Hendrick Motorsports Chicagoland Success Doesn’t Translate Well To Kentucky Success On Saturda

SPARTA, KY – Hendrick Motorsports showed up to the Chicagoland Speedway with a ton of speed. See, they knew that they had something for the June 30 race up in Joliet. It paid off too.

Alex Bowman won his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race while all four drivers finished in the top 11 in the Camping World 400. After seeing William Byron and Jimmie Johnson finish 2-3 in last Sunday’s rain marred Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, could the entire HMS camp keep this new found momentum going for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway?

While they haven’t had that much success before on the 1.5-mile track, they did have a ton of success on the last 1.5-mile track on the season only two weeks ago. Unfortunately though, Chicago didn’t lead to Kentucky success.

None of the four drivers were in contention all night.

Chase Elliott brought out the first caution of the night when he had a tire go down on Lap 46. He rallied back to finish 15th in the first stage but was only 17th in the second one. He’d finish a team best 15th in his No. 9 Chevrolet for his fifth straight finish outside of the top 10. That comes after five straight weeks of a top five finish including a win at Talladega. The Georgia native has just one top 10 finish in four Kentucky tries.

Then, the sixth caution of the night came out for Jimmie Johnson. After scoring two straight top five finishes on the year, Johnson crashed out on Lap 179 in Turn 2 and came home 30th. It was Johnson’s fourth straight year that he didn’t finish in the top 10 at Kentucky as he’s now 0-for-9 in his career at the Kentucky Speedway. This is one of three tracks that he still hasn’t won at during his career. He was only 21st and 14th respectively in the two stages and finishes.

Bowman, was a non factor all night as he was 26th and 27th respectively in the two stages and could only finish 17th. He was 39th in last year’s race.

Their best option was William Byron who was 12th and 14th respectively in the two stages and brought his No. 24 Chevrolet home 18th. He was in the hunt at the start of the final stage but was hit with a restart violation in a controversial restart to where he blamed Aric Almirola for pushing him. Nevertheless, he failed to score a top 10.

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