DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Sunday’s Daytona 500 featured plenty of drama down the stretch, as several multiple-car incidents with fewer than 10 laps remaining affected all four Hendrick Motorsports teammates – ending the days of Chase Elliott and William Byron – and ultimately sent the race to overtime.
In the extra frame, Jimmie Johnson led the organization to the checkered flag in ninth. Alex Bowman followed with an 11th-place finish.
Elliott was scored 17th, while Byron, who led 45 laps in the race, was scored 21st.
Denny Hamlin won the race.
Below is a closer look at how Sunday’s Daytona 500 unfolded for the four Hendrick Motorsports teammates.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott began Sunday’s season-opener alongside his teammate Johnson in the ninth row in 18th, and early in the race he fell outside of the top 25. By the time a Lap 20 caution arrived, Elliot had advanced inside the top 10 as competitors had headed to pit road for green-flag stops. After a stop of his own, Elliott gained four positions on pit road to restart 19th on Lap 25.
- Joining forces with his teammates, Elliott climbed back inside the top 10 with 24 laps to go in the segment, ultimately finishing Stage 1 in seventh to pick up four extra points.
- Before the start of the second segment, Elliott made a second pit stop to ensure all lug nuts were tightened after the air hose was caught around a pit crew member of a competitor during the first pit stop. That meant he restarted in 30th, but it didn’t take long for him to jump back inside the top 10 by Lap 75. He moved up to fifth as competitors made green-flag pit stops before he made a stop of his own during a caution on Lap 107. Before the green-checkered flag waved to end Stage 2, Elliott fell to 16th.
- The No. 9 team elected not to pit between stages, putting Elliott in ninth for the restart to begin the final segment. He dropped outside of the top 15 in traffic, and on a restart with fewer than 35 laps remaining he was pushed out of the draft once again to drop outside of the top 20. When a caution flag waved for debris on the track with 27 laps to go, Elliott elected to head to pit road, restarting in 28th.
- On a restart with 10 laps remaining in the Daytona 500, Elliott was caught in a multiple-car incident that began ahead of him. He was still able to take the ensuing green flag once the red flag was lifted, though another multiple-car incident occurred that once again involved Elliott. When the race went green one more time with two laps to go, Elliott was once again caught in a multiple-car incident that sent the race to overtime.
- The damage from the final incident sent the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the garage, and Elliott was scored 17th.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Starting “The Great American Race” on the pole, Byron held the race lead when the green flag dropped, utilizing the outside lane. By Lap 3, however, the inside lane was challenging for the front, and Byron battled back-and-forth for the lead before falling back to third.
- After getting caught in the middle and losing the draft on Lap 15, Byron briefly fell outside of the top 15 before gradually working his way back up through the field. By the end of Stage 1, the driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 had moved up to 14th.
- Following a pit stop, Byron began Stage 2 in 19th, quickly moving up to fifth by Lap 75 as some competitors headed to pit road for green-flag stops. Byron made his pit stop during a caution at Lap 107 and was able to restart fifth for the ensuing green flag. He moved into the bottom lane and led a line of cars toward the front, finding second place on the final lap of Stage 2. He took the green-checkered flag as the runner-up, gaining nine extra points.
- The No. 24 team elected not to pit between stages, allowing Byron to lead the field to the green flag to begin the final segment. He maintained that lead as challenges mounted behind him – and beside him, when his teammate Johnson led the outside lane with Byron leading the inside lane with 55 laps to go in the race. During a caution with 40 laps to go, Byron headed to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, losing positions on pit road in the process. He took the ensuing restart in 13th.
- With 28 laps to go, Byron worked his way back inside the top five in fourth. Following a debris caution, however, he was shuffled back in traffic on the ensuing restart and fell outside of the top 20, heading to pit road for fresh tires, fuel and an adjustment when another caution flag waved shortly thereafter. He restarted 25th with 16 laps to go.
- On a restart with 10 laps remaining, a multiple-car incident ahead of Byron resulted in some damage to the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, but he was still able to take the green flag once the red flag was lifted. Another multiple-car incident occurred on the restart with six laps remaining, but Byron was able to avoid it. On the next restart with two laps to go, Byron was not able to avoid yet another multiple-car incident.
- The damage ended Byron’s day and he was scored 21st.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Johnson started Sunday’s Daytona 500 in the ninth row in 17th, but by Lap 18 he had moved inside the top 10. While some competitors headed to pit road for green-flag stops, Johnson made his stop during a Lap 20 caution, restarting 22nd on Lap 25. He found the top 10 once again before the end of the segment but ultimately finished Stage 1 in 17th.
- Johnson began Stage 2 in 22nd, climbing inside the top 10 before making a green-flat pit stop 22 laps into the segment. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 headed to pit road once again when a caution flag waved on Lap 107, and though he restarted 19th, he was able to move inside the top 10 before the green-checkered flag waved. He finished Stage 2 in ninth, picking up two extra points.
- The No. 48 team elected not to pit following Stage 2 and Johnson took the green flag to start the final segment in sixth. With 59 laps to go, he had moved all the way up to second behind the leader, Byron. Four laps later, he became the lead car on the outside lane, riding side-by-side with Byron in a race for the lead.
- With 40 laps to go, Johnson headed to pit road from inside the top five. But a car involved in an incident behind him heading to pit road clipped the No. 48 Ally Chevy, causing damage to the rear quarter panel. The No. 48 team was given a penalty for improper fueling on the ensuing pit stop as the damage was repaired, leaving Johnson two laps down outside the top 30.
- When a caution flag waved for debris with 27 laps to go, Johnson was given a free pass to go back to only one lap down in 31st. Another caution came out mere laps later, and Johnson received another free pass back onto the lead lap in 28th.
- On a restart with 10 laps remaining, Johnson was caught in a multiple-car incident that began ahead of him on the track. He was still able to take the green flag with six laps to go once the red flag was lifted, and he avoided damage when another multiple-car incident occurred. One more multiple-car incident on the restart with two laps to go sent the race to overtime, and Johnson was once again able to avoid damage.
- In overtime, Johnson restarted 10th and picked up one position before the checkered flag to finish ninth.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Taking the green flag on the front row in the outside pole, Bowman settled into second behind his teammate Byron in the outside lane. On Lap 5, however, he got caught in the middle and was shuffled out of the draft before finding a spot in front of Johnson in 10th.
- While many competitors headed to pit road under green-flag conditions, Bowman pitted during a Lap 20 caution, restarting 20th. He quickly made his way back toward the front, however, finding third with 24 laps to go in Stage 1. Before the green-checkered flag waved, he had moved into second, picking up nine extra points.
- Following a pit stop, Bowman started stage 2 in 34th, but had jumped all the way up to fourth by Lap 75 as competitors headed to pit road for green-flag stops. Bowman didn’t make a pit stop of his own until a Lap 107 caution, but the No. 88 team was hit with a penalty for a crew member over the wall too early. That put Bowman back in 29th for the ensuing restart, and he ultimately finished Stage 2 in 25th.
- Bowman began the final segment in 21st, and he found himself on the verge of the top 20 for the next handful of laps. He had moved up to 17th before a caution with 40 laps remaining, and after a quick pit stop, he jumped all the way up to third on the ensuing restart. With 31 laps left in the race, he moved into the runner-up position once again.
- On a restart with 23 laps remaining, Bowman was shuffled back in traffic as the outside lane went single-file and he dropped back to 14th. Just 13 laps later, another restart with 10 to go in the Daytona 500 brought a multiple-car incident, but Bowman was able to remain on the track after the resulting red flag. On the next green flag with six laps to go, Bowman was caught in another multiple-car incident. Once again he took the green flag with two laps to go, and this time Bowman was able to avoid the multiple-car incident that sent the race to overtime.
- In overtime, Bowman restarted ninth and ultimately took the checkered flag just outside of the top 10 in 11th.