BRISTOL, Tenn. – Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway Jimmie Johnson raced his way to Victory Lane for the second time in a row this season.
“This track has been difficult over the years,” Johnson said. “Honestly, it’s what I have been looking forward to here for 16 years and we finally figured it out so I am very very happy.”
Chase Elliott was the next Hendrick Motorsports teammate to cross the finish line in seventh place.
After an unscheduled pit stop Kasey Kahne finished in 20th.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s day ended early following an incident on Lap 217. He was scored with a 38th-place finish.
“I don’t know, we broke something in the oil system under caution,” Earnhardt said. “The guys said there was some oil in the pit stall after our pit stop. I noticed when I was getting lined up double file for the restart the car was smoking.”
Below is a detailed look at how the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers fared at Bristol. Additionally, here’s a closer look at both Stage 1 and Stage 2.
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 GREAT CLIPS CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Kahne rolled off the grid 17th. He ran the first 125 laps just outside of the top 10 and finished the first stage in 13th. After a pit stop for four tires and fuel, Kahne restarted Stage 2 in 19th. He had a consistent run during the next 125 laps and took the green-checkered flag in 18th. Kahne started the final segment of the race from the 17th position. He quickly went to work battling through the field and breaking inside the top 10. Following the restart on Lap 428, Kahne entered the top five. However, while running in seventh, he made an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 446, which put him two laps down. Soon after the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS got back on the track, contact with a competitor brought out the caution flag on Lap 461. Kahne sustained damage to the right-front fender and left-rear quarter panel. After visiting pit road again, Kahne restarted in 21st, two laps down on Lap 469. He ultimately took the checkered flag in 20th.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 LITTLE CAESARS/MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Elliott lined up for the green flag on the outside pole. He maintained his second-place position for most of the first stage until he dropped outside of the top five on the Lap 94 restart. Elliott finished Stage 1 in sixth. He started Stage 2 from the same position and battled to stay up front. He took the green-checkered flag in 12th. Elliott made a pit stop during the caution and restarted the final stage in 14th. Throughout three more yellow-flag pit stops he consistently ran inside the top 15. With 50 laps to go Elliott drove inside the top 10, maintaining his position to take home a seventh-place finish.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Johnson took the green flag from 11th and quickly entered the top 10 in the beginning stages of the race. He then broke inside the top five, finishing Stage 1 in fifth. Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS had a speedy pit stop, picking up two positions to start Stage 2 in third. He held steady with the front of the field and took the Stage 2 green-checkered flag in third. After visiting pit road for four tires and fuel Johnson restarted from the fifth position. He continued a strong run in the top 10, making two smooth yellow-flag pit stops that put him in position to fight for the lead. With 106 laps remaining until the checkered flag, Johnson took the lead. The No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS made a pit stop during the ninth caution of the race and restarted in third with 32 laps to go. Johnson captured the lead once again with 20 laps to go and fought hard to maintain his lead all the way to the checkered flag.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CHEVROLET SS
RECAP: Earnhardt started the race in 20th and picked up one position, finishing Stage 1 in 19th. He began Stage 2 in 21st, making a pit stop during the first caution of the second stage. However, on the restart, the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS began to smoke, which led to an incident that brought out the fourth caution of the race. Earnhardt and his team pushed the Chevrolet to the garage, ending their day early. He was scored 38th.