CALIFORNIACONNECTION: How our Cali NASCAR drivers fared at Pocono

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 Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway Sunday, August 1.


San Bernardino County, Calif. (August 2, 2010) – Kevin Harvick (4th), Jeff Gordon (6th) and Jimmie Johnson (10th) all finished in the top ten as the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season continued at Pocono Raceway Sunday in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500.  With his finish, points leader Harvick added five points to his lead over Jeff Gordon.

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

4th PLACE FINISH:  Points leader Harvick moved up from his 14th place starting position to finish fourth on the day.  In 20 starts at Pocono, Harvick has four top five finishes.  "It was a long day. I got into the wall on the first lap there and we fought a little bit tight. But all in all they did a great job. The No. 16 (Greg Biffle) just got so far out there on that last restart that I thought we had a chance to win the race but we just could never run him back down. So, it was a good race and we'll go on to the next one."

Jeff Gordon  
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet  
Hometown: Vallejo  

6th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon led 39 laps, second only to teammate Jimmie Johnson’s 96. Gordon, second in the standings, is 189 points behind Harvick with five races left before the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set.  “I’m bummed out that we just can’t catch a break,” he said. “It just seems like when we get ourselves in position to win the race, it just seems like we can’t catch that break. You make those breaks by working hard, team work, good fast race cars and putting yourself in the right place. The way the weather was today, it didn’t work out for us and that has kind of been the story for us as far as victories are concerned.”

Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet  
Hometown: El Cajon  
4rd (-277)

10th PLACE FINISH:  The No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet tangled with Kurt Busch late in the race, triggering a crash and a red-flag period that was extended by rain, “The day started off awesome for us,” Johnson pointed out.  “I don’t know what kind of happened there at the two-thirds mark. We just lost a little speed and the other guys got faster. We were just a fifth to 10th place car at that point.”

AJ Allmendinger  
No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford  
Hometown: Los Gatos   
22nd (-853)

24th PLACE FINISH:  Despite a 7th position start, Allmendinger couldn’t muster a better finish than 24th, dropping one place to 22nd in driver’s points.

Scott Speed   
No. 82 Red Bull Toyota  
Hometown: Manteca    
26th (-1069)

26th PLACE FINISH:  Three hours later, Speed could only move up one position on the day.  Despite his 26th place finish, the Manteca native didn’t lose any ground in driver’s points, remaining in 26th position.

Robby Gordon   
No. 7 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota 
Hometown: Orange     
33rd (-1642)

Gordon did not compete in Sunday’s event.

David Gilliland   
No. 37 Gander Mountain Ford   
Hometown: Riverside  
35th (-1747)

30th PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland started 37th on the day, picking up seven spots and 73 drivers points before the day came to an end.

Casey Mears  
No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 
Hometown: Bakersfield  
42nd (-2426)

36th PLACE FINISH:  Mears only completed 62 laps before brake problems forced him behind the wall. 


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

Position, Driver,  Points, Leader Points
1, Kevin Harvick ,3080, 0 
2, Jeff Gordon, 2891, -189
3, Denny Hamlin, 2820, -260
4, Jimmie Johnson, 2803, -277 
5, Jeff Burton, 2757, -323
6, Kyle Busch, 2724, -356 
7, Kurt Busch, 2722, -358
8, Tony Stewart, 2719, -361 
9, Matt Kenseth, 2682, -398 
10, Carl Edwards, 2666, -414
11, Greg Biffle, 2652, -428 
12, Clint Bowyer, 2564, -516

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