CALIFORNIACONNECTION: How our Cali NASCAR drivers fared at Michigan

Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have California connections, including four-time consecutive Champion Jimmie Johnson who hails from El Cajon. Below is a roundup of how each Californian fared in the CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway Sunday, August 15


SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (August 16, 2010) – Kevin Harvick was able to clinch a spot in, and stay on top of, the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with his win Sunday in the CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

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

1st PLACE FINISH:  Harvick clinched a position in the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with his third victory of the season.  Before this race his best finish at Michigan was second in 2003.  Harvick’s gamble  on the last caution flag on lap 167 paid big dividends.  He stayed with his old tires and was able to reel-in and pass race leader Denny Hamlin on lap 190 of 200.  “It's been obviously a great day for us. It's really been a great weekend all around and a great year, for that fact. It's a lot of fun to come to the racetrack right now. Everybody is doing a great job of not only continuing to press but to put better things on the racetrack and put things together correctly and just do a great job at the shop.”

Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet  
Hometown: Vallejo  
2nd (-293)    

27th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon lost valuable points to leader Harvick, finishing 27th in Michigan. He moved up to third early in the race, but his day was plagued by a cut tire and electrical issues late in the race.  “We had a great run going and I was really excited about how good the car was, especially being able to drive up from 36th. I really thought we were going to give those guys a run for the win.  But everything that could have of happened did happen. We cut the front tire and got damage to the right rear, and we had a problem with the [Roush] system. I don't know if we caused that or if the system failed or what. We've never had a problem with it.  Everything just went wrong there at the end.”


Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet  
Hometown: El Cajon  
5th (-386)

12th PLACE FINISH:  Despite starting from the second position and leading 14 laps, Johnson was only able to finish in 12th.  He was loose early in the race and the team tried to fix that, but he fell too far back to be able to move farther up.  "We overcame a lot today. We started the race good and faded a little bit and in the middle of the race when things started to slip from us, we did a good job of keeping our heads in the game and not letting it beat us down or start making bad decisions. It's definitely not the finish we wanted but I think it was a big victory in a lot of other areas. At a few races this year we've had some struggles and you can all get frustrated and start making mistakes, but we kept our head in the game."


AJ Allmendinger 
No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford  
Hometown: Los Gatos   
22nd (-901)

17th PLACE FINISH:  Allmendinger’s consistency in races continued through Michigan.  He started 16th and finished 17th picking up 112 points.

Scott Speed   
No. 82 Red Bull Toyota  
Hometown: Manteca    
27th (-1267)

25th PLACE FINISH:  Speed completed all 200 laps finishing 25th after a 31st place start.  He picked up 88 valuable points with this finish.

Robby Gordon  
No. 07 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota 
Hometown: Orange     
33rd (-1907)
39th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon started the No. 07 Speedfactory.TV Toyota in 35th but had brake issues which forced him to end his day early.  He finished only 34 laps but gained 55 driver points.

David Gilliland   
No. 37 Taco Bell Ford    
Hometown: Riverside  
34th (-1930)

36th PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland moved up 16 spots from his last place start.  He ended the race in 28th place and earned 82 driver points.

Casey Mears   
No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 
Hometown: Bakersfield  43rd (-2746)

Mears failed to qualify.

Boris Said   
No. 83 Red Bull Toyota  
Hometown: Carlsbad  
47th (-2952)

Said did not compete in Sunday’s event.


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

Pos,  Driver,  Points,  Ldr
1, Kevin Harvick, 3400, 0 
2, Jeff Gordon, 3107, -293
3, Denny Hamlin, 3047, -353
4, Tony Stewart, 3020, -380
5, Jimmie Johnson, 3014, -386
6, Carl Edwards, 2986, -414
7, Jeff Burton, 2986, -414
8, Kyle Busch, 2975, -425
9, Matt Kenseth, 2961, -439 
10, Kurt Busch, 2935, -465
11, Greg Biffle, 2913, -487 
12, Clint Bowyer, 2755, -645

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