BRISTOL, Tenn. – After an action-packed night at Bristol Motor Speedway that saw Kyle Larson lead a race-high 175 laps and notch his sixth win of the season, Hendrick Motorsports advanced all four of its drivers into the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Larson took home the victory at the .533-mile track with teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman close behind, finishing in third and fifth, respectively. Chase Elliott, who led 129 laps, had a late-race flat tire that forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions that relegated him to 25th.
The strong performance by all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers secured their spots in the next round of the playoffs. It marks the first time since 2014 the organization has sent all four drivers to the second round.
Take a look below to see how all four Hendrick Motorsports teams battled at Bristol.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Larson took to the Tennessee venue in fifth and made his way to third before the competition caution on lap 41. Under caution, the No. 5 made a pit stop and rejoined the field in third. The fresh tires and fuel helped him move into the lead by lap 84 but he fell back to second on lap 93. He went on to finish stage one there.
- Larson took his No. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and fuel at the stage break. His pit crew executed a flawless stop and gave Larson the lead for the start of stage two. The 28-year-old driver maintained the lead until lap 139 when Larson fell to third. Another caution came out on lap 168 and Larson was scored second. He pitted under caution and the No. 5 pit crew executed another quick stop and gave Larson the lead.
- Another caution came on lap 220 and crew chief Cliff Daniels elected to stay out and keep the lead. The strategy proved to be the right call as Larson went on to win the stage.
- Larson pitted at the stage break and rejoined the field ninth. He used the fresh tires and fuel to press through the field, moving into third on lap 317 and then the lead on lap 337. Another caution came on lap 400 after contact with the No. 11 car. Larson had minor damage to the rear fender of his no. 5 Valvoline Chevrolet but stayed out and kept the lead.
- The Elk Grove, California, native fell to third by lap 449 but clawed his way back to the lead on lap 495 before winning the 500-mile race.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 HOOTERS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott started his night at “The Last Great Colosseum” in fourth. He found speed in the outside lane, moving to second by lap three before taking the lead on lap seven. He kept the lead through the competition caution on lap 41 and a pit cycle under yellow. The 25-year-old driver fell to third on lap 85 before finishing stage one there.
- Elliott took his No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet to pit road at the stage break for four fresh tires and fuel. He took the green flag for stage two in 23rd after being relegated to the rear after a speeding penalty on pit road. By the next caution on lap 168, Elliott made his way to 18th. The driver pitted again under yellow and rejoined the field in 15th.
- Elliott re-entered the top 10, running 10th on lap 189 before moving into seventh by the caution on lap 220. Crew chief Alan Gustafson radioed Elliott to stay out, pushing him to fourth for the restart of stage two. He dropped one spot before finishing stage two in fifth.
- After pitting at the stage break, Elliott rejoined the field in 16th. He found speed in his new tires when he moved into the top 10 on lap 267. By the caution on lap 363, Elliott was scored sixth. Another caution came on lap 400 and Elliott had moved his way into third. He stayed out and chose the inside lane to move into second-place.
- Elliott took the lead from teammate Larson on lap 413. After leading the pack, Elliott had a tire go down and had to pit under green on lap 465. His unscheduled pit stop relegated him to 25th and three laps down. He made one lap back from the leaders before finishing in that position.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron rolled off the grid in 14th and moved into 11th by the competition caution on lap 41. The 23-year-old driver made a pit stop under yellow and moved into the top 10 in ninth after a fast stop by the No. 24 pit crew. By lap 111 Byron had fallen to 11th before regaining one position to finish the first stage in 10th.
- After pitting at the stage break, Byron advanced to ninth after a speedy stop. A caution came out on lap 168 and Byron was scored seventh. He pitted again for tires and fuel. His stop relegated him to 13th but the fresh equipment gave Byron enough speed to move into 10th by lap 196.
- Another caution came on lap 220 and Byron made his way to eighth. He elected to stay out and moved into seventh for the resumption of stage two. He made up a few more positions before finishing stage in fourth.
- The Charlotte, North Carolina, native pitted at the stage break, which relegated him to 14th. He put the fresh tires to good use and moved into the top 10, sitting seventh by lap 317. A caution on lap 365 saw Byron makes a pit stop for four tires and fuel. He rejoined the field in 10th.
- Another caution came on lap 400 after Byron had made his way up to fourth. He elected to stay out and reset in that position. He jockeyed with the field and made his way into third by lap 443 before finishing the race there and advancing to the Round of 12 after entering the race 18 points below the cutline.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Bowman fired his engine from 11th at Bristol and ran there for most of the first stage. At the competition caution, he was scored 12th and entered the top 10 on lap 53, running 10th, but fell back to 13th on lap 111 before finishing stage one in 14th.
- After pitting at the stage break, Bowman reset for stage two in 13th. A caution on lap 168 saw the 29-year-old driver bring the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet to pit road for new tires and fuel. He rejoined the field in 14th and was scored 16th at the next caution on lap 220. He moved up one position after making a pit stop under yellow before finishing the second stage in 15th.
- He made another pit stop at the stage break and took the green flag in 12th. By lap 264, Bowman had re-entered the top-10, sitting 10th. He continued to move through the field before another caution came on lap 363 when he was scored seventh.
- Bowman pitted under yellow and reset in seventh. His new tires gave the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet more speed and he moved into fourth by the caution on lap 400. He fell to sixth on lap 458 before finishing the race in fifth to tie his career-best Bristol result and propel his team into the next round of the playoffs