CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR 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 Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway over the weekend.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (August 22, 2011) – Las Vegas, Nev. native Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, became the first driver to win four races in the 2011 season and secured his spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Michigan International Speedway while El Cajon’s Jimmie Johnson came in a close second.   Below is how our other Golden Staters fared in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event:

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

2nd PLACE FINISH: After a tough start to the race, Johnson battled his way forward to compete for the win.  Johnson came home in the second position, gaining one spot in the points, and now sits second in the standings. “It was just really loose at the start of the race and I drove up through the field and Chad (Knaus, crew chief) made a great call to get me to pit road before that caution came out. It gave us the shot at the win but once I was up front in the clean air the balance of the car was a bit too loose.”


Kevin Harvick   
No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet 
Hometown: Bakersfield 
3rd in points

22nd PLACE FINISH: Harvick started 24th and contended with an ill-handling racecar all day.  He was never able to recover and crossed the finish line in 22nd place.  Harvick gained one spot in the points and now sits in 3rd place, 39 points behind leader Kyle Busch.


Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet    
Hometown: Vallejo  
6th in points    

6th PLACE FINISH: Although Gordon led 50 laps and was a serious threat for the win, he came home with a respectable 6th place finish.  Gordon gained one spot in the points and now sits sixth.  “Well I think we were really good in clean air and when we got our front we were able to show that. I think Kyle (Busch) was the best car and he won the race but I felt like we were the second-best car and when we got the lead we could really show that.”

 
AJ Allmendinger 
No. 43 Best Buy Ford   
Hometown: Los Gatos  
15th in points

11th PLACE FINISH:  Starting 29th didn’t slow Allmendinger down. He never gave up and worked his way up to an 11th place finish. Allemdinger gained one spot and now sits 15th in Driver’s Points.
 

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

32nd PLACE FINISH:  After qualifying 39th, Gilliland was determined to bring home a good finish but could never get his car the way he wanted it. “Our car was really loose all day.  It was tough to keep it out of the wall.  Peter (Sospenzo, crew chief) and the guys made a lot of changes throughout the race to help it, but I could never really drive it the way I needed to.”

 
Casey Mears  
No. 13 GEICO Toyota   
Hometown: Bakersfield 
31st in points

37th PLACE FINISH: Mears qualified 21st, but a vibration ended his day on lap 32.
 

Mike Skinner   
No. 60 Big Red Toyota     
Hometown: Susanville  
56th in points

42nd PLACE FINISH:  Mike Skinner started 43rd, but an electrical issue forced him behind the wall on lap 14.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, KYLE BUSCH, 799
2, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 789
3, KEVIN HARVICK , 760
4, CARL EDWARDS, 760
5, MATT KENSETH, 759
6, JEFF GORDON, 739
7, RYAN NEWMAN, 725
8, KURT BUSCH, 722
9, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 700
10, TONY STEWART, 694
11, CLINT BOWYER, 670
12, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 642

 

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About Auto Club Speedway:  Auto Club Speedway, is a two-mile oval located in Fontana, California and is home to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race each March. The track also hosts the IZOD IndyCar Series, Historic Sports Car Festival, NHRA drag racing on the track’s Auto Club Dragway, and community events including Red White & Cruise, the annual Fourth of July celebration. In addition to auto racing and community events, the Speedway is home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. The track is active for more than 320 days every year.  For more information or to purchase tickets to NASCAR or IndyCar Weekend at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.


 

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