RICHMOND, Va. – Chase Elliott was the top finisher for Hendrick Motorsports in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway. 

Elliott, who started the event fourth, finished stage one in the same position to earn a valuable seven stage points. During stage two, the driver of the No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 reported he was propped up on entry with the back end struggling to keep up. Later in the stage, he radioed that he was tight across the center. 

The race had only three cautions – two of which were for stage breaks – and teams employed different tire strategies. Crew chief Alan Gustafson deployed the two-stop strategy (under green) in the final two stages to get fresher Goodyear rubber on the No. 9 machine. At day’s end, Elliott finished 13th. He did chip away a bit at his points deficit as he is now 40 points below the provisional playoff cutoff line. 

2023 SCHEDULE: See all the results | ENTER NOW: Chance to win race-used bumpers

Alex Bowman took the checkered flag from the 18th position in the No. 48 Ally Chevy. In the opening stage, he battled a car that was tight in the center and later lost the grip in the rear tires. During the second stage, Bowman radioed to the team that he had a lot of center turn but was free in and off the turns. In the final stage, the 30-year-old driver fired off tight, but the car flipped handling pretty quickly. Crew chief Blake Harris utilized the one-stop strategy (under green) in the final stage in an effort to try and make up track position. Bowman sits 42 points outside the provisional playoff cutoff line. 

Kyle Larson finished 19th in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. As the opening 70-lap stage went on, he reported no grip on exit and slipped back in the field to 18th. During stage two, Larson told crew chief Cliff Daniels that he was “just too tight center” and the No. 5 team worked to free him up a bit. Under the final caution of the race, Larson took the wave around to secure a top-20 finish. 

William Byron started the race sixth and maintained a top-seven position in the opening stage. He finished stage one in seventh to score four stage points. The 25-year-old driver of the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy felt his car was plowing in the beginning of stage two as he slipped outside the top 15. Tire wear was a factor for him as the lengthy green-flag runs continued. Byron took the wave around late before finishing 21st. 

Chris Buescher won the 400-lap race to become the 13th different race winner this season and the 12th driver to lock into the playoffs. 

VISIT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: Garage 56 car on display for limited time

Next up on the schedule is the high speeds of 2-mile Michigan International Speedway. This event will mark the first of the final four races to close out the regular season. Catch the action on Sunday, Aug. 6, at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).