CONCORD, N.C. – It’s official – all four Hendrick Motorsports teammates will race in Saturday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race.
Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson were already locked in, William Byron raced his way in by winning Stage 1 of the Open on Saturday, and Alex Bowman earned the fan vote to advance to the main event.
“Super appreciative of all the fans,” Bowman said when informed of the honor over the radio. “Hopefully we can run a little better in the All-Star and get a little better than we did right there in the Open.”
It marks the 20th consecutive season that Hendrick Motorsports has sent at least three cars to the All-Star Race – the longest streak all-time – and the 18th time that all four of the organization's cars have made the field.
Rolling off the grid third to begin the Open, Byron was running fourth when a caution flag waved with four laps to go in Stage 1. The No. 24 Hendrick Autoguard team elected to head to pit road for four fresh tires and he restarted seventh for a two-lap sprint to the stage finish.
On the final turn of the final lap, Byron leaped into the race lead to edge the second-place competitor by a nose and win the segment, advancing to his very first All-Star Race in the process.
Bowman, who started the race sixth, was running third when the caution flag waved late in the opening segment. Like his teammate, he headed to pit road for four fresh tires and he ultimately finished Stage 1 in fifth.
He remained on the track between stages to begin the second segment in second, but jumped into the lead shortly after the green flag waved.
The driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 kept it in the lead until a caution flag waved with just two laps to go, setting up another two-lap sprint to the finish. Bowman stayed out to lead the field to the green flag, but when the inside lane lost momentum behind him, the No. 88 Chevy fell out of the lead.
Bowman finished Stage 2 in 10th and headed to pit road for fresh tires prior to the final, 10-lap segment. When the green flag waved, he battled from outside the top 10 to inside the top three with three laps remaining before ultimately taking the checkered flag for the Open in third.
Kyle Larson won the race, joining Byron and Stage 2 winner Bubba Wallace in the All-Star Race field. Bowman was added to that list when he was announced as the fan vote winner shortly after the checkered flag waved.
The All-Star Race is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.