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Top Fives for Johnson, Bowman

Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman gave Hendrick Motorsports a pair of top-five finishes in the Food City 500.

Johnson was third and Bowman came home fifth at Bristol Motor Speedway to take the sting out of the finishes of the other two Hendrick teammates with William Byron 18th and Chase Elliott 19th.

For Johnson it was his best run of 2018 and his first top-five since finishing third at Dover last October.

“Yeah, definitely a strong race car,” Johnson said. “We’ve been talking about our cars performing better and driving better and creating speed the last three weeks or so, but to finally back it up with a solid finish is exactly what we needed.

“And to see my teammates with positive comments about their cars the last few weeks and some good results yielding from all of that, we definitely have it rolling in the right direction.”

Johnson was disappointed he wasn’t able to make it back-to-back Food City 500 victories but still enjoyed the race and the finish.

“I hate that I didn’t win,” he said. “It’s another one at Bristol. I feel like every time I race here I almost get a win. It was a fun race.”

Bowman had his No. 88 Chevrolet near the front of the field most of the race and notched his best career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finish in 89 starts.

“Yeah, I mean we got a good start there for once and had some good track position,” Bowman explained. “Just thankful for driving for Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a lot of fun finally getting some good runs going our way. It’s been cool. To run fifth, it’s not a great day, but it’s better than what we started the year doing. We are making progress, making steps in the right direction and just got to keep doing that.”