CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR drivers fared at New Hampshire

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 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway over the weekend.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (July 18, 2011) – It was a dominant day for Stewart-Haas Racing as Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, led 119 laps and took home his first victory of the 2011 season and third win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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

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

5th PLACE FINISH: After contact on lap 240 with Juan Pablo Montoya left Johnson in the 33rd position, his shot at winning looked to be over.  Johnson never gave up and hard charged to the front, bringing home a 5th place finish.  He gained three positions in the points and sits just seven back from points leader Carl Edwards. “Well, I was just driving my guts out, man. The No. 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya), I don’t think of the three times he’s wrecked me it’s been intentional, but he’s out of mulligan’s. It’s happened way too often to the No. 48. We rallied back to fifth and we did it the hard way, by passing cars.”


Kevin Harvick   
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet  
Hometown: Bakersfield 
4th in points

21st PLACE FINISH: Harvick started 18th on the day but could only muster a 21st place finish. He lost one position in the points, leaving him in 4th place in the Sprint Cup Points Standings, 15 points behind leader Carl Edwards.


Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 
Hometown: Vallejo  
7th in points    

11th PLACE FINISH: After leading 19 laps and spending the majority of the race in the Top 10, Gordon looked to be on his way to another victory.  Unfortunately he blew a right-front tire coming to the white flag and ended his day in the 11th spot. His finish enabled him to remain in the 7th place in points. “It was a pretty crazy day for us, but certainly a lot to smile about with how great our car was. You have to survive these races in a lot of different ways and we had a lot of obstacles thrown at us with the alternator issue, which caused me to have to turn my A/C off and brake blowers, which probably ultimately blew that right front tire there at the end.” 

AJ Allmendinger  
No. 43 Best Buy Ford   
Hometown: Los Gatos  
16th in points

12th PLACE FINISH:  Fender damage due to a run in on pit road early in the race caused Allmendinger to go to the back of the pack.  He overcame the set back to finish in the 12th place.  Allmendinger gained two spots in the points and now sits in 16th place in the Driver standings – only 27 behind 12th place Clint Bowyer. “If we would have had no damage and been back there we would have driven back up through the field, but the thing was tight. It was ridiculous, it was fast. We just got hosed there.”


David Gilliland   
No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford 
Hometown: Riverside  
30th in points 

25th PLACE FINISH:  After qualifying 34th, Gilliland fought his way to gain nine positions, finishing the race in 25th. “That was a long day. We salvaged a 25th place finish which is actually a lot better finish than the car should have been.”


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

38th PLACE FINISH:  A brake problem ended the Bakersfield native’s day on lap 83.  Mears lost one spot in the points, leaving him in the 32nd place.


Robby Gordon   
No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge  
Hometown: Orange  
34th in points

Robby Gordon did not participate in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.


Mike Skinner   
No. 60 Big Red Toyota     
Hometown: Susanville  
57th in points

42nd PLACE FINISH:  After qualifying 39th, the veteran NASCAR driver experienced electrical  issues forcing Skinner behind the wall only 17 laps into the race. 


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, CARL EDWARDS , 652
2, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 645
3, KURT BUSCH, 641
4, KEVIN HARVICK , 637
5, KYLE BUSCH, 632
6, MATT KENSETH, 626
7, JEFF GORDON, 587
8, RYAN NEWMAN, 586
9, DALE EARNHARDT JR., 577
10, DENNY HAMLIN, 570
11, TONY STEWART, 570
12, CLINT BOWYER, 542


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