LONG POND, Pa. – William Byron led Hendrick Motorsports for the second week in a row after earning a fourth-place result in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.
Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson finished 15th with teammate Alex Bowman taking the checkered flag in 20th. Due to a blown tire during Stage 2, Chase Elliott’s day was cut short, and he was scored in 38th.
Denny Hamlin took home the win.
Below is a closer look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports teams fared Sunday at the “Tricky Triangle.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After Saturday’s practice session resulted in damage to Chase Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the driver switched to a backup car causing him to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field.
- At the start of the race, Elliott looked to make up ground. Halfway through the first stage the driver had already moved to 20th. By Lap 25, he headed to pit road for tires and trackbar adjustments. With five laps left in the stage, the driver was up to 14th where he stayed until the end of Stage 1.
- During the stage break, Elliott made a pit stop for four tires and fuel. He took the restart in 22nd, but quickly made his way to 15th. On Lap 60, the driver was knocking on the door of the top 10. By Lap 72 he advanced to seventh.
- At Lap 82, Elliott’s Chevy blew a right-front tire that brought out the caution flag and sent him to the garage. The incident ended the day for the No. 9 team and gave them a disappointing finish of 38th.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Due to inspection issues, William Byron started Sunday’s race from the rear of the field. However, he quickly made his way into the top 20 in the early portion of the 160-lap race. The driver made it inside the top 15 by Lap 25 before heading to pit road for tires and trackbar adjustments. When the final laps of Stage 1 came to a close, he was scored in 22nd.
- Opting to stay out during the stage break, Byron started Stage 2 in eighth. He maintained position for the first half of the second stage. Just before he was about to head to pit road, a caution waved and the No. 24 team elected to stay out and save fuel. After another yellow flag, the driver headed to pit road for tires and fuel. He restarted 24th before a caution for rain displayed at Lap 91 had the No. 24 car in 23rd. The driver finished the stage in 18th.
- Without pitting under the stage break, Byron started the final segment in 12th. With just 50 laps remaining in Sunday’s race, the No. 24 Liberty University team was running 10th. A caution on Lap 113 had Byron going to pit road along with the rest of the field. His Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 received two tires and fuel to put the driver sixth for the restart.
- The eighth caution of the race waved with eight laps left, forcing drivers to save fuel. Another yellow flag waved putting the race into overtime for a two-lap race to the finish line. Byron took the checkered flag in fourth, earning his second-career top-five result and the best finish of the day for Chevrolet.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Due to inspection issues, Jimmie Johnson started Sunday’s race from the rear of the field in 32nd. However, he already moved to 19th by Lap 12, to 12th by Lap 23 and continued to advance. The driver gained on the leaders, running eighth on Lap 34 and second by Lap 39, but it was short lived since he headed to pit road for four tires, fuel and trackbar adjustments to make it to the end of the stage. By the conclusion of Stage 1, Johnson was scored 17th.
- Without pitting during the break, the No. 48 driver was able to gain position to land in fifth. On Lap 64, the Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 headed to pit road under green after running 10th. Once Johnson returned, multiple cautions had the driver staying out to pick up positions as other teams pitted. On the restart at Lap 87, he was up to fourth. The driver succeeded in earning the second stage win of his career, which banked 10 valuable playoff points.
- At the start of the final segment, the Stage 2 winner received four tires and fuel on Lap 101. After a caution two laps later, Johnson stayed out while in 18th. Another caution on Lap 114 saw the driver in 16th and heading to pit road with the rest of the field. After taking two tires on the last pit stop, he was 13th on the restart. The Ally Chevy held on to 13th until another caution flag waved.
- The end of the race was a shootout with Johnson looking for a top-10 finish. Another caution had the race going into overtime with the driver in 13th. Ultimately, he finished the race in 15th.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After rolling off 12th, Alex Bowman was able to hold his position. Just 14 laps into the race he headed to pit road for two tires, fuel and trackbar adjustments under green. Quick work by the No. 88 crew had him returning to the track on the lead lap. As green flag stops cycled through, he was able to gain position and finish the stage in 15th.
- After receiving tires, fuel and chassis adjustments during the break, Bowman restarted in 23rd and picked up 10 positions to 13th by Lap 68. When the caution flag waved, he headed to pit road for tires, fuel and some tape to his Chevy. With just 10 laps remaining in Stage 2, the No. 88 driver was scored 15th. On Lap 87, a caution came for rain but Bowman stayed out. He finished the stage in ninth, earning one extra point.
- The No. 88 team did not pit at the break. In turn, they were able to restart seventh. Multiple cautions in the final segment had the No. 88 driver receiving four tires and fuel. On Lap 115 the team pitted again, this time just for fuel. Bowman restarted 24th and was able to advance to 13th by Lap 125. With 15 laps left in Sunday’s race, he was inside the top 10 until another caution came out, which sent the driver to pit road for tires and fuel with eight laps remaining.
- The field went green with five laps left in the race, but they didn’t make it long until another caution came out that forced overtime with Bowman in 17th. After a green-white-checkered finish, the No. 88 team took home a 20th-place result.