CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR Drivers Fared at Kansas

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 23, 2012) -- Carrying a vintage ‘muscle car’ paint scheme in homage of Earth Day, and celebrating the 1967 Chevrolet ‘Mountain Green’ custom color, California's Jimmie Johnson, five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, was a strong contender throughout the 267-lap contest Sunday at Kansas Speedway, bringing his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet home third in the STP 400, behind race-winner Denny Hamlin.

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

Kevin Harvick 
No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
6th in points

6th PLACE FINISH:  Harvick started on the outside front row and pulled away from his competitors early in the race. He remained in the top-five throughout the first portion of the event; but, prior to his second scheduled pit stop of the afternoon, his No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet ran out of fuel. The team was able to get him back on track, but Harvick fought a tight-handling condition to cross the stripe in sixth place. “We have fast cars right now.  We just are making mistakes.  We will clean those up.  This team has been together for probably eight weeks now.  The Rheem Chevrolet was not exactly like it was in practice.  The car was really tight today.  It took us until the end to get it right.  The guys did a great job rebounding on pit road this week.  To run out of gas under green flag and come back and finish sixth is a good rebound.”

Jimmie Johnson 
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: El Cajon 
7th in points

3rd PLACE FINISH:  Johnson battled his way from the 15th starting position and took over the lead on lap 92.  He held that spot for a mere handful of laps before green flag pit stops brought his No. 48 Chevrolet to pit road. During the stop, one of the pit crew members dropped a lug nut; which cost Johnson valuable seconds.  While he continued to run up-front, he was unable to obtain the right balance in the car to vie for the win. Johnson’s third-place finish marks his fourth top-five finish of 2012.  "I just wish I was closer to those guys to race for it, but we really ran second to third all day long seemed to be the pace that we had in the car, so to come home third, I'd love to finish better, but it's not like we had a dominant car with the most laps that didn't win this week.  We kind of finished where we ran all day."

Jeff Gordon  
No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Vallejo 
18th in points    

21st PLACE FINISH: “We lucked out in some ways, I feel like, by finishing 21st.  It could have been a lot worse. We struggled today. We missed the set-up. And we were still going to finish 7th or 8th. So I think that says a lot about our race car. But yeah, we obviously had a valve spring I believe, something in the valve train that broke. They gave us more gear here this time and I think that took a toll on not only us, but on a lot of guys out there. I felt like it was turning a lot of rpm, even though we have a rev limiter to keep it from going over what we think it needs to and it never did; but still, it caused a problem.”

AJ Allmendinger 
No. 22 AAA Dodge   
CaliConnection: Los Gatos 
23rd in points

32nd PLACE FINISH: Despite qualifying on the pole, Allmendinger couldn’t keep up with the field, finishing the day in 32nd position.  The uneventful day dropped the Los Gatos native from 19th in points to 23rd.

Casey Mears  
No. 13 GEICO Ford   
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
28th in points

26th PLACE FINISH:  Mears qualified 40th and moved up 14 positions to finish 26th on the day.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford 
CaliConnection: Riverside 
29th in points 

27th PLACE FINISH: Gilliland started the race in 22nd position and finished 4 laps down in 27th place.

Josh Wise  
No. 26 Morristown Driver’s Service Ford 
CaliConnection: Riverside  
42nd in points 

39th PLACE FINISH:  This Riverside, Calif. native started the race in the 38th position for the second week in a row and finished in 39th.  He moved up one spot in the points standing as he now is 42nd.

Robby Gordon  
No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge  
CaliConnection: Orange 
46th in points

Robby Gordon did not compete in the STP 400 and remains 46th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Points race.

Scott Speed  
No. 95 TWD Drywall Ford  
CaliConnection: Manteca  
47th in points

Scott Speed did not compete in the STP 400.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:
Position, Driver, Points
1, GREG BIFFLE, 312
2, MARTIN TRUEX, JR., 297
3, MATT KENSETH, 295
4, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 291
5, DENNY HAMLIN , 289
6, KEVIN HARVICK , 287
7, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 275 
8, TONY STEWART, 265
9, CARL EDWARDS, 251
10, RYAN NEWMAN, 249
11, CLINT BOWYER, 227
12, JOEY LOGANO, 221

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Sunday, April 28 @ Richmond International Raceway



SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 23, 2012) – The IZOD IndyCar Series was off this weekend, but all the teams are in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the fourth race of the season, the Sao Paulo Indy 300 on Sunday, April 29 at 11 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

JR Hildebrand 
No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Sausaluto 
10th in points

Oriol Servia  
No. 22 Lotus-DRR Lotus  
CaliConnection: Santa Monica 
19th in points

Charlie Kimball  
No.  83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda 
CaliConnection: Camarillo 
20th in points

Townsend Bell       
CaliConnection: San Francisco          

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:
Position, Driver, Points
1, WILL POWER, 127
2, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 103
3, SIMON PAGENAUD 100
4, SCOTT DIXON, 96
5, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 95
6, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 81
7, RYAN BRISCOE, 72
8, GRAHAM RAHAL, 62
9, RUBENS BARRICHELLO, 59
10, JR HILDEBRAND, 57
NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Sunday, April 29 @ The Streets of Sao Paulo

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