LONG POND, Pa. – Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports continued its run of placing at least one car in the top five at the end of each of the past five races, the longest active streak in the NASCAR Cup Series.
This week, the teammates were led by Chase Elliott, who extended a top-five streak of his own. The driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s fourth-place result marked his fifth consecutive top-five finish, the longest streak of his career.
He was joined inside the top 10 by William Byron, who finished ninth to earn his fourth top-10 result of the year, matching his total from 2018. Three of those top-10s have come in the past four weeks.
Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson finished 15th and 19th, respectively.
Kyle Busch captured the win.
Take a look below to see how each of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared at Pocono.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott started Sunday’s race in 12th, and he battled inside the top 20 until a competition caution at Lap 20. The No. 9 team took four new tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to restart 23rd. Elliott then made his way through traffic to put the No. 9 machine in 18th. On another restart following a caution, Elliott jumped to 13th. With just three laps remaining in the stage, the No. 9 team elected to head to pit road before the end of the segment. With that strategy call, Elliott finished Stage 1 in 35th.
- The strategy allowed Elliott to take the green flag in seventh to start Stage 2. With multiple caution flags waving in the early laps of the second stage, Elliott found himself in fourth at the fifth restart of the race with just 40 laps to go in Stage 2. By Lap 81, Elliott was holding fourth. After another caution, the No. 9 team briefly took over the race lead before once again heading to pit road for a green-flag pit stop just before the end of the segment. Elliott ended Stage 2 in 18th.
- Elliott took the green flag to begin the final segment in fifth. Able to maintain position in the beginning of the stage, Elliott held on to sixth with 52 laps remaining in the race. He then headed in for a scheduled green-flag stop on Lap 125. As the race started to wind down, Elliott was scored ninth. Looking to make his way through the field, he was able to advance to sixth with 15 laps remaining. A caution flag waved with 14 laps left and Elliott stayed on the track to restart sixth. Ultimately, he was able to advance to fourth before crossing the finish line.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 HENDRICK AUTOGUARD CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Byron took Sunday’s green flag from the pole position, and he remained out front until a competition caution at Lap 20. Byron lost the lead as competitors took different approaches to their pit stops and the No. 24 team took four new tires, but the No. 24 Chevy returned to the track in sixth and quickly advanced to fourth. Following another caution, he jumped to second on the restart and continued to battle behind the leader for the duration of the segment to finish Stage 1 as the runner-up. He earned nine valuable stage points for the finish.
- Byron won the race off pit road after taking four tires during the stage break. When the first caution of Stage 2 waved on Lap 57, the driver restarted in 10th. He then came back to pit road for fuel only with 40 laps left to go in the stage. Before another caution waved, Byron moved to 14th and by Lap 82 he was in 11th. He quickly advanced to eighth with six laps left in Stage 2, and he moved all the way up to third before the end of the segment as several cars elected to head to pit road before. He finished Stage 2 in third, earning eight extra points.
- Pitting during the stage break for four tires and chassis adjustments, Byron rejoined the field in 12th. The No. 24 Chevy made slight contact with the wall, dropping in position, but crew chief Chad Knaus told Byron “right side looks good,” as the driver continued to try to regain position. The driver then made his way to 16th. As the green-flag stops begin to cycle through, Byron was in 12th, knocking on the door of the top 10. He moved all the way into the race lead as competitors headed to pit road before he made a stop of his own with fewer than 25 laps remaining. He rejoined the field just outside of the top 10, and when a caution flag flew with 14 laps to go, Byron headed back to pit road for a quick, two-tire stop, winning the race off of pit road. The top 11 cars remained on the track, however, so he restarted 12th with 10 laps to go. The driver was able to quickly make up time, moving his Hendrick Autoguard Chevy to ninth as the final laps came to a close. When the checkered flag waved, Byron finished ninth.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Johnson started the race at Pocono in eighth, and for the early portion of the event, hew as able to hold his position. During a competition caution on Lap 20, the driver headed to pit road for two tires and fuel, allowing him to return to the track still inside the top 10. As he battled the handling of his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Johnson fell to 13th before the green-checkered flag waved to end Stage 1.
- He started the second stage in 20th. A caution on Lap 56 saw the driver scored in 14th after opting not to pit. Another restart following a caution had Johnson accelerating from eighth to fifth. With 10 laps to go, Johnson held onto a top-10 position until on Lap 97, the No. 48 Chevy came to pit road for four tires and fuel just before the end of the segment. As the stage came to a close, Johnson was scored 20th.
- Johnson restarted the final segment in seventh. With reports of the Ally Chevy feeling “tight,” the No. 48 team headed to pit road on Lap 124. After receiving four tires and adjustments, Johnson lined up 24th on Lap 126. As he made moves to gain position, the Ally Chevy found 14th. The No. 48 team elected to pit during a caution with 14 laps remaining, and he restarted 17th. When the checkered flag waved, Johnson finished in 19th.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 started the race in 15th, but he fell back to 19th by Lap 8. Through several cautions – including a competition caution – in Stage 1, the No. 88 team made adjustments on pit road, which helped Bowman begin to climb back through the running order. By the end of the opening segment, Bowman had advanced to 11th.
- Following the stage break, Bowman restarted in 15th. He had advanced two positions before a caution on Lap 57, and he continued to climb before a green flag waved at Lap 60 with Bowman restarting ninth. A series of cautions at the beginning of the stage had the No. 88 in ninth by Lap 64. By Lap 83 Bowman was just inside the top 10. Quickly making moves to advance, he climbed to fourth with just six laps to go in the stage. On Lap 97, Bowman headed to pit road for four tires and fuel just prior to the end of the segment, finishing Stage 2 in 23rd.
- Bowman began the final segment in eighth after electing to stay out during the stage break. On Lap 124 Bowman headed to pit road for right-side tires, fuel and track-bar adjustments. By Lap 131 Bowman was in 10th. When the field started to cycle through green-flag stops, Bowman was scored seventh. Looking to put his No. 88 Axalta Chevy in contention, Bowman made his way to sixth with 20 laps remaining in the event. After heading to pit road during a caution with 14 laps remaining, the No. 88 team restarted in 15th. He held that position as the final laps of the race wound down, finishing 15th.