CaliConnection: How our Cali drivers fared in Charlotte


SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (May 30, 2011) – As he did at the Auto Club 400 in March at Auto Club Speedway, Californian Kevin Harvick took the lead on Turn 4 – this time thanks to Dale Earnhardt Jr. running out of gas – to take the checkered flag in the Memorial Day Weekend Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in North Carolina:

Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Budweiser/Armed Forces Chevrolet
Hometown: Bakersfield  
2nd in points

1st PLACE FINISH: Kevin Harvick collected his 17th victory in 370 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, this one his third victory and seventh Top-10 finish in 2011.  The win moved Harvick into second in the points standings, 36 behind leader Carl Edwards.  “I tell you what; I’ve got to give a huge credit to all the race team, Gil Martin (crew chief) and all these guys. We started saving gas from lap one when the green flag fell, just hoping that we’d go to the end. I saw those guys up there racing and I knew how close we were on gas but it all worked for our Budweiser Chevrolet. I want to thank all the men and women who have served and are currently serving that give us a chance to do everything we do in this country.”

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Lowe’s Summer Salute Chevrolet  
Hometown: El Cajon 
3rd in points

28th PLACE FINISH: Despite qualifying sixth, Jimmie Johnson took his No. 48 Chevrolet to the garage on lap 395 with engine failure.  He finished the race in 28th position.  “What I’m taking from this week is that we had a fast car. Unfortunately four laps from the end we lost an engine, which never happens. We’ve had a lot of things go our way over the years and the last couple of weeks, things have not gone our way and that’s just how it goes. So we’ll dig in deep and work hard and get this Lowe’s car back where it belongs.”

AJ Allmendinger
No. 43 US Air Force Ford
Hometown: Los Gatos
13th in points

5th PLACE FINISH:  Allmendinger started on the front row, led five laps and finished the 603-mile endurance race in his US Air Force Ford in 5th.  With the strong finish, Allmendinger now sits just outside the Top 12, in 13th position, four points behind Denny Hamlin and 110 points behind leader Edwards.

Jeff Gordon
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger / AARP Chevrolet
Hometown: Vallejo
16th in points

20th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon started the night in the 11th position and actually led the race three different times before finishing the event in 20th.  He now sits in 16th position in the points standings, 121 points behind the leader Carl Edwards.

David Gilliland
No. 34 Taco Bell Ford
Hometown: Riverside
30th in points
33rd PLACE FINISH:  After starting in the 30th position, Gilliland got caught up in a wreck late in the game, finishing in 33rd place.  He currently stands in 30th position in points.

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

23rd PLACE FINISH:  Mears started his day in the 37th position and at the end of the race he had gained 14 spots.   His finish enabled him to remain in the top-35 in points (32nd).

Mike Skinner
No. 60 Big Red Toyota
Hometown: Susanville
49th in points

41st PLACE FINISH:  A vibration problem caused Skinner, who qualified in the 43rd position, to take it to the garage on Lap 6 where he was done for the day.




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