CONCORD, N.C. – Sunday night -- which turned into Monday morning -- at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team rolled the dice with a fuel-mileage gamble to try to grab the victory.
But the No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet SS ran out of fuel with a little more than one lap to go and Johnson in the race lead. Johnson ultimately took the checkered flag 17th.
"Just came up a little short," Johnson said. "We'll come back next week and try again at my favorite track."
In the process, Johnson entered the 1,000 laps led club at Charlotte Motor Speedway, moving past Richard Petty for the third-most laps led all-time at the track.
In the end, Dale Earnhardt Jr. led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the finish line in 10th, his second top-10 result of the season.
Both Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott saw their days end prematurely due to on-track incidents that caused enough damage to send them to the garage. Kahne was scored 35th and Elliott was scored 38th.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 LIFTMASTER CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting at the rear of the field due to a rear-gear change, Kahne quickly got to work Sunday night at Charlotte. By the end of Stage 1, he had driven his way to 18th. His progress continued in Stage 2, when he advanced three more positions to enter the top 15. Midway through Stage 3, however, Kahne made contact with the wall and the damage was enough to end his day prematurely. The driver explained that a combination of oil on the track and a car part breaking was enough to send him toward the wall. He took the car to the garage and was ultimately scored 35th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott began the 600-mile race on the second row in third, and though he lost the position while testing out the high line, he still maintained his top-five position and settled into fifth. On Lap 20, however, a competitor’s car left debris on the track and the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet hit it. That caused Elliott’s car to catch fire, leaking oil that another competitor ran over before making contact with Elliott. The multiple-car incident, which caused a caution flag, ended Elliott’s day prematurely.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid 14th, Johnson quickly picked up 10 positions to finish Stage 1 in fourth. That progress continued in Stage 2, which saw him take the green checkered flag in second. In Stage 3, Johnson continued to pilot his No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS inside of the top three until one final restart with three laps to go, when he fell back in the pack to finish just outside of the top 10. In the final segment, Johnson began to work his way back forward. He re-entered the top 10 with less than 70 laps to go in the race, and when competitors made green-flag pit stops with 33 laps to go, Johnson remained on the track and took over the race lead. With two wins already under their belt this season, Johnson and the No. 48 team elected to stay out on the track for the remainder of the race in an attempt to take a win on fuel strategy. The No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet SS ran out of fuel with a little more than a lap remaining, however, and Johnson took home a 17th-place result.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Earnhardt started his final 600-mile race in 19th, and throughout Stage 1 he worked to push forward, finding the top 15 by the time the green checkered flag waved. In Stage 2, he fell back to 18th at the finish, but in Stage 3 he moved back toward the front of the pack. The driver raced all the way into the top 10 in the penultimate segment and looked to continue that progress in the final, 100-lap showdown. He did just that, moving into the top 10 thanks to quick work by the No. 88 pit crew to return to the track in 10th with less than 70 laps remaining. After making a green-flag pit stop for fuel with 32 laps to go, Earnhardt fell outside of the top 10 as the race took on a variety of fuel-mileage strategies. But the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Patriotic Chevrolet SS recovered to take the checkered flag 10th.