RIDGEWAY, Va. – Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, Chase Elliott led his teammates to the checkered flag with a top-five finish.
Elliott and the No. 24 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet SS team scored a third-place result.
Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson finished 14th and 15th, respectively.
On Lap 417, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was caught up in a multiple-car incident that ended his day early. He headed to the garage and was ultimately scored 34th, but the driver was still happy with the race the No. 88 team was putting together prior to the incident.
“It feels like the same old Martinsville,” Earnhardt said. “I love it. I was having a great time. Good, hard racing out there.”
Brad Keselowski captured the win at Martinsville Speedway.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS SS
RECAP: Kahne took the green flag from 13th and found himself just outside of the top 10 during the initial segment. He finished Stage 1 in 20th. Kahne stayed out and did not pit during the caution between segments, allowing him to begin Stage 2 in seventh place. He was just outside of the top 10 for much of the segment but by the conclusion of the stage he locked in a 10th-place finish. Kahne made a pit stop for four tires and fuel prior to the start of the final stage and restarted in eighth. During a caution on Lap 334, the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments. However, Kahne received a speeding penalty, causing him to restart 18th on Lap 340. After being put a lap down by the race leader, the 11th caution of the race came out and Kahne received the free pass to put him back on the lead lap. A caution on Lap 418 left the No. 5 with minor nose damage. Kahne avoided the spinning competitor in front of him during the 14th caution of the race and restarted on Lap 436 in 12th. He battled all the way to the checkered flag and finished just in front of teammate Johnson in 14th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 SUNENERGY1 CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott rolled off the grid second and spent Stage 1 inside the top 10. He led his teammates to the green checkered flag with an eighth-place finish. Elliott did not pit during the caution between segments, putting him in second place for the start of Stage 2. He had a consistent run throughout Stage 2, maintaining his second-place position. Elliott made a last-lap pass to capture the lead, winning Stage 2 and picking up a playoff point. He restarted in first place, giving up his position in the first lap to settle into the second-place spot. Throughout a string of cautions Elliott remained in the top five. Elliott restarted third after the 14th caution of the race. He continued to run near the front of the pack throughout another series of cautions. With 10 laps to go Elliott was in third place, and he maintained his track position to score a third-place finish.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson started the race in 17th and worked his way into the top 10. During the second caution of the race, he did not pit with the majority of the field, allowing him to gain more track position. He finished Stage 1 in eighth place. Johnson made a pit stop during the caution prior to the start of Stage 2, so he restarted in 19th. Johnson spent Stage 2 of the race climbing through the field. He picked up track position to finish Stage 2 in fourth. The No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS gained one position during the ensuing pit stop for a third-place start to the final segment. A series of cautions did not stop Johnson from running in the top 10. Around Lap 365 he made his way into the top five. Johnson had many strong restarts during the final segment, including with 88 laps to go when he restarted in fourth right behind his teammate, Elliott. Johnson made a pit stop during the 13th caution of the race while many competitors elected to remain on the racetrack. With 48 laps to go Johnson found himself in 16th place working to make his way back into the top 10. He ultimately picked up one more position to finish 15th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Earnhardt started the race in 21st and spent Stage 1 climbing through the field and inside the top 10. Despite spinning out late in Stage 1 he stayed on the lead lap to finish the stage in 24th. Earnhardt did not pit during the caution between segments, allowing him to make up track position and start Stage 2 in 11th. Earnhardt found speed with his No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS in Stage 2. He quickly broke into the top 10 and took the green checkered in sixth. Earnhardt made a pit stop under the scheduled caution and started the final stage in fifth. Despite multiple cautions at the beginning of the final segment, Earnhardt maintained his spot inside the top 10. On the 11th caution of the race Earnhardt was too fast on pit road and received a speeding penalty. Due to contact ahead of him during a late-race restart, Earnhardt got into the back of his teammate Kahne and damaged his radiator as part of a multiple-car incident. The No. 88 went to the garage following the incident, ending Earnhardt's day early. He was scored 34th.