for fresh tires and fuel, the Tucson, Arizona, native returned to competition 21st and advanced his position throughout stage one. He was 17th at lap 43, cracked the top 15 at lap 45 and settled in 13th by the time the first stage ended.
- Bowman started stage two from the 12th position after visiting pit road during the stage break. He cracked the top 10 at lap 102 before a caution slowed the field 27 laps later. Crew chief Greg Ives called the 28-year-old driver to pit road for service that slated Bowman 14th for the restart. He jostled between the 12th and 13th positions throughout the remainder of the stage and finished stage two in 13th.
- Bowman began the final stage in ninth after quick service by the pit crew during the stage break. The Ally Chevrolet driver fell to 14th before making his green-flag pit stop at lap 251 for fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. Once pit stops cycled through, he returned to the ninth spot and held that position until the conclusion of the race.