DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson led his teammates to the checkered flag.
Johnson restarted 22nd in overtime and made a charge in the final two laps to claim a 12th-place finish.
Kasey Kahne was the next Hendrick Motorsports driver to cross the finish line in 18th.
Chase Elliott leaves Daytona with a 22nd-place effort after spinning out during the second-to-last lap of the race.
Earlier in the final race, a multi-car incident caused Dale Earnhardt Jr. to make contact with the wall that ended his day early. He was scored 32nd.
"I wish we had had a good finish tonight if not a win,” Earnhardt said. “We were working up there and having a good time and being aggressive and wearing out the sides of that race car. It just wasn't meant to be.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captured the win.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 UNIFIRST CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Kahne took the green flag from the outside of the second row and finished the first stage in 14th. The No. 5 UniFirst Chevrolet SS team elected to take two right-side tires during the ensuing caution and started Stage 2 in fourth place. Kahne scored a top-10 Stage 2 finish, taking the green-checkered flag in seventh. He restarted in 20th in the final stage after taking four tires and fuel under caution. Kahne made slight contact with a competitor on his left side that forced him to make a pit stop for two left-side tires, fuel and adjustments during the next caution on Lap 98. He restarted Lap 102 in 23rd but shortly after the restart Kahne was involved in a multi-car incident that left him making three separate trips to pit road for repairs and routine service. After the restart, Kahne quickly moved through the field and was up to 12th on Lap 113. After a spin a handful of laps later, Kahne took the green flag 27th with 35 laps to go. He went to work, moving from the back of the pack toward the front of the field and cracked the top 10 by Lap 128. Six laps later, Kahne was fourth and then took control of the field on Lap 137 for the next 12 circuits. A multi-car incident brought a caution out with seven laps to go and, after another caution and a trip to pit road, Kahne took the checkered flag in 18th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott rolled off the grid along side teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the outside pole. After leading laps early on in Stage 1, Elliott found himself 16th at the end of the 40-lap segment. Elliott returned to the top 10 and was up to eighth with 26 laps to go in Stage 2 before taking the green-checkered flag in 17th. During the caution following the conclusion of the second stage, the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Patriotic Chevrolet SS team took right side tires and fuel. Elliott raced his way into the top five on Lap 96, running in fifth behind his teammate Jimmie Johnson. Unfortunately, on Lap 98, a competitor made contact with Elliott that brought out the eighth caution of the race. The No. 24 machine made a trip to pit road for repairs and left-side tires. Elliott then came down pit road again for right-side tires and additional repairs. He restarted in 30th on the lead lap with 58 laps to go. Shortly after the green flag waved, a caution flag came out and the No. 24 made a trip back to pit road for additional repairs. Despite the setback, Elliott worked his way through the field and restarted 13th with 36 laps to go. Another caution flag waved on Lap 129 and Elliott restarted in 25th with 28 laps left in the race. Elliott moved up to the 11th position by Lap 136. After making his way up to seventh place, the inside lane fizzled and Elliott fell back to 26th. Once again, Elliott worked his way from the back to the front and with seven laps to go he was scored 11th. The No. 24 driver restarted the race in 11th with three laps to go but he spun just after taking the overtime green flag and left Daytona with a 22nd-place finish.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S PATRIOTIC CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson started Saturday’s race in 12th place, finishing Stage 1 in 17th. He then spent Stage 2 working his way through the field and took the green-checkered in third. The No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet SS made a pit stop for four tires and fuel during the ensuing that placed him 19th for the start of the race's final stage. Johnson made his way back into the top 10, running in 10th place with 70 laps to go in the race. He continued to gain track position and took over the lead with less than 60 laps remaining. During the caution on Lap 105, the No. 48 Chevy visited pit road and he was slated ninth for the restart. Johnson made a strong move to the outside lane and muscled his way up to fifth by Lap 112. He continued to run at the front of the pack and maintained his fifth-place position over the next 20 circuits before advancing to third just five laps later. With 20 laps to go, Johnson linked up with teammate Chase Elliott in an attempt to make a charge for the top spot. Unfortunately, the inside line was not strong enough and Johnson fell to 17th with 13 to go. He then moved up to 12th with 10 laps to go before dodging a multi-car incident that brought out the yellow flag with seven laps to go. Johnson took the green flag in seventh but another caution followed by a trip to pit road left him with a 22nd-restart position when the race went into overtime. In the race's final two laps, Johnson flexed his muscle and notched 10 positions to finish 12th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Earnhardt led the field to the green flag from the pole position in his final Cup Series start at Daytona and finished Stage 1 in second. Stage 2 brought trouble for Earnhardt when his right-front tire went down, causing him to make contact with the wall with 29 laps to go in the stage. After going two laps down to the leader, a caution period allowed him to receive one of his two laps back and he ultimately took the green-checkered flag in 31st. Fortunately, a caution period after the start of the final 80-lap segment put Earnhardt back on the lead lap. The No. 88 Chevy continued to push forward and was 19th when the eighth caution flag of the race waved on Lap 98. Earnhardt restarted in 16th on Lap 102 and quickly went to work, racing as high as seventh on Lap 105. On the following lap, a multi-car incident caused Earnhardt to make contact with the wall that ultimately ended his night early. He was scored 32nd.