BRISTOL, Tenn.—For the first time since last Fall at Dover, Hendrick Motorsports placed two cars inside the top five.
Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman both finished among the top five in the Food City 500 Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Johnson finished seventh and third respectively during the two mid-race stages, while Bowman accumulated stage points in just the second stage.
For Johnson, the first top-five run of the 2018 season provides momentum for the Lowe’s Chevrolet team.
“It really is a great boost,” Johnson said.
“I’ve said for weeks now that we’re getting better and it’s great to finally have a result to back that up. We’ve had decent Fridays and really good Saturdays and then some bad luck in the races.
“Although we had plenty of bad luck over the course of the four or five days that we’ve been here, we were able to pull through and get a great third place finish. So, I’m very proud of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports and thank everybody on this Lowe’s For Pros team.”
Johnsons unofficially leaves Bristol in the 17th position in driver’s standings, one point behind 16th-place Paul Menard for the final playoff-eligible position.
The Food City 500 at Bristol was a career day for Alex Bowman, who replaced Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet this season.
Not only did he also finish inside the top five along with Johnson, the fifth-place finish for the Arizona-native was his first top five of his Cup Series career.
“If you would have told me it would take till Bristol to get a top five, and two top 10s, I would have called you crazy, to start the year,” Bowman said to The Racing Experts. “Glad we’re going in the right direction, getting the finishes that this team deserves.”
The series heads north to the Commonwealth State of Virginia later this week for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. The 400-lap event is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night under the lights on FOX.
Matt Courson is the Managing Editor for The Racing Experts. Courson has covered NASCAR events at 19 of the 23 active racetracks. When not at the track, the 20-year-old Journalism major enjoys spending time with family and playing Ingress.