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 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.


SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2011) – With two laps to go, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, passed leader Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, as he ran out of fuel to take home his second victory of 2011 and his second victory of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Below is how our Golden Staters fared in yesterday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

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

12th PLACE FINISH: After a strong starting spot of sixth, Harvick fell mid-pack near the end of the race and could never regain the track position he needed to contend for the win.  He crossed the finish line in 12th and lost one spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Harvick now sits seven points behind leader Tony Stewart.

Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet   
Hometown: Vallejo  
5th in points    

4th PLACE FINISH: Gordon led 78 laps in Sunday’s race and looked to be on his way to victory until he ran out of fuel during the final pit stop.  He was able to fight his way back and finish fourth. His Top-5 finish propelled him six spots in the points and he now sits fifth. “I’m just glad we finished fourth. It is tough conditions to race in (saving fuel). I don’t know, somehow we misjudged how far we could go on that second to the last run and we ran out.”

Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet    
Hometown: El Cajon  
10th in points

18th PLACE FINISH: Johnson qualified 10th, but an on-track scuffle with Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota, and poor track position led him to end the day in 18th place.  Johnson lost two spots in the points and now sits 29 behind leader Stewart. “I think track position was really important and he (Busch) was just racing really hard which was just what he’s supposed to do, and we just made some contact. It wasn’t like he was trying to wreck me or anything; he was just being kind of stubborn and ‘end of a race’ mentality.  It was just the end of a bad day.”

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

21st PLACE FINISH:  After starting 13th, Allmendinger could never make his way to the front.  He eventually finished 21st.

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

32ndPLACE FINISH:  Gilliland qualified 33rd and improved his position by one spot, ending his day in 32nd place.

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

42nd PLACE FINISH:  After 19 laps Mears was forced to go behind the wall with electrical issues.  He ended the day in the 42nd spot.

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

40th PLACE FINISH:  A brake issue ended Gordon’s day on lap 28.

Scott Speed   
No. 46 Red Line Oil Ford  
Hometown: Manteca   
66th in points

41st PLACE FINISH:  After qualifying 43rd, Speed only completed 23 laps before a brake issue forced him out of the race.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
4, CARL EDWARDS , 2080
5, JEFF GORDON, 2071
6, KYLE BUSCH, 2068
9, KURT BUSCH, 2066
11, RYAN NEWMAN, 2060
12, DENNY HAMLIN, 2028

NEXT RACE: Sunday, Oct. 2 – AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway


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