LONG POND, Pa. – Chase Elliott led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag in eighth Sunday at Pocono Raceway, earning his eighth top-10 of the season.
After 160 laps at Pocono, he was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver to make it to the finish line.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s day ended early in Stage 2 after a transmission failure. He was ultimately scored 38th.
“The car was pretty good,” Earnhardt said. “It was just my fault."
Teammate Jimmie Johnson was also forced to end his day early after brake issues caused his No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet SS to make contact with the wall late in Stage 2.
Kasey Kahne made it the third and final stage at Pocono, but also experienced brake issues that resulted in contact with the wall. Kahne and Johnson were scored 35th and 36th, respectively.
Ryan Blaney won the race.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid 26th, Kahne gained 14 positions to finish Stage 1 in 12th. He rallied in Stage 2, zooming through the field to stay within the top 20 after restarting 14. After a red flag in Stage 2, Kahne took advantage of the restart with one to go in the stage, finishing ninth and earning two bonus points. He started the final 60 laps in 16th and took four tires and fuel during a green-flag pit stop with 34 laps to go. As he hit the track in 30th, Kahne raced back inside the top 20. He was running 19th on Lap 141 when brake issues sent the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS toward the wall and ended his day. He was scored 35th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 SUNENERGY1 CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott became one of the biggest movers of Stage 1 after starting 25th, finishing sixth and earning five bonus points. For the second stage in a row, he earned a top-five finish, taking the green-checkered for Stage 2 in fifth and racking up six more bonus points. Elliott and the No. 24 SunEnergy1 team continued to have successful results in the final stage, choosing to make a green-flag pit stop with 36 laps to go. The team took four tires and fuel. With 23 laps to go, he made it back in the top 10 in eighth. During a caution with 19 laps to go, Elliott pitted for four fresh tires and fuel. The stop cost him one position coming off of pit road, causing him to restart ninth with 13 laps to go. Elliott earned that spot back and took the checkered flag in eighth.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson started the race in 19th but moved his way up through the pack, finishing Stage 1 in fifth and earning six bonus points. Johnson used the momentum from the first stage, restarting in 18th before quickly working his way back up to the top 10 in Stage 2. With five laps to go in the stage, Johnson was running seventh when brake issues caused him to make contact with the wall. The incident caused the race’s first non-stage-ending caution and ultimately red flagged the race at Lap 48. After the incident ended his day prematurely, Johnson was scored 36th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Despite qualifying 28th, Earnhardt started the race from the rear of the field due to swapping engines during practice. He finished Stage 1 in 17th. In Stage, 2 the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS experienced a transmission failure after Earnhardt missed a shift, ending his day prematurely. He was scored 38th.