CALIFORNIACONNECTION: How our Cali NASCAR drivers fared at Talladega

Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have California connections including California Chase contenders Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon who are in the top-five in championship points.


SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2010) – Southern California native Jimmie Johnson maintained a slight lead (14 points over Denny Hamlin) in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but fellow Californian Kevin Harvick inched a bit closer with a second-place finish at the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.  Jeff Gordon remained in the top-five of the championship standings.

Below are how the Golden State drivers competed in this past weekend's Sprint Cup event:

Jimmie Johnson 
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet  
Hometown: El Cajon  

7th PLACE FINISH:  Johnson was able to increase his lead over second place Denny Hamlin by 14-points when he finished seventh at Talladega.  He started in the 19th position and gained a valuable five points for leading the race on lap 178.  Johnson leads third-place Kevin Harvick by 38-points. “Not a bad finish. We'll take it. As Kevin (Harvick) was saying, it's going to be an awesome championship battle all the way to Homestead. I'm really looking forward to it.”

Kevin Harvick   
No. 29 RealTree/Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet 
Hometown: Bakersfield   
3rd (-38)

2nd PLACE FINISH:  Starting from the 14th position, Harvick was able to survive two incidents at Talladega including a last lap multi-car wreck that threw the race outcome in doubt.  After NASCAR reviewed the videotape to determine the winner, NASCAR announced Harvick’s second place finish, just a nose behind his RCR teammate Clint Bowyer’s first place finish. Harvick led eight times for a total of 12 laps.  This allowed him to gain valuable points on fellow Californian Jimmie Johnson.  He is only 38-points behind Johnson with three races left in 2010.    “It was a great day at RCR. I just want to thank everybody on this Realtree Chevrolet. Our team made a ton of repairs, and they did a fantastic job. You just never know how it is all going to wind up here at Talladega, and today we were on the good end of it.”

Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet 
Hometown: Vallejo  
4th (-207) 

8th PLACE FINISH:  Starting from 31st Gordon was able to work his way into a top-10 finish (eighth) at Talladega.  He was one of the 25 drivers who led the race.  “There is just a lot of crazy stuff that goes on here. I'm just happy to have a car that finished in one piece to be honest with you. We haven't had that for a long time. That got us it looks like a top-10 finish.”


AJ Allmendinger 
No. 43 Valvoline Ford   
Hometown: Los Gatos   

32nd PLACE FINISH: Allmendinger started 36th.  He went airborne and flipped during a last lap accident that placed him 32nd at the end.


Scott Speed  
No. 82 Red Bull Toyota  
Hometown: Manteca    

29th PLACE FINISH:  Speed maintained his starting position of 29th at the end of the race at Talladega.  He finished 29th. 

David Gilliland   
No. 37 Taco Bell Ford   
Hometown: Riverside  

33rd PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland started the Taco Bell Ford 40th.  In the end he was able to move up to finish 33rd.

Robby Gordon   
No. 7 Speed Energy Toyota  
Hometown: Orange     

18th PLACE FINISH: After not qualifying in Martinsville, Gordon started 42nd at Talladega.  He was able finish the race in 18th.

Casey Mears   
No. 13 GEICO Toyota   
Hometown: Bakersfield  

24th PLACE FINISH: Mears started in the top-10 (ninth) but could not maintain that position at the finish.  He finished in 24th.

Boris Said        
Hometown: Carlsbad  

Said did not compete in Sunday’s event.


Contenders for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs:

Pos, Driver, Points, Ldr
1, Jimmie Johnson, 6149, 0
2, Denny Hamlin, 6135, -14
3, Kevin Harvick, 6111, -38
4, Jeff Gordon, 5942, -207
5, Kyle Busch, 5919, -230
6, Carl Edwards, 5902, -247
7, Tony Stewart, 5832, -317
8, Matt Kenseth, 5825, -324
9, Kurt Busch, 5799, -350
10, Jeff Burton, 5797, -352
11, Greg Biffle, 5788, -361
12, Clint Bowyer, 5782, -367

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