CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR Drivers Fared at Texas

Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have California connections, including 5-time Champion Jimmie Johnson who hails from El Cajon. Below is a roundup of how each California driver fared at the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 11, 2011) – NASCAR went under the lights for the first night race of the 2011 season. Californian Kevin Harvick, who came off back-to-back wins coming into Texas, was unable to win three races in a row, as Matt Kenseth, driver of the No.17 Crown Royal Black Ford, became the sixth different winner in seven races.

Below is how other Golden Staters fared in this past weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event:

Jimmie Johnson           
No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet    
Hometown: El Cajon
4th in points

8th PLACE FINISH: Expecting a great day based on his practice runs; Johnson was never able to get his loose race car where he needed it to be for the win. Johnson came home in the 8th place and lost one spot in the points. “Man, we really were excited leaving practice yesterday…we just had a really loose car all day and all night,” said Johnson.  “We qualified well, all our practices were great, and we were expecting a good run and well, we had a decent run.”
 

Kevin Harvick               
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet                
Hometown: Bakersfield           
9th in points

20th PLACE FINISH: Coming off back-to-back wins, Harvick struggled to race near the front of the field.  At the end of the night, he finished nine spots ahead of his qualifying spot, but lost four spots in the points.


Jeff Gordon                  
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet                     
Hometown: Vallejo                  
14th in points    

23rd PLACE FINISH:  Despite a disappointing qualifying spot of 32nd place, Gordon worked his way up to the 16th spot near the end of the race.  A speeding violation while entering the pits on the 334th lap slapped him with a pass through penalty.  Gordon gained nine spots at the end of the race, but fell out of the top-12 in points.


AJ Allmendinger          
No. 43 Valvoline Ford                          
Hometown: Los Gatos             
13th in points

19th PLACE FINISH:  After a top-15 starting spot, Allmendinger ran near the front of the pack for a majority of the evening.  As the laps wore on, he slipped backwards and finished in the 19th spot.  Allmendinger gained one spot in the points, putting him just one place out of the top-12.


David Gilliland              
No. 34 Gander Mountain Ford             
Hometown: Riverside              
29th in points 

42nd PLACE FINISH:  Despite a tire issue on lap 47, Gilliland remained in the top-35 in points. “We were really excited to have Gander Mountain on the car and we had it pretty good in race trim, so we thought we were going to have a good run for them.  We've got to figure out what keeps causing us to lose tires.  We have good cars but haven't been able to show it."


Robby Gordon              
No. 7 Fast Five / SPEED Energy Dodge            
Hometown: Orange                 
31st in points

31st PLACE FINISH:  Gordon felt he had a better car than what was shown, but had an overall good day as he gained nine spots from his starting spot and remained in the top-35 in points.  “The crazy thing is, we were as good as the 29 (Kevin Harvick) and he finished 20th.  We just don’t make the most out of our races,” said Gordon. “I thought we were going to be a top-15 car.”


Casey Mears                
No. 13 GEICO Toyota                          
Hometown: Bakersfield           
32nd in points

26th PLACE FINISH:  Dropping four spots from his starting spot, Mears run was good enough to keep him in the top-35 in points, leaving him in 32nd place.


Mike Skinner                
No. 60 Big Red Toyota                                 
Hometown: Susanville            
46th in points

43rd PLACE FINISH:  Skinner qualified on time in the 36th spot, but due to a rear gear issue he finished the race in 43rd place.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, CARL EDWARDS, 256
2, KYLE BUSCH, 247
3, MATT KENSETH, 243
4, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 243
5, KURT BUSCH, 240
6, DALE EARNHARDT JR., 235
7, RYAN NEWMAN, 233
8, JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, 232
9, KEVIN HARVICK, 228
10, TONY STEWART, 213
11, PAUL MENARD, 209
12, CLINT BOWYER, 201

 

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