LOUDON, N.H. – Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson used a front-row starting position to take home a top-10 finish.
Johnson drove the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS to a 10th-place result, the first of the Hendrick Motorsports teammates to take the checkered flag.
Just behind him was Chase Elliott, who was knocking on the door of the top 10 with an 11th-place finish.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the race lead on two separate occasions for 10 total laps thanks to pit road strategy by the No. 88 team. He ultimately finished 18th, however, as cars with fresher tires passed him when he took a restart as the leader with 35 laps to go after staying off of pit road during a caution.
Kasey Kahne finished 28th.
Denny Hamlin took home the win.
Below is a closer look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates fared at New Hampshire.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid fifth, Kahne finished Stage 1 in sixth. In Stage 2, however, he began to fall back in the pack and lost a lap, finishing the segment 30th. In the final, 151-lap segment, he continued running a lap behind the leaders, gaining positions when possible and finding 29th with 100 laps remaining. That is where he remained – this time as the first car two laps down – with 50 laps to go following a cycle of green flag pit stops. When a caution flag flew, he regained a lap and moved to 28th just one lap down with less than 30 laps remaining. That is where he would remain as the laps wound down, taking the checkered flag 28th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott began Sunday’s race in 11th, picking up a position to finish Stage 1 in 10th. He continued knocking on the door of the top 10 in Stage 2, finishing the segment 12th. When the final segment began, Elliott lined up 12th and began working his way forward. With 100 laps remaining, he was running ninth. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, quick work by the No. 24 team allowed Elliott to advance up to sixth with 50 laps to go. Following a trip to pit road during a caution, he was running 13th with 28 laps remaining, looking to push forward once again. He did just that, picking up two more positions to finish just outside of the top 10 in 11th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Taking the green flag on the front row in second, Johnson was assessed a start violation and forced to make a pass-through on pit road, sending him to the rear of the field. He was able to remain on the lead lap, however, and recovered to finish Stage 1 in 12th. He continued to gain ground in Stage 2, finishing the segment fifth. That is where he began the race’s final segment, and with 100 laps remaining, he maintained his top-10 position in eighth. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Johnson found himself up one position in seventh with 50 laps to go. After a trip to pit road during a caution, Johnson was running eighth once again with 28 laps remaining. He held on to his top-10 position for the remainder of the race, crossing the finish line 10th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting 18th, Earnhardt maintained that position at the end of Stage 1. He charged forward in Stage 2, knocking on the door of the top 10 to finish the segment 11th. He lined up the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS 13th to begin the race’s final segment, and once again he began to push forward through the pack. With 100 laps remaining, he was running 10th. As competitors began to make green-flag pit stops with approximately 60 laps to go, Earnhardt continued to stay on the racetrack, ultimately taking over the race lead before heading to pit road himself. When he returned to the track, he fell just behind the race lead to go a lap down in 19th before passing the leader to rejoin the lead lap. When a caution flag flew, Earnhardt stayed on the track as the car with the freshest of the “old” tires and lined up as the race leader again for a restart with 35 laps to go. He lost the lead after the green flag dropped, however, and he fell back to 15th. He continued to drop as cars with fresher tires made their way around the No. 88 Chevy, and with 20 laps remaining he was outside of the top 20. He recovered to take the checkered flag 18th.