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FONTANA, Calif. -- Sunday afternoon in Fontana, California, Jimmie Johnson led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag with a top-10 finish.

Starting at the rear of the field, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 steadily moved his way through the field and into the top 20 early in the race. Johnson continued to make progress throughout the day en route to a ninth-place finish.

“Each week, we’ve been getting a little bit better,” Johnson said. “We’re definitely not happy with where we are right now but to see the improvements, we’ve been seeing it internally and to make the cars drive better and better and get more competitive. A strong day for the Lowe’s for Pros Chevy, definitely not where we want to be but we’re getting closer every week.”

Teammates Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott all captured top-20 finishes, finishing 13th, 15th and 16th, respectively.

Martin Truex Jr.  took the checkered flag as the winner.

Below is a closer look at how all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared Sunday.

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 
FINISHED: 16th
HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • After starting at the rear of the field, Elliott quickly moved through the pack and broke into the top 20 by Lap 12.
  • The driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 continued to gain position and moved inside the top 10 during a caution on Lap 42.  Elliott finished Stage 1 in 14th.
  • Out of the caution between stages, Elliott gained four positions and moved back into the top 10 by Lap 67.
  • He shuffled down to 18th by Lap 75, but he was able to work his way back up to finish the Stage 2 in 14th.
  • In the final segment, Elliott moved into ninth by Lap 163 after several competitors made green-flag pit stops, but was eventually shuffled outside of the top 10. He continued inside the top 20 for the remainder of the race and took home a 16th-place finish.

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
FINISHED:
15th
HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Rolling off the grid at the rear of the field, Byron worked his way into 23rd by Lap 18. After a cycle of green-flag pit stops midway through Stage 1, Byron briefly jumped up to 11th and eventually finished the stage in 15th.
  • Out of the caution between stages, the driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 gained four positions and broke into the top 10 by Lap 82.
  • He continued running inside the top 10 for most of the segment, finishing Stage 2 in 10th and earning one point for the finish.
  • Byron gained a position in the caution between stages, and out of another caution on Lap 130, he jumped all the way up to second after taking only two tires on a pit stop.
  • On older tires, Byron began to fall back in the pack and went down to 15th by Lap 146. He ultimately earned a 15th-place finish.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: NO. 48 LOWE’S FOR PROS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
FINISHED:
9th
HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Starting the day in the back of the pack, Johnson quickly worked his way through the field. By Lap 25, he was inside the top 20, and after a green-flag pit stop, Johnson moved into 14th by Lap 35.
  • Johnson continued to gain ground in Stage 1, and after a caution towards the end of the stage, he broke into the top 10 on the restart. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 continued working his way near the top of the field and finished Stage 1 in fifth, earning six extra points for the result.
  • In the second segment, Johnson briefly fell outside the top 10 during a caution on Lap 113, but raced his way back up to finish Stage 2 in seventh. The result earned him an additional four points.
  • Johnson briefly fell outside the top 10 into 12th on Lap 133 in the final segment, but he quickly found his way back inside a few laps later. Johnson took the checkered flag in ninth.

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
FINISHED:
13th
HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Starting at the rear of the field, Bowman got to work and gained positions early in the race, moving into 20th by Lap 5.
  • He stayed inside the top 20 for most of Stage 1 and ultimately finished the segment in 18th.
  • Bowman started Stage 2 in 16th, and after being shuffled down to 24th after a series of green-flag pit stops, he moved his way back up to finish the segment in 15th.
  • Bowman lost three positions out the caution before the final segment, but still continued to race inside the top 20 for the rest of the day, gaining ground to finish 13th.