TALLADEGA, Ala. – On a wild Sunday afternoon filled with multiple-car incidents and red flags, two Hendrick Motorsports teammates made it to the checkered flag inside the top 10 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the way with a seventh-place result, followed by Kasey Kahne in eighth.
Chase Elliott led 26 laps Sunday, but as he went three-wide in an attempt to retake the lead with fewer than eight laps to go, he was caught in a multiple-car incident that ended his day.
He was scored 16th.
Jimmie Johnson was also caught in a late-race, multiple-car incident, and he was scored 24th.
Brad Keselowski won the race.
Below is a closer look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates fared at Talladega.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Kahne began Sunday’s race just outside of the top 10 in 11th, but he found the top 10 by the end of Stage 1, finishing the segment in 10th. He took the green-checkered flag to end Stage 2 in 13th. In the final segment, Kahne pushed from outside the top 25 back into the top 20, jumping as high as 10th before making a green-flag pit stop. When the field cycled through, he found himself in 15th, but he continued battling to restart in 10th after a caution with 29 laps to go. He began falling back in the pack on the restart, however, and headed to pit road after experiencing a flat left-front tire. That left him outside of the top 30, a lap behind the leaders. After avoiding a multiple-car incident with 17 laps remaining, Kahne was the beneficiary of the free-pass to return to the lead lap. With 12 laps to go, he restarted 16th. Through two more multiple-car incidents, Kahne was able to remain on the track, though he headed to pit road with five laps to go for repairs on the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS. He restarted 12th with three laps to go, moving up to eighth before the checkered flag waved.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott started Sunday’s race on the front row in the outside pole, but a penalty for pitting when pit road was closed during a caution sent the driver to a 14th-place finish in Stage 1. He rebounded to finish Stage 2 in fourth, and led a total of five laps between the first two stages. In the final segment, he jumped back to the race lead around Lap 127, and a few laps later the lead pack was single-file behind Elliott. He gave up the lead to head to pit road for a green-flag stop, and when the field cycled through, Elliott was briefly outside of the top 10 before battling back to third for a restart with 29 laps to go. With 18 laps to go, he restarted 10th, and a lap later he avoided a multiple-car incident to move up to fourth before a red flag was displayed. With 12 laps to go, he restarted fourth and took over the race lead shortly thereafter. Another multiple-car incident saw Elliott restart second with eight laps to go – but two laps later he was involved in a multiple-car incident of his own as he went three-wide to try to track down the lead once again. The damage to the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS ended Elliott’s day, and he was scored 16th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson started Sunday’s race in eighth, and it didn’t take long to jump into the top five to finish Stage 1 in fifth. He held his position in the top 10 at the end of Stage 2, finishing seventh despite experiencing damage on the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS heading to pit road. In the final segment, he settled into fifth in a single-file line following Elliott, the race-leader. He jumped all the way to third before making a green-flag pit stop, and as the field cycled through he briefly fell outside of the top 10 before rebounding to restart ninth with 29 laps to go. On the restart, he jumped up to fifth, and that’s where he restarted once again on Lap 18 – but one lap later Johnson was caught up in a multiple-car incident. He was able to drive to pit road despite significant damage, but the No. 48 team worked on the car when the red flag was displayed, officially ending Johnson’s day. He was scored 24th.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Earnhardt led the field to the green flag from the pole position, but two pit road-related penalties caused him to finish Stage 1 in 27th. He got back to work in Stage 2, finishing that segment in 15th. With the final segment underway, Earnhardt continued his push toward the front, finding second behind teammate Elliott before settling into third in a single-file line behind the leader. He moved into second before making a green-flag pit stop, and fell back to 10th as the field cycled through. With less than 30 laps to go, he battled on the outside of the top 10, and he restarted 15th with 18 laps to go. One lap later, he looked to have been involved in a multiple-car incident, but ultimately avoided it despite turning sideways briefly in the infield. After a red flag, he restarted in 11th with 12 laps to go. One lap later, he avoided yet another multiple-car incident and restarted on the second row with eight laps to go. Two laps later, one more multiple-car incident occurred just ahead of him. Earnhardt made slight contact on the front bumper but drove through it once again to restart third with three laps to go. He battled all the way to the checkered flag but wasn’t able to find the run to challenge for the lead, crossing the finish line seventh.