BRISTOL, Tenn. – Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, three Hendrick Motorsports drivers raced their way to top-10 finishes.
Chase Elliott led the way for the organization and led the entire field on more than one occasion before taking the checkered flag third.
The result pushed his current top-10 streak to five consecutive races.
Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson were the next teammates to the checkered flag, crossing the finish line back-to-back in eighth and ninth, respectively.
William Byron, who was shuffled back in traffic in Stage 1 and fell off the lead lap, finished 23rd.
Kurt Busch captured the victory.
Below is a closer look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared Saturday night at Bristol.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 KELLEY BLUE BOOK CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Starting Saturday night’s race on the outside pole, Elliott ran inside the top five for the vast majority of the first segment. Though he briefly fell to seventh on the restart following a Lap 60 competition caution, he recovered to finish the 125-lap Stage 1 in fourth. The result earned him seven extra points.
- Leaving pit road before Stage 2, Elliott slowed down in order to earn a fourth-place starting spot for the segment, allowing him to take the green flag on the outside row. He took advantage of the position, jumping from fourth to second – and into the race lead on Lap 138.
- Elliott led 54 laps before being passed, ultimately falling back to fourth before a caution flag waved. With 21 laps to go in Stage 2, he jumped back up to second and held that position before nearly taking a stage win at the green-checkered flag. He finished Stage 2 as the runner-up, picking up nine extra points.
- Starting the final segment fourth, Elliott once again jumped up to second on the restart, and on Lap 297 he retook the race lead. He held it until a caution flag with fewer than 150 laps remaining in the race.
- Elliott lost the lead on pit road, restarting second in the tougher inside lane when the race went green once again. He settled into third place and began to track down the leaders. Through multiple caution flags and ensuing restarts, Elliott was caught in the inside lane, which typically struggled to gain momentum on the outside lane. Finally, for the final restart of the race, he found himself in eighth in the outside lane and took advantage, jumping up to fourth with 12 laps to go. He picked up two more positions before the checkered flag to finish third.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron began Saturday night’s race inside the top five in fifth, but early in the race he was caught up top and lost positions as he worked to find his way back to the inside line. Running 20th at the Lap 60 competition caution, Byron was lapped by the leader just before the end of Stage 1, finishing the segment down one lap in 22nd.
- Throughout Stage 2, Byron attempted to race his way to the first car a lap down, but he was lapped by the leader during a long green-flag stretch once again and finished the second segment down two laps in 24th.
- In the final segment, Byron continued to battle while multiple laps behind the leader outside of the top 20. He ultimately took the checkered flag 23rd.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S FOR PROS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Rolling off the grid 13th, Johnson had jumped inside the top 10 to eighth by the competition caution on Lap 60. On the ensuing restart, he raced up to third, though he fell just outside of the top 10 by the end of Stage 1, taking the green-checkered flag in 11th.
- Penalized for speeding on pit road following Stage 1, Johnson began Stage 2 outside the top 20. He pressed forward for the duration of the segment, finding the top 10 just past Lap 200. He took the green-checkered flag at the end of Stage 2 in eighth, gaining three extra points.
- Johnson began the final segment in eighth, and on the restart he raced his way into fourth place. He remained inside the top 10 when a caution flag waved with fewer than 150 laps remaining. When the race went green, he was in 10th once again. He continued to push forward into the top five with fewer than 30 laps to go, but after several cautions and slight contact with a competitor during three-wide racing, Johnson headed to pit road for fresh tires, giving up a fifth-place position.
- He quickly jumped back inside the top 10, racing on fresh tires, and climbed to ninth before the checkered flag waved.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- It didn’t take long for Bowman to improve his 22nd-place starting position Saturday night, moving up to 12th before a Lap 60 competition caution. He held strong inside the top 15 for the rest of the segment, finishing Stage 1 in 12th.
- In Stage 2, Bowman took the green flag outside of the top 15 but raced into the top 10 just past Lap 200. He maintained that position for the remainder of the segment, finishing Stage 2 in 10th to gain one extra point.
- Starting the final segment inside the top 10 in ninth, Bowman headed to pit road for an unscheduled green-flag stop shortly after Lap 300 due to a loose right-front tire, giving up a top-10 position. He returned to the track down two laps and settled into 19th before a caution flag waved. He remained on the track during the caution to regain one of the laps. Following several more cautions, Bowman was able to move back onto the lead lap as the laps wound down.
- With 23 laps to go, the driver of the No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was running 16th, and through multiple restarts he continued to climb until he reached the top 10, crossing the finish line eighth.