RICHMOND, Va. – After a hard-fought race at Richmond International Raceway, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne took the checkered flag back-to-back.
And they did so inside the top five.
Johnson took home third place and Kahne finished fourth Sunday afternoon.
"It was fun -- cars were slipping and sliding," Johnson said. "Thankfully we got our Lowe's ProServices Chevrolet tuned up at the end. We kind of lost our way in the middle part of the race but good pit stops and some great adjustments at the end got us into the top three."
It marked Kahne's first top-five finish of the season and the driver credited his team.
"The Mountain Dew Chevrolet was great the whole race, the pit stops were awesome and just the communication with (No. 5 team crew chief) Keith (Rodden) and the team all weekend long was solid," Kahne said. "We're headed in the right direction."
The other two Hendrick Motorsports teammates also finished back-to-back just outside of the top 10.
Chase Elliott finished 12th while Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag in 13th.
“We got tight at the end," Earnhardt said. "We couldn’t keep our track position."
Below is a detailed look at how all four teammates fared Sunday at Richmond.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 MOUNTAIN DEW PITCH BLACK CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid inside the top 10, Kahne stayed there during the early goings of Sunday’s race, settling into eighth place 25 laps into the event. Even after making slight contact with the wall, he kept pushing toward the top five, finding fifth on Lap 79. After the first caution of the day, Kahne restarted in fifth on Lap 165 – and again on the next restart following a caution just before the midway point of the race. The solid run for the No. 5 Mountain Dew Pitch Black Chevrolet SS continued as Kahne teetered on the edge of the top five for the next portion of the race, finding fifth once again for a restart on Lap 258, and that’s where he remained through lap 300, though he was passed by teammate Earnhardt to fall to sixth with 90 laps to go. He continued to race hard down the stretch, and after falling back to seventh, he worked his way back up to fourth with 33 laps remaining. He held that position for the remainder of the race, taking home a fourth-place result – his first top-five finish of the season.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 MOUNTAIN DEW BAJA BLAST CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting 23rd, Elliott moved into the top 20 after 20 laps on Sunday. He worked to try to stay there during a long green-flag run to begin the race, falling back to 24th after 100 laps. By the time the first caution of the race was called for debris on Lap 157, Elliott found himself a lap down to the leaders and restarted 22nd. He made a big move to the outside on the restart, however, and found himself in 20th as the second car a lap down when the next caution was called. Once again he made a big move on the ensuing restart to settle into 21st as the first car a lap down at the midway point of the race. When a competitor ahead of him was lapped, Elliott raced to pass him and move back into the free-pass position just in time for a caution on Lap 251 that saw him move back onto the lead lap. He continued his momentum from there, moving up to 13th within 30 laps and jumping inside the top 10 all the way to ninth with 64 laps remaining. After a caution flag waved with 42 laps remaining, Elliott restarted 13th, and he gained one position before the checkered flag.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PROSERVICES CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting third, it didn’t take a full lap for Johnson to jump to the runner-up position, and just 21 laps in he found the race lead. A little more than 40 laps later, he lost the lead but remained in the top three, finding the lead one more time as competitors began to pit before making his own green-flag stop on Lap 91. When Johnson returned to the track he was in sixth but battled back into the top five. When the first caution of the race was called on Lap 157, Johnson gained a position on pit road thanks to a speedy stop by the No. 48 crew. He gained a spot on pit road once again during the next caution on Lap 195, and at the midway point of the race he was in third. After a caution at Lap 251, Johnson fell from fourth to eighth for the ensuing restart and began pushing back toward the top five from there. He found it again with 64 laps remaining, passing teammate Earnhardt for fifth. After a caution flag with 42 laps remaining, Johnson restarted third thanks to another speedy pit stop. He held onto that position for the remainder of the race, finishing third.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW DEWCISION CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid 17th, Earnhardt moved into the top 15 just four laps into Sunday’s race. He kept battling toward the top 10 during a long green-flag run that lasted all the way to Lap 157, when a caution was called for debris on the track. He restarted in 10th – his first trip inside the top 10 – on Lap 165. From there, he kept moving forward, finding seventh by the midway point of the race. He gained a position on pit road during a caution on Lap 251, running sixth for the ensuing restart. With 90 laps remaining, he passed teammate Kahne for the fifth position, continuing to battle as all four Hendrick Motorsports teammates entered the top 10. He fell back to eighth before a caution flag waved with 42 laps remaining, and on the ensuing restart he fell outside of the top 10. He ultimately finished 13th.