CaliConnection: How our California drivers fared at Michigan

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 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (June 20, 2011) – With Detroit just a stones throw away from Michigan International Speedway, Motor City watched Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, pick up his first victory of the 2011 season.  Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at MIS:


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

14th PLACE FINISH: Harvick qualified 22nd and remained in the top-10 for the majority of the race, led a lap, and gained eight spots at the end from where he started.  Although it was not the run he was hoping for, due to an admitted late-race mistake, Harvick did jump three spots in the points and now sits in second place, 20 points behind first. “We just got really loose at the end and I should have just packed her down a little bit and wound up getting the car into the fence,” said Harvick. “But they still did a good job of fixing it and we did what we could with it at the end and were able to come home okay.”


Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet  
Hometown: El Cajon  
5th in points

27th PLACE FINISH: After a spin on lap 9, Johnson was unable to recover and ended up crossing the finish line in 27th place, one lap down. His run lost him three spots in the points standings, leaving him in the fifth place, 29 points behind leader Carl Edwards. “We got turned around early and  we lost a couple laps from that and we were just kind of in a hole at that point and couldn’t get caught back up.”


Jeff Gordon                 
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet     
Hometown: Vallejo  
12th in points    

17th PLACE FINISH: Despite a disappointing starting spot of 31st, Gordon raced through the field, gaining 14 places and finishing in 17th place. He now sits in 12th in the points standings, a mere 17 points out of the top-10


AJ Allmendinger  
No. 43 Best Buy Ford   
Hometown: Los Gatos  
17th in points

13th PLACE FINISH: Although Allmendinger qualified 26th, his determination led him to race his way to the top-5, before settling into the 13th spot.  Allmendinger gained one spot in the points and now sits in 17th place. “That run was a credit to the Ford team in general. We struggled really bad. We were okay Friday and started struggling at the end of the day and we were really bad in qualifying,” said Allmendinger.  “We looked at some notes and went off the other Ford cars, a different direction than we had been before and the car was great all day.”


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

29th PLACE FINISH:  After starting his day in the rear of the field, his consistent run enabled to come home with a 29th place finish. He currently stands in 30th position in points.


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

38th PLACE FINISH:  Mears started his day in the 39th position and eventually had to retire from the race due to an electrical problem on lap 51.   His finish enabled him to remain in the top-35 in points (32nd).


Robby Gordon   
No. 7 SPEED Energy/Walgreen’s Dodge 
Hometown: Orange  
34th in points

37th PLACE FINISH:  After a two race hiatus, Gordon started the day in the 37th place, but his day ended on lap 80 due to a vibration issue.  Despite his troubles, he remains in the top-35 in points.


Mike Skinner   
No. 60 Big Red Toyota   
Hometown: Susanville  
50th in points

Skinner failed to qualify for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, CARL EDWARDS, 532
2, KEVIN HARVICK , 512
3, DALE EARNHARDT JR, 505
4, KYLE BUSCH, 503
5, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 503
6, MATT KENSETH, 491
7, KURT BUSCH, 491
8, RYAN NEWMAN, 456
9, DENNY HAMLIN, 455
10, CLINT BOWYER, 455
11, TONY STEWART, 454
12, JEFF GORDON, 438

 

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