DAYTONA, Fla. – A day after rain postponed Saturday night’s race at Daytona International Speedway to Sunday afternoon, rain and lightning cut the event short with a little more than 30 laps remaining.
When the race was called, it gave William Byron a runner-up result with Jimmie Johnson right behind him in third place. It marked the best finish of the season for both drivers and a NASCAR Cup Series career-best finish for Byron.
All four Hendrick Motorsports teammates were running inside the top 11 with fewer than 50 laps to go in the race, but a multiple-car incident involving the leaders saw Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman caught up in the damage.
Bowman was able to return to the track before the race was called due to inclement weather and took home a 21st-place result.
Elliott’s day was cut short by the incident and he was scored 35th.
“I thought our NAPA Camaro was one of the best we’ve had down here, so, that’s unfortunate,” Elliott said. “Hate that it happened.”
Justin Haley captured the weather-shortened win.
Below is a closer look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared Sunday at Daytona.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA BATTERIES CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Elliott began Sunday’s race inside the top 10, and he capitalized on that position to climb throughout the opening stage. Following a fuel-only, green-flag pit stop, he began tracking down the top five from the eighth position, and on the final lap of Stage 1, he took over fifth place to take the green-checkered flag and pick up six extra points.
- Quick work by the No. 9 team pit crew between stages allowed Elliott to win the race off pit road and take the green flag for Stage 2 as the race leader. He was left without much help on the inside lane, however, and fell back within the top 10. Following a caution, he recovered to move up to the runner-up position and maintained it midway through the segment.
- Following another caution, Elliott dropped to third on the restart as his teammate, Bowman, raced in front of him in the inside lane. Working with a line of Chevrolets, including his teammates, Elliott dropped to fourth with Byron and Bowman just ahead of him with 14 laps remaining in the segment. He maintained fourth place through the green-checkered flag to pick up seven extra points in Stage 2.
- Racing inside the top five with fewer than 50 laps to go in the race, Elliott was caught in a multiple-car incident that caused major damage to the No. 9 NAPA Batteries Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The damage ultimately ended the No. 9 team’s day and Elliott was scored 35th.
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA FLAMES OF INDEPENDENCE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Starting Sunday’s race from the rear of the field, Byron worked into the top 20 within just five laps. He bounced around inside the top 25 for much of the opening segment, climbing all the way to 15th after a green-flag pit stop. Ultimately, he finished Stage 1 in 19th.
- Starting Stage 2 in 19th, Byron climbed inside the top 10 in fewer than 10 laps, and by Lap 66 he had moved into third place behind his teammate Elliott. He maintained that position until a caution just past the midway point of the segment, when he moved to fourth on the ensuing restart. He moved into third during another restart with 14 laps to go in the stage, and he held that position through the green-checkered flag to finish third and gain eight extra points.
- Racing just outside the top five with fewer than 50 laps to go in Sunday’s race, Byron was able to avoid a multiple-car incident that began just in front of him. That allowed him to advance to the runner-up position, but a red flag was displayed due to lightning in the area before the race could resume. Ultimately, the race was called and Byron took home the runner-up result.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Shortly after the green flag waved Sunday at Daytona, Johnson climbed inside the top 10. He continued to race inside the top 10 for the majority of the opening segment, maintaining his position after a green-flag pit stop. He took the green-checkered flag to end Stage 1 in 10th, picking up an extra point.
- Johnson fell outside of the top 20 early in Stage 2, but jumped all the way back up to ninth by Lap 70. He fell back in traffic on a restart following a caution and ran 24th once again, but he avoided a multiple-car incident shortly thereafter and jumped back inside the top 10 before Lap 85. With fewer than 10 laps to go in Stage 2, Johnson climbed up to seventh, and that’s ultimately where he would take the green-checkered flag to gain four extra points.
- Racing inside the top 10 with fewer than 50 laps remaining, Johnson was able to avoid a multiple-car incident, racing around cars as they were caught up in the damage. That allowed him to advance to third place, but a red flag was displayed due to lightning in the area prior to the race could go green once again. Ultimately, the race was called and Johnson took home a third-place result.
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Taking the green flag inside the top 10, Bowman fell back in traffic in the opening laps of the race. He reported over the radio that he was battling the handling of his No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, dropping outside of the top 20 after a green-flag pit stop. He finished Stage 1 in 29th.
- Bowman began Stage 2 outside of the top 15, but quickly moved inside the top 10 and advanced all the way to fourth by Lap 66. On a restart following a caution with 22 laps to go in the segment, Bowman raced into the runner-up spot ahead of his teammates Elliott and Byron. He maintained that position through another caution and restart with 14 laps to go in the segment and held it all the way through the green-checkered flag, finishing Stage 2 in second and gaining nine extra points.
- Racing just outside the top 10 with fewer than 50 laps remaining in Sunday’s race, Bowman was involved in a multiple-car incident that caused damage to the No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He headed to pit road for repairs on multiple occasions and returned to the track in 20th before lightning in the area caused a red flag. Ultimately, the race was called and Bowman took home a 21st-place finish.