BROOKLYN, Mich. – Sunday afternoon, Chase Elliott continued his run of success at Michigan International Speedway.
Elliott led his teammates in Stage 1, Stage 2 and at the checkered flag, taking home an eighth-place finish in the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS. He has finished inside the top 10 in all four of his trips to Michigan in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“We fought hard, definitely have some work to do, though, these next couple of weeks,” Elliott said. “We’ll keep fighting and go on to the next one.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined him inside of the top 15 with a 14th-place finish, and Jimmie Johnson took home a top-20 result in 19th.
Kasey Kahne’s day ended with an incident in the final segment and he was scored 38th.
Kyle Larson won the race, his third consecutive victory at Michigan.
At the beginning of the day, two Hendrick Motorsports teammates were at the rear of the field as both Johnson and Kahne were forced to move to backup cars after incidents in practice earlier in the weekend.
By the start of Stage 2 on Sunday, Kahne had utilized a two-tire pit stop to jump all the way up to 11th, and when the race hit Lap 100, both he and Johnson were running inside of the top 20.
Early in the final segment, however, Kahne was in the process of passing a competitor when he came up the track into the No. 19 car, sending the No. 5 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS into the wall and ending the driver’s day prematurely.
“We had to fight from the back – had a good LiftMaster Chevrolet, we kept working to get up there,” Kahne said. “I was making the pass and I don’t know how we hit him.”
During the ensuing caution, Johnson headed to pit road and took just two tires on the No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet SS to be the second car off of pit road. The top nine drivers stayed on the track – including Elliott – putting Johnson in 11th for the restart.
Elliott, meanwhile, jumped from sixth all the way to third with less than 50 laps remaining shortly after the restart. He made a green-flag pit stop for four tires on Lap 161, and Johnson followed his teammate’s lead two laps later for a green-flag stop of his own, but the No. 48 team elected for only fuel.
Earnhardt, however, stayed on the track in the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS to move all the way up to sixth from outside the top 15 before a caution flag waved for debris with less than 20 laps to go.
Earnhardt then headed to pit road and returned to the track in 11th for the restart. Elliott stayed out, lining up fourth as the last competitor without fresh tires. Johnson stayed off of pit road as well to take a wave-around and regain the lap he lost after his green-flag pit stop when a handful of cars remaining on the track put some competitors a lap down. He lined up 18th for the ensuing restart.
One more caution with five laps to go resulted in a red flag for cleanup – and sent the race to overtime. Johnson was the only Hendrick Motorsports teammate to head to pit road during the caution, and he took four tires.
In overtime, the green flag waved with Elliott in fifth, Earnhardt in 14th and Johnson in 18th.
Elliott lost three positions in the scramble before the checkered flag, Earnhardt held his position and Johnson fell just one spot before crossing the finish line.