CaliConnection: How Our California NASCAR Drivers Fared at Texas

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 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2011) – Proving that he is in it to win it, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, led 173 laps and brought home his second straight and fourth victory overall in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.  Stewart now trails points leader Carl Edwards by a mere three points with two races left in the 2011 NASCAR season.

Below is how our Golden Staters fared on Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

Kevin Harvick   
No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet  
Hometown: Bakersfield 
3rd in points

13th PLACE FINISH: Harvick started 21st and fought hard all race to make his way to the front.  He eventually crossed the finish line in the 13th position.  Harvick held on to third place in the points standings, and is now 33 behind leader Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford.


Jimmie Johnson  
No. 48 mylowes Chevrolet   
Hometown: El Cajon  
6th in points

14th PLACE FINISH: After running in the Top 10 for the majority of the race, Johnson spun on lap 241. He salvaged the day with a 14th place finish. Johnson remains sixth in the points, 55 behind leader Edwards. "I fought a loose race car all night long and I lost it off of (Turn) 4. I think sliding thru the grass did some damage underneath the car.”


Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet  
Hometown: Vallejo  
8th in points    

6th PLACE FINISH: Gordon qualified 23rd, and worked on adjusting to the changing track conditions throughout the race. He never gave up and crossed the finish line in sixth place. Gordon gained two spots in the standings and now sits eighth. “Great effort by the Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet.  We had to start in the middle of the field and this place can be tough to move up there and we moved up right away and at times I thought we had a car that could compete for the win.”


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

10th PLACE FINISH: After a disappointing starting spot of 26th, Allmendinger drove to the front. Although he fell back on several restarts, Allmendinger was still able to come home with a Top 10 finish. “I felt like it was definitely the best I’ve ever felt in a car around one of these places.  We just got a bad break there on the two tires. I got back into sixth on the restart and we were good, and then the yellow came out and we went backwards after that.”


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

32nd PLACE FINISH: Gilliland started the race in 34th and was able to improve his beginning position by two spots.  He crossed the finish line in 32nd place.


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

25th PLACE FINISH:  Mears qualified 33rd and drove hard to improve his position.  He took the checkered flag in the 25th spot.


Mike Skinner   
No. 37 MaxQ Motorsports Ford 
Hometown: Susanville  
58th in points
41st PLACE FINISH: After starting 38th, Skinner was forced to end his day on lap 19 when he encountered a brake issue.


Scott Speed   
No. 46 Green Stuff Absorbent Ford 
Hometown: Manteca   
67th in points

39th PLACE FINISH: Speed started the day in 39th, but went behind the wall on lap 30 due to a rear gear issue.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, CARL EDWARDS, 2316
2, TONY STEWART, 2313
3, KEVIN HARVICK, 2283
4, MATT KENSETH, 2278
5, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 2267
6, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 2261
7, DALE EARNHARDT, JR, 2237
8, JEFF GORDON, 2235
9, KURT BUSCH, 2229
10, DENNY HAMLIN, 2217
11, KYLE BUSCH, 2216
12, RYAN NEWMAN, 2213


NEXT RACE: Sunday, Nov. 13 – Kobalt Tools AAA 500 at Phoenix International Raceway


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