CaliConnection: How our Cali NASCAR Drivers fared at Darlington

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 Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (May 9, 2011) – While many drivers earned their Darlington Stripes by taking the fastest way around the track right up against the outside wall, Darlington Raceway proved to be “Too Tough to Tame” for some of our California NASCAR drivers.  Regan Smith of Cato, N.Y., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet took home his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.  Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Saturday’s Showtime Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event:


Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet    
Hometown: El Cajon 
2nd in points

15th PLACE FINISH: Although Johnson spun on laps 84 and 221 and received a late-race pit road penalty; he was able to fight back and bring home a top-15 finish. Johnson remains number two in the points standings and trails leader Carl Edwards, No. 99 Aflac Ford, by 23 points. “Well it obviously wasn’t the night we were looking for,” said Johnson. “It seemed like every time we’d get ahead we’d do something to put ourselves right back where we were. The Kobalt Tools Chevrolet was good. We just need to put ourselves in better positions so when we have good runs like we did at different times tonight, we can capitalize on them.” 


Kevin Harvick   
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet  
Hometown: Bakersfield 
5th in points

17th PLACE FINISH: Harvick was poised to have a great run after leading twice for a total of 47 laps, but an incident on lap 365 with Kyle Busch, No. 18 Wrigley Doublemint Toyota, ended his hopes for a win. “Obviously we were racing hard and doing what we had to do there at the end and things happen.”


AJ Allmendinger  
No. 43 Best Buy Ford   
Hometown: Los Gatos  
11th in points

20th PLACE FINISH:  After a promising 7th place starting position, Allmendinger struggled with his car all race long and ended the night in 20th.  He remains in the 11th place in points, a mere 8 points out of the top-10.


Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger/AARP Chevrolet 
Hometown: Vallejo  
17th in points    

12thPLACE FINISH:  Gordon started the night in the 5th position and stayed in the top-10 for most of the race.  On lap 350 he collected a Darlington stripe of his own, but rallied back to finish in the 12th spot (the highest finish of the race for a California driver). Although Gordon came home with a top-15 finish, he lost one position in the points.


David Gilliland   
No. 34 Taco Bell Ford           
Hometown: Riverside            
30th in points 

32nd PLACE FINISH:  After starting in the rear of the field, Gilliland gained 5 positions to bring home a 32nd place finish, and remained 30th in points.


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

30th PLACE FINISH:  Mears started his day in the 32nd position and at the end of the race he had led one lap and gained two spots.   His finish enabled him to remain in the top-35 in points.


Robby Gordon   
No. 7 Fast Five / SPEED Energy Dodge 
Hometown: Orange  
33rd in points

37th PLACE FINISH:  Starting near the end of the pack did not detour Gordon from trying to fight his way toward the front of the field, but unfortunately a brake issue left him in 37th place.  He ended his day by gaining five positions, leaving him in the top-35 in points.


Mike Skinner   
No. 60 Big Red Toyota   
Hometown: Susanville  
48th in points

40th PLACE FINISH:  Skinner qualified in the 34th position, but due to a brake issue he finished the race in the 40th spot, 371 laps down.

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, CARL EDWARDS, 378
2, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 355
3, KYLE BUSCH, 339
4, DALE EARNHARDT JR, 331
5, KEVIN HARVICK , 328
6, RYAN NEWMAN, 317
7, TONY STEWART, 313
8, KURT BUSCH, 306
9, CLINT BOWYER, 297
10, MATT KENSETH, 295
11, A.J. ALLMENDINGER, 287
12, GREG BIFFLE, 286

 

# # #

 

Advertisement

Use Of This Site Signifies That You Agree To The Terms Of Use       © 2014 Auto Club Speedway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites