CALIFORNIACONNECTION: How our Cali NASCAR Drivers fared at New Hampshire

Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have California connections, including 4-time consecutive Champion Jimmie Johnson who hails from El Cajon. Below is a roundup of how each Californian fared in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.


San Bernardino County, Calif. (June 28, 2010) - California driver, Jimmie Johnson captured his second consecutive race in 2010. Jeff Gordon, points leader Kevin Harvick and AJ Allmendinger were in the top-10 as several California drivers made their mark in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. 

Below are how the Golden State drivers competed in this past weekend's Sprint Cup event:
Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet 
Hometown: Bakersfield   

1st in points
5th PLACE FINISH:  Harvick started 24th and moved all the way up to 5th place to keep his points lead secure.  “Our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was good.  We kept freeing it up all day and we finally got it a little bit too loose on two tires.  We were beating and banging up there, and I thought we were in the right spot to capitalize on that, but I just couldn’t put the throttle down.  But, it was a solid day.  We want to be solid for the next few weeks and then we can start doing some things that you normally wouldn’t do and trying things that you normally wouldn’t try.  We want to win a race or two before the Chase starts and, hopefully, hit our winning streak in the last 10 races, because that’s when it counts.”

Jimmie Johnson 
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet  
Hometown: El Cajon  
2nd (-105)

1st PLACE FINISH:  Johnson won his second-consecutive race.  This was his fifth win of the season bringing him just over 100 points from leader Harvick.  He accomplished this win with a bump-and-run pass with seven laps remaining.  He has three wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  “We got by (Burton) and got going and then the No. 2 (Kurt Busch) took a shot at me and I got my cool and thought if he's going to take a shot at me to get by, I don't care if I finish this race. I'm going to run over the top of him to get back to the lead. And I tried once and didn't get enough of him and tried the second time and just moved him enough to get out of the way and got going. It was just good short track racing.”

Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet  
Hometown: Vallejo  
5th (-187)    

4th PLACE FINISH:  Starting from the 16th position Gordon was able to move up to finish fourth. “Yeah, we really hit the set-up early in the race. And I felt like man, we’ve got a shot at this thing. I don’t know. Track conditions or just adjustments, I don’t know but we just kind of lost the handling on it a little bit. It got bumping and banging and got exciting like it always does here at New Hampshire, and I feel pretty good about bringing the DuPont Chevrolet home in 4th.”

AJ Allmendinger 
No. 43 Berlin City Auto Group Ford 
Hometown: Los Gatos   
21st (-644)

10th PLACE FINISH:  Allmendinger started from the 28th position and made his move all the way up to finish 10th.  "It was another solid day, another top 10. We’ll take it. We always know it could be a little bit better, but I’d rather be complaining about 10th than complaining about 30th, so we’ll move on.  It’s another good points day. I think that probably got us closer to the Chase because a couple guys ahead of us fell out, so we’ll just keep working on it and getting this race team better.”

Scott Speed  
No. 82 Red Bull Toyota  
Hometown: Manteca  
26th (-858)

27th PLACE FINISH:  Speed fell backwards from his starting position.  He started up in the 15th position, but had difficulty with his car and fell back to finish in 27th.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 Taco Bell Ford    
Hometown: Riverside  
33rd (-1296) 

35th PLACE FINISH:  Starting from the 39th position Gilliland made positive progress by placing his Taco Bell Ford in the 35th position at the end of the race.

Casey Mears  
No. 36 MOHAWK Northeast Inc. Chevrolet 
Hometown: Bakersfield  
42nd (-1933)

29th PLACE FINISH:  Mears came back to racing after a one week layoff.  He started 23rd and moved back to finish 29th.

Current top-12 contenders for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs are:

Pos              Driver                   Points         Ldr
1                 Kevin Harvick         2489          0 
2                 Jimmie Johnson     2384         -105 
3                 Kyle Busch             2328         -161 
4                 Denny Hamlin        2304         -185 
5                 Jeff Gordon           2302         -187 
6                 Kurt Busch             2288         -201 
7                 Matt Kenseth          2204         -285 
8                 Jeff Burton             2159         -330 
9                 Tony Stewart          2158         -331 
10               Greg Biffle              2126         -363 
11               Mark Martin            2047         -442
12               Carl Edwards          2020         -469


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