CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR Drivers Fared at Talladega

Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers have California connections, including 5-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson who hails from El Cajon. Below is a roundup of how each California driver fared at their respective races this weekend.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (May 7, 2012) - Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge used a strong push from Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) to take the lead from Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Best Buy Ford) and then pulled away from Busch during the final lap to win the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

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

Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet 
CaliConnection: Bakersfield  
5th in points

25th PLACE FINISH:  Harvick was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 187.  "I guess two guys got crossed up there and just blocked the track. Another one of those deals. It's fun racing to watch. I enjoy it, but NASCAR has got us in a terrible box here as far as temperatures and things like that. You run around in a pack at 260 (degrees), but I love this style racing. They just have to figure out a way to do it without the engines."

Jimmie Johnson 
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: El Cajon 
8th in points

35th PLACE FINISH:  Johnson only made it through 61 laps before an engine failure put him behind the wall.  “We lost oil pressure there. We don't really know why. It's just a bummer; we had such a great race car, up there leading the race and had something happen there."

AJ Allmendinger 
No. 22 Shell Penzoil/AAA Dodge 
CaliConnection: Los Gatos 
20th in points

15th PLACE FINISH: “My guys did a good job, fast motor, fast racecar.  I’m happy the 2 (Keselowski) car won.  I had a chance to win the race until it all went down the drain.  On the restart, everybody was getting after it.  I tried to block, if Denny (Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Totyota) was already there, my apology.  Everybody on the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge and the Penske organization gave us fast racecars.  We had a chance to win.”

Jeff Gordon  
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: Vallejo 
23rd in points    

33rd PLACE FINISH: Despite starting the day on the pole, Gordon called it a day on lap 142 after getting caught up in a multi car incident. “I don't know what happened.  I didn't really get to see what started that, why that car was way down low and those two got together and got up in front of the field. Man this is just one of the most bizarre years that this DuPont Chevrolet team and Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet team has ever gone through. I mean it's almost comical at this point. That was not fun. I didn't like hitting the wall. Gosh, I thought I was clear. I was just kind of cruising by on the inside and it looked to me like somebody came down and got Martin (Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) and then that turned him into me. That is just the way our season has been going.”

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

18th PLACE FINISH:  Mears qualified 25th and was only able to move up seven places, finishing the day in 18th.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 Taco Bell Ford   
CaliConnection: Riverside 
30th in points 

13th PLACE FINISH: Gilliland started the race in 26th position and finished in 13th place.

Josh Wise  
No. 26 Morristown Driver’s Service Ford 
CaliConnection: Riverside  
43rd in points 

42nd PLACE FINISH:  The Riverside, Calif. native and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender started the race in 16th position but a rear gear problem sidelined him after only five laps.

Robby Gordon  
No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge  
CaliConnection: Orange 
49th in points

Robby Gordon did not compete in the Aaron’s 499 and stands 49th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Points race.

Scott Speed  
No. 95 TWD Drywall Ford  
CaliConnection: Manteca  
50th in points

Scott Speed did not compete in the Aaron’s 499 and stands 50th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Points race.



NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, GREG BIFFLE, 378
2, MATT KENSETH, 371
3, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 369
4, DENNY HAMLIN, 351
5, KEVIN HARVICK, 333
6, MARTIN TRUEX, JR., 332
7, TONY STEWART, 328
8, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 324 
9, KYLE BUSCH, 308
10, CLINT BOWYER, 302
11, CARL EDWARDS, 300
12, BRAD KESELOWSI, 299

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Saturday, May 12 @ Darlington Raceway

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (May 7, 2012) – The IZOD IndyCar Series took the week off as it prepares for the May 27 Indianapolis 500.

JR Hildebrand 
No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Sausaluto 
9th in points

Charlie Kimball 
No.  83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda 
CaliConnection: Camarillo 
15th in points

Oriol Servia  
No. 22 Lotus DRR Lotus  
CaliConnection: Santa Monica 
17th in points

 

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, WILL POWER, 180
2, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 135
3, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 123
4, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 121
5, SIMON PAGENAUD, 118
6, SCOTT DIXON, 109
7, TAKUMA SATO, 83
8, RYAN BRISCOE, 83
9, JR HILDEBRAND,83
10, DARIO FRANCHITTI, 82

NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Sunday, May 27 @ the Indianapolis 500.

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