LOUDON, N.H. – In the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Chase Elliott led his teammates to the checkered flag Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Elliott crossed the finish line just outside of the top 10 in 11th.
Jimmie Johnson was the next teammate to take the checkered flag with a 14th-place result.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was caught in a multiple-car incident at the end of Stage 2 and then experienced a flat tire in the final segment. He fought through the challenges and finished 34th.
Kasey Kahne encountered a mechanical issue on Lap 262, causing him to take his car to the garage. The No. 5 team was able to repair his Chevy, allowing him to return to the track. Kahne finished behind his teammate in 35th.
“They said the trackbar broke so I was all over getting into Turn 3, luckily I didn’t hit the wall,” Kahne said. “We had a good weekend overall, I had a good time and the guys did a great job.”
Kyle Busch captured the win.
Below is a detailed look at how the Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared at the Louden track.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GO90 CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Kahne rolled of the grid in ninth but battled the loose handling of his car, leading to an 18th-place Stage 1 result. Following a pit stop, Kahne restarted in 17th. He picked up two positions during Stage 2 and took the green-checkered flag in 15th. Kahne brought his No. 5 go90 Chevrolet SS down pit road during the caution for four tires, fuel and adjustments to tighten the handling, and restarted in 14th. Kahne ran consistently in the top 15 throughout the first portion of the final segment. He reported that he was only able to run one lane due to the handling of his car. Debris brought out a caution on Lap 220, allowing Kahne to make a pit stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He restarted in 15th, quickly moving into the 14th position. With 50 laps to go the No. 5 car continued to run in the 14th position. On Lap 262 the caution flag came out after Kahne experienced mechanical problems, causing him to bring his car to the garage for repairs. He returned to the track on Lap 277 in 35th, 11 laps down. He crossed the finish line in 35th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 KELLEY BLUE BOOK CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott took the green flag in 14th and finished the first segment in 17th. After a pit stop during the caution he restarted in 14th for Stage 2. Elliott gained one position during the segment for a 13th-place Stage 2 finish. Elliott’s No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS took four tires and fuel during the caution prior to the final segment and restarted in ninth. Elliott was running in 11th on Lap 220 when a caution flag came out. He made a trip to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, restarting in 11th once again. He continued to run in 11th when another caution came out. Elliott restarted in 10th place with 23 laps to go. He fought to hold his position but ultimately finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson started the race in 12th and moved into the top 10 for an eighth-place Stage 1 finish. He maintained his track position throughout Stage 2 and took the green-checkered flag in eighth. Johnson took four tires and fuel on pit road and restarted for the final segment in sixth. He maintained his position in sixth and fought to break into the top five. A caution flag for debris came out on Lap 220, allowing the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS to make a stop for four tires and fuel. He restarted in sixth. Johnson continued to run in sixth place with 50 laps to go, and the No. 48 Chevy made a pit stop during the next caution shortly thereafter. He restarted in 14th following an issue with the left front tire during the stop. Following another caution, Johnson restarted in 13th on Lap 277. He lost one position to a competitor, taking the checkered flag in 14th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Earnhardt started Sunday’s race in 15th and took the Stage 1 green-checkered flag in 21st. He restarted for the next segment in 19th. Earnhardt was caught in a multiple-car incident with one lap to go in Stage 2. The segment ended under caution and Earnhardt was scored 21st. The No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS had to make an extended pit stop during the ensuing caution to fix damage from the incident. He restarted for the final segment three laps down in 33rd. Earnhardt battled another challenge on Lap 216 when he experienced a flat tire and had to make an unscheduled trip to pit road. Following a debris caution, Earnhardt restarted in 35th. Through a series of cautions, Earnhardt restarted 24th with 23 laps to go. Earnhardt maintained his position and took the checkered flag in 34th.