CALIFORNIACONNECTION: How our Cali NASCAR drivers fared at New Hampshire

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 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday, September 19.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (September 20, 2010) – After the first round of the playoff’s for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway three California drivers, Kevin Harvick (3rd), Jeff Gordon (5th) and Jimmie Johnson (7th)  are still in the top-10 and within reach of points leader Denny Hamlin.

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   
3rd (-45)

5th PLACE FINISH:  Harvick started 27th and finished 5th, but he was fighting pit stop issues all race long which prevented him from finishing higher. He earned 155 points to stay third in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver standings.


Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 DuPont/Nat’l Guard Facebook Chevrolet 
Hometown: Vallejo  
5th (-75)    

6th PLACE FINISH:  Starting from the 17th position Gordon took advantage of pit stops and fresh tires to move up and finish 6th. At one point late in the race Gordon was able to make it up to second but after a pit top on lap 224 he was fighting a tight car and could only muster the sixth place finish.  “We didn't have the car at the end. It was not our best, but it was a solid effort.  The pit crew was awesome all day, and we fought to get a good finish. We have to take advantage of the experience we have and fight for every position.  That's what we do best.”


Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 Lowe’s / Johns Manville Chevrolet 
Hometown: El Cajon  
7th (-92)

25th PLACE FINISH:  Johnson started 25th and steadily made it up to fourth by lap 90.  He maintained his position until lap 222 when he made contact with Kyle Busch and spun his car.  He took the car onto pit lane and came back out fighting for positions. He was doing well until on lap 255 he reported a chattering and the team discovered there was a loose wheel.  He came out in 28th and was able to work his way up to finish 25th.  "No, it wasn't (the kind of day we wanted). On that one restart, we just got turned around and got some damage that we had to pit and stuff. But, it is the way it is. We showed up today, we did what we could. We had a decent car today and ran in the top-five and top-ten but just didn’t end up finishing there.  We’ll go home and get back to work and go after it again next week.”


AJ Allmendinger 
No. 43 Insignia HDTV Ford  
Hometown: Los Gatos   
21st

12th PLACE FINISH:  Allmendinger started up in the sixth position but finished the race out of the top-10 in 12th place.  He earned 127 points for his effort and was able to move up one spot in the driver standings.


Scott Speed   
No. 82 Red Bull Toyota  
Hometown: Manteca    
28th

36th PLACE FINISH:  Starting in 28th Speed didn’t get very far into the race when he and Bobby Labonte had an accident on lap 26.  He was able to get his car repaired enough to get back out on the track later but finished 87 laps down in 36th place.


David Gilliland   
No. 37 Taco Bell Ford   
Hometown: Riverside  
33rd

33rd PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland finished the race in 33rd after starting 39th.


Robby Gordon   
No. 7 SpeedFactory TV Toyota 
Hometown: Orange     
34th

26th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon started 29th for the second consecutive race and was able move up to 26th.  He was just one lap off the lead lap.


Casey Mears   
No. 13 GEICO Toyota   
Hometown: Bakersfield  
39th

38th PLACE FINISH:  After starting 18th, Mears had vibration in his car and that ended his day early on lap 93.
 

Boris Said        
Hometown: Carlsbad  
47th

Said did not compete in Sunday’s event.


Contenders for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs:

Pos, Driver, Points, Ldr
1, Denny, Hamlin, 5060, 0
2, Clint Bowyer, 5000, -35
3, Kevin Harvick, 5030, -45
4, Kyle Busch, 5030, -62
5, Jeff Gordon, 5000, -75
6, Kurt Busch, 5020, -86
7, Jimmie Johnson, 5050, -92
8, Carl Edwards, 5000, -95
9, Greg Biffle, 5010, -108
10, Jeff Burton, 5000, -112
11, Tony Stewart, 5010, -124
12, Matt Kenseth, 5000, -136


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