HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season came to a close, and Chase Elliott led his Hendrick Motorsports to the checkered flag.
After starting the day in 14th, Elliott ultimately took home an seventh-place finish, his 21st top-10 result of the season.
Jimmie Johnson was the next teammate to the checkered flag. He finished the race inside the top 15 in 14th.
William Byron and Alex Bowman finished in 24th and 29th, respectively.
Joey Logano captured the win and the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Below is a closer look at how the Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared in the season finale.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Rolling off the grid in 14th, Elliott raced consistently throughout Stage 1 and remained inside the top 15 for the majority of the segment. Running 15th with fewer than 15 laps to go in Stage 1, Elliott gained three positions down the stretch to finish the 80-lap opening stage in 12th.
- After running 15th on Lap 87 and one spot back in 16th by Lap 99, Elliott steadily gained positions over the next 22 laps, moving back up to 12th by Lap 121. Eight laps, Elliott cracked the top 10 for the first time, climbing up two positions into 10th.
- After a caution with under 25 laps to go in the middle segment, Elliott settled into 11th by Lap 147, and he ultimately finished Stage 2 in that position.
- Elliott worked his way back into the top 10 early in the final segment, taking the Lap 168 green flag in ninth. He continued to race inside the top 10, moving into eighth by the 200th lap.
- In the closing laps, consistent racing allowed Elliott to remain inside the top 10 for the remainder of the event. He briefly cracked the top five out of a caution with under 25 laps to go, and he eventually finished the race inside the top 10 in seventh.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HERTZ CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Starting 28th, Byron got to work early in Sunday’s race and was up to 24th by Lap 12. By Lap 35, the driver of the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 jumped up another three positions to settle into 21st. He moved into 20th in the closing laps of Stage 1, finishing the opening segment inside the top 20 in that position.
- Byron took the Stage 2 green flag in 21st, and he continued to hold his position over the next several laps. By Lap 129, he was running in 22nd, but after a caution with under 25 remaining in Stage 2 he had moved down to 23rd. He was shuffled back two additional spots in the closing laps of the middle segment, but he battled to hold his top-25 position, finishing Stage 2 in 25th.
- After lining up 27th on the Lap 168 restart, Byron steadily climbed back up to 23rd by Lap 200. He was back in 28th on Lap 225, but he gained four additional positions as the laps wound down, finishing the day inside the top 25 in 24th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S THROWBACK CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- In the final race with Lowe’s as the primary sponsor of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Johnson started in 19th and steadily gained positions in the opening laps, moving up to 16th by Lap 12. Eleven laps later, he moved into the top 15, running 15th by Lap 23. He settled back into 16th laps later, and he continued to race inside the top 20 for the remainder of Stage, finishing Stage 1 in 17th.
- In the caution between stages, Johnson picked up three positions on pit road and took the Stage 2 green flag in 14th. Throughout the middle segment, the driver continued to make progress, and by Lap 129 he had inched closer to the top 10, running 12th.
- After a caution late in the middle segment, Johnson had cracked the top 10, running 10th by Lap 147. In the remaining Stage 2 laps, Johnson picked up an additional position to finish the segment in ninth. Johnson earned two extra points with the finish.
- Hard work by the No. 48 team helped Johnson gaine five spots in the caution before the start of the final segment. Running sixth by Lap 168, Johnson eventually lost his top-10 position 13 laps later, and by Lap 200 he had settled into 14th.
- Johnson continued to race near the top 15 as the laps wound down, and he briefly moved into the top five during a cycle of green-flag pit stops with under 30 laps to go. He eventually settled into ninth after a caution with under 20 laps remaining, and he ultimately finished the race in 14th – the final race with Lowe’s as the primary partner of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Leading his teammates to the checkered flag in 13th, Bowman lost positions early on and was shuffled down 18th within the first 25 laps of the race. He battled to keep his top-20 position for the rest of Stage 1, ultimately finishing the opening segment in 19th.
- Bowman continued to battle in Stage 2, but by Lap 99, he had been shuffled back five positions and was running in 24th. He was able to stay inside the top 25, moving as high as 21st by Lap 129, and he eventually finished the middle segment in 23rd.
- Bowman worked to gain as many positions as possible in the final segment, and by Lap 200 he had cracked the top 20 and was running 19th. After making contact with the wall and suffering damage to the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Bowman fell outside the top 20 and settled into 30th by Lap 225. The driver continued to battle and gained one position in the closing laps to take home a 29th-place result.