CaliConnection: How Our California NASCAR & INDYCAR Drivers Fared at Dover and Belle Isle

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.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (June 4, 2012)  – Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson took the win at the 43rd Annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup race; marking his seventh victory in 21 races at Dover International Speedway, and 57th career win in NASCAR’s premier series. Behind the wheel of a colorfully wrapped No. 48 Lowe’s Madagascar Chevrolet, Johnson led six times for a total of 289 of the 400-lap race. With his seventh win at Dover, he tied NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins of all-time at the Delaware venue. The win marked Johnson’s second victory and ninth top-10 finish of the year to date.

Kevin Harvick, pilot of the No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was consistently strong throughout the 400 mile event and crossed the finish line in the runner-up slot; giving Team Chevy a 1-2 finish for the day. This was Harvick’s 10th Top-10 finish in 23 races at Dover and his seventh top-10 finish in 2012.
 
Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Delaware.



Jimmie Johnson 
No. 48 Lowe’s Madagascar Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: El Cajon 
5th in points

1st PLACE FINISH:  “Just a fun day.  Clearly we had a fast race car, amazing pit stops.  Strategy, when you lead the most laps, sometimes at the end the way the cautions fall it can backfire on the dominant car, and the way cautions fell today, it allowed us to really flex our muscle and bring home the win.  So, proud of the effort and you know it was a brand new race car we brought to the track.  Had never seen a racetrack before and rolled off the truck and awesome all weekend long.

Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
7th in points

2nd PLACE FINISH:  “Yeah, we had a solid race.  I made a mistake on pit road there and got us back to about 20th.  The car was good enough to be able to drive back through the pack, and for whatever reason, we were able to adjust our car well today when we needed to and we were able to keep up with the racetrack and keep our car better through the day.  And I think that was a big key to getting through the traffic and putting ourselves back in position to at least have a chance.”

Jeff Gordon  
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet     
CaliConnection: Vallejo 
21st in points    

13th PLACE FINISH: “The fastest car doesn’t always win the race. And we’re sitting here in 13th or whatever; it’s silly. It’s always more frustrating when you’ve got a car that can win; and you show it by going up there and taking the lead. We don’t care about finishing top 15 or top 10 right now. That does nothing for us. We need wins.”

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

16th PLACE FINISH: “Wish we could have at least pulled out a top 15, but we just struggled all weekend.  The guys made some big changes Saturday after qualifying for the start of the race and for those first few laps before the red flag it felt decent but pretty quick into that next run we got tight and the car just felt on top of the track.  From there we just spent the rest of the race chasing the balance...just couldn't get both ends of the car working at the same time, kept going from one extreme to the other and didn't feel like the right rear was ever really in it.  It's frustrating for me, for my guys, everyone. I was looking forward to this weekend since this has been a pretty good track for me in the past and we had a good tire test here so just really disappointed we couldn't bring home a better finish for the Shell Pennzoil Dodge.”

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

41st PLACE FINISH:  Mears qualified 40th and moved down one place, finishing the race in 41st after getting involved in the 13 car accident on Lap 9.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 Autism Speaks Ford  
CaliConnection: Riverside 
30th in points 

40th PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland qualified 30th, but after the 13 car accident early in the race, Gilliland was only able to complete nine laps, finishing the race in 40th.

Josh Wise  
No. 26 Ford    
CaliConnection: Riverside  
43rd in points 

Wise failed to qualify for the FEDEX 400.

Scott Speed  
No. 79 team Kyle/Koma Unwind Ford 
CaliConnection: Manteca  
48th in points

43rd PLACE FINISH:  Speed got tangled up in the 13 car incident on Lap 9 forcing him out of the race to finish in 43rd.

Robby Gordon  
No. 7 Dodge    
CaliConnection: Orange 
50th in points

Gordon did not compete in Sunday’s race.

Mike Skinner  
No. 52 Toyota    
CaliConnection: Susanville 
62nd in points

Skinner did not compete in Sundays’ race.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:
Position, Driver, Points
1, GREG BIFFLE, 486
2, MATT KENSETH, 485
3, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 476 
4, DENNY HAMLIN, 464
5, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 453 
6, MARTIN TRUEX, JR., 441
7, KEVIN HARVICK, 440
8, TONY STEWART, 407  
9, KYLE BUSCH, 406
10, CLINT BOWYER, 405  
11, BRAD KESELOWSI, 400 
12, CARL EDWARDS, 390

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Sunday, June 10 @ Pocono Raceway

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (June 4, 2012) – Race winner Scott Dixon, who held on to finish 1.9628 seconds ahead of Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti, also was joined on the stage by Simon Pagenaud as Honda swept the top three in Chevy's home race.

Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race in Detroit.

Oriol Servia 
No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Santa Monica 
10th in points

5th PLACE FINISH:  "Again, it's the story of our season, whenever we give up, we come back. I have to give big credits to the team, because I crashed Saturday morning and that put us way behind schedule. We were a session behind everyone and in qualifying it was difficult, but we just kept improving. It's been a season of never giving up. Another top-five with our second race with Chevy and a second top-five in a row for the team so I'm very happy of what's to come for the rest of the season. We had Mecum again on the car.  It seems like every time we have them with us we have a good ending so I'm very happy.  It's just a shame we couldn't bring a win or a podium to Chevy at their home, but that's the way destiny works sometimes."

Charlie Kimball 
No.  83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda 
CaliConnection: Camarillo 
11th in points

8th PLACE FINISH:  “I have to give a lot of credit to the Detroit Grand Prix to get us back out there to finish that race.  For the fans it was important and for us as drivers it was good to get back to the race.  I did really well all day just running the pace and we got the fuel mileage we needed out of the No. 83 car. The Novo Nordisk team in pit lane did exactly what I needed, putting us in perfect position on the restart to go racing with the leaders. I came out with my third eighth-place in a row so we’re really happy with the day.”

JR Hildebrand 
No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Sausalito 
12th in points

14th PLACE FINISH:  “The National Guard Chevy guys have been working hard and we certainly found some things in the race that we’re going to be able to take to tracks like this going forward,” JR continued. “I think with everything that happened and given the amount of damage we took throughout the event, we’re satisfied to at least have the car in once piece finishing the race, but obviously not where we wanted to finish.”

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, WILL POWER, 232
2, SCOTT DIXON, 206   
3, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 177  
4, DARIO FRANCHITTI, 176 
5, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 176
6, SIMON PAGENAUD, 171 
7, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 169 
8, RYAN BRISCOE, 142
9, TONY KANAAN, 141
10, ORIOL SERVIA, 129

NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Saturday, June 9 @ Texas Motor Speedway.

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