HAMPTON, Ga. – Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott led their Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag with a pair of top-five finishes Sunday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kahne jumped 25 track positions from his starting spot to come up with his first top-five finish of the season, a fourth-place result.
"The adjustments were perfect today," Kahne said. "(No. 5 team crew chief) Keith (Rodden) and the engineers, they did a great job of making the car better -- a lot better."
"Just had a great car and our final pit stop took us from 11th to sixth,” he continued. “That was key for a top-five."
Elliott rebounded from a pit road penalty to drive the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS to a fifth-place finish.
"I thought our NAPA Chevy was awesome," Elliott said.
Jimmie Johnson fell subject to two pit road penalties, taking home a 19th-place finish. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a pit road penalty of his own and had a tire go down on the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS in Stage 1, which put him multiple laps behind the leaders. He ultimately finished 30th.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Rolling off the grid 29th, Kahne gained 11 positions, finishing Stage 1 in 18th. After carefully plotting and planning his pit stops, Kahne and the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS team rallied to gain two more spots, finishing Stage 2 in 16th. After falling a lap down to the leaders, he received two free passes during cautions in the final stage, further helping him to hold his track position. With 26 laps to go, he was knocking on the door of the top 10. A caution at Lap 309 saw the No. 5 team put together a speedy pit stop, allowing Kahne to jump from 11th to sixth on pit road. After the race leader received a penalty, Kahne restarted the race in fifth and finished in fourth.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott led his Hendrick Motorsports teammates in the first two stages, battling between second and third position. He finished Stage 1 in third, gaining eight points and Stage 2 in second, gaining nine points. Elliott carried his momentum into the third and final stage of the race until a pit road penalty around around lap 212 that forced him to take a pass-through. But Elliott and the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS didn’t let the penalty slow them down. By Lap 224 he was back in the top 15 in 12th. After a caution at lap 262, Elliott had worked all the way up to restart in third once again. He finished the race fifth.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: After starting the race in 18th, Johnson was able to gain eight spots in Stage 1, finishing 10th and receiving one point. He continued into Stage 2, working further into the top 10 before he was hit with a pit road penalty that forced him to take a pass-through. He finished the stage outside of the top 10 in 15th, and after gaining ground again in the final stage, he received another pit road penalty that once again put him a lap down. He took the checkered flag in 19th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Starting the race alongside teammate Elliott in 12th, Earnhardt received a pit road penalty during a green-flag stop in Stage 1, and after the ensuing pass-through, he found himself a lap down. When a tire went down on the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, he headed to pit road and fell another lap down before Stage 2 began. He finished Stage 2 in 27th, and after another unscheduled stop for a potential tire issue on the final stage, he ultimately fell five laps down. He crossed the finish line 30th.