ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Hendrick Motorsports took second and third in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America but couldn’t reign in the top spot when the checkered flag flew on Sunday.
Chase Elliott was the pole sitter for the event and led more than half the race – 36 laps. He got passed by Tyler Reddick on lap 46 for position in what amounted to the pass for the lead as the race ran green for the entire full stage. Elliott, who won at the Wisconsin road course in 2021, would finish in second for his fifth top-five finish of the season.
Reddick went on to win the race for the first Cup win of his career.
"I didn't do a very good job there," Elliott said of the final stage. "I just let him (Reddick) stay close enough to pressure me there while we had decent tires and never could get enough of a gap. Made a couple mistakes. I was gaining a gap there a couple times and made a couple mistakes and let him get back close enough to get me out of sync. After that, just started struggling.
"Appreciate the effort out of our team. Wish I could have done a better job there. I felt like we probably needed a little bit, but I think we were good enough to win, so those always hurt."
Kyle Larson finished third for his eighth top-five finish of the season – which is the second-most in the series this season. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finished second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday.
"A nice, smooth day and our pit crew was great the few times we came down pit road," Larson said. "Our car was good enough to run where we did."
Alex Bowman finished third in stage one in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and would go on to finish 12th in the race. William Byron would pilot the No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to a 16th-place finish.
Leaving the 14-turn, 4.048-mile venue, Elliott remains the points leader as he is on top by 33 markers over Ryan Blaney. Larson gained two spots in the standings and now sits fourth. Bowman is ninth and Byron sits in 10th.
The next race on the schedule is at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 10 at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Byron won the most recent race at the Georgia venue in March – the first on the repaved and reconfigured track.
Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Where he finished: Second
Stage one: Elliott led the field to green from the pole position on Sunday. The opening lap saw the Chases do battle (Elliott and Briscoe) with Elliott surging to the lead. From the point position, the defending race winner reported that he had a steering issue and crew chief Alan Gustafson said they had a plan if he got worse. At lap 12, Elliott built over a seven-second lead on Briscoe before pitting from the lead. Prior to that, he had led the first 12 laps. Gustafson elected to bring Elliott to pit road to not lose track position between the stages as opposed to collecting a playoff point if he stayed out. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native would finish the stage in 10th, but was the first car in the running order that had already pitted.
Stage two: Elliott cycled to the front after stage break pit stops took place for the lap 18 restart and was able to edge ahead of his teammate Kyle Larson into turn one. Elliott was not driving away from his teammate like he did on Briscoe in the opening stage and reported that he a little bit of “brake fade” and that the brake was “getting a little long” during this run. On lap 28, Elliott pitted under green from the lead for fuel, tires, an air pressure adjustment and led those that pitted with him off pit road. Elliott would finish stage two in ninth but be positioned to take the lead as he was the first car in the running order to pit prior to the end of the stage.
Final stage: Following stage break pit stops, Elliott cycled back to the lead again for the lap 33 restart alongside Tyler Reddick. Early in the run, Reddick was all over Elliott in trying to get the point position but the 2020 champion maintained the position. On lap 40, he had built up a 1.4-second lead. On lap 43, Elliott pitted from the lead and barely edged Reddick off pit road. He would rejoin the field in 11th with a number of cars ahead of him needing to stop. Elliott could not drive away from Reddick (in what could have shaped up to be the battle for the win) and on lap 46, the driver of the No. 8 got past the driver of the No. 9 in turn six. With pit stops cycled through, Elliott cycled out in second and was closing in on Reddick as he chipped away at his lead over the next several laps. He gained three-tenths on Reddick on lap 55 as he continued to get closer to the lead. On the next three laps, Elliott would lose a little time to the third-year Cup driver as the lead grew to two seconds. By lap 60, Reddick’s lead grew to three seconds as Elliott couldn’t cut the gap late in the run.
Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Where he finished: Third
Stage one: Larson took the green flag from third and maintained that position through the first half of the stage. Over the run, he was reigning in Chase Briscoe for second place but also had Tyler Reddick stalking him for third. On lap 12, Larson started a flurry of green flag pit stops by coming to pit road for four tires and fuel. The reigning champion would finish just outside the top 10 in 11th, but was positioned to restart behind his teammate Chase Elliott in stage two.
Stage two: Larson cycled to second after stage break pit stops took place and restarted from there on lap 18. The Elk Grove, California, native made a challenge for the lead in the first turn but settled in second place. On lap 24, Reddick got the inside advantage on Larson in turn five and was able to take second place away from him. On lap 28, Larson came down pit road from the third position for four tires and fuel. The driver of the No. 5 would finish the stage in 12th – the fourth car in the order that had pitted prior to the end of the stage.
Final stage: Larson cycled to third for the lap 33 restart following stage break pit stops. On that lap, he found himself under pressure from Ross Chastain and would fall to fourth. This year’s Auto Club Speedway winner got third back when Chastain went slightly off course two laps later with Larson all over his bumper. The three-time road course winner would maintain that position for the next stretch. On lap 43, Larson pitted from the third position for service and would rejoin the field in 14th with a batch of cars still to pit in front of him. Following pit stops, Larson cycled out to third and would settle in that spot behind Reddick and Elliott. That position is where he would finish the race.
Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Where he finished: 12th
Stage one: Bowman started from the eighth position and gained a spot early before losing it to Ross Chastain on lap 6. He would lose another spot to Chris Buescher and move to ninth on lap 10. While the rest of his teammates pitted near the end of the stage, Bowman elected to stay out and collect as many stage points as possible to improve his position in the standings (and for potential playoff points at the end of the regular season). He would finish the stage in third and collect eight stage points.
Stage two: Under the stage break, Bowman came down pit road for service for four fresh tires, fuel, a small chassis adjustment and restarted 22nd on lap 18. The decision to collect points in stage one kept Bowman back in traffic for the first half of the stage. On lap 24, Bowman was scored in the top 20. On lap 27, Bowman came down pit road for four tires and fuel. He would finish the stage scored in 24th.
Final stage: Bowman would restart 13th on lap 33 and maintain a top-15 position early in the run of the final stage. On lap 40, he set his sights on Chase Briscoe for 14th and picked off two spots in that lap to be running 13th. Pitting from the top 10 on lap 43, Bowman received four tires and fuel and rejoined the race in 24th. When pit stops cycled through, he came out in 13th. He passed Austin Dillon for 12th on lap 54 and then got Martin Truex Jr. for 11th on lap 55. While battling for spots around 11th and 12th, Bowman and Austin Dillon made slight contact and that saw Bowman lose 11th to Truex. He would go on to finish the race in 12th.
William Byron, No. 24 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Where he finished: 16th
Stage one: Byron rolled off the grid 29th for Sunday’s race. He had to dodge separate spins in turn five from Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola on lap 5 and he was able to do so. The driver of the No. 24 was an early mover – gaining three spots in the opening five laps. On lap 12, Byron pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. The 24-year-old would finish the stage scored in 29th and reported that he “fired off tight in the left-hand corners and loose in the right-hand corners.”
Stage two: Byron would restart in 15th on lap 18 after stage break pit stops saw him gain significant track position. He made that pay off early as he picked off two more spots to move to 13th on lap 19. By lap 22, he was in the top 10 after passes on Christopher Bell, Joey Hand and Brad Keselowski and still coming. After 24 laps, he was scored in eighth after passing Sonoma Raceway winner Daniel Suarez. On lap 27, Byron came down pit road from eighth for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustment. However, a loose wheel would see the Charlotte, North Carolina, native make an additional stop to tighten the loose right-front wheel. He would finish the stage in 33rd.
Final stage: Byron pitted under the stage break for fresh tires and top off on fuel for later. He had to start the final stage from the rear for pitting while pit road was closed (at the end of stage two to fix the loose wheel. He restarted 30th on lap 33 and by the completion of lap 40 was in the top 25. On lap 44, Byron came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment and rejoined the race in 26th. Upon pit stops cycling through, he came out in 20th. Byron would pick off a few spots during the closing run to finish 16th.