CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR and INDYCAR Drivers Fared at Somona and Iowa

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 25, 2012) –  Clint Bowyer (No. 15, 5-hour Energy Toyota) picked up his first win with his new team (Michael Waltrip Racing) Sunday by holding off Kurt Busch (No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet) on the winding 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma.  Bowyer, who finished fourth three previous times on this road course, dominated the Toyota/Save Mart 350 by leading 71 of the 112 laps.

Below is how our California drivers fared in Northern California.

Jimmie Johnson 
No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet    
CaliConnection: El Cajon 
4th in points

5th PLACE FINISH:   "A solid day for the Lowe's car. We ran top-three all day long. Wish we had a little more for those leaders, but it just wasn't there. We'll take it. I'm happy for Clint (Bowyer). I know how important it is to win on these road courses. Just wish we had a little bit more."

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

16th PLACE FINISH:  "This was not that day the Rheem team was hoping for. We had a top-10 car easily, but unfortunately didn't have the finish to show for it. It's really disappointing, but we will regroup this week and get back at it next weekend in Kentucky."

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

6th PLACE FINISH:  "We had a really strong Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet today. Luckily we had enough laps to slowly work our way up into the top-10, I guess we ended up sixth. I thought I had a shot at getting a top-five and then someone laid someone laid oil going into four. We didn't know, so a little frustrating there. Still a great finish, and a great, great performance."

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

9th PLACE FINISH:   The Los Gatos native started 17th and weaved his way through the road course, finishing the day in the Top 10. 

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

15th PLACE FINISH:  “I am real proud of everybody on our team. We had a good car all weekend but we were too loose in the high speed stuff which made it pretty difficult not to get passed in turn 10 and difficult to pass. Overall our speed was good and I was happy with the way the car drove.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 1-800-LoanMart Ford  
CaliConnection: Riverside 
30th in points 

26th PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland qualified 27th and was only able to move up one spot on the day.

Josh Wise  
No. 26 MDS Transport Ford  
CaliConnection: Riverside  
41st in points 

30th PLACE FINISH:  The Sonoco Rookie of the Year Contender moved up 10 spots on the day, finishing 30th.

Scott Speed  
No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford   
CaliConnection: Manteca  
45th in points

25th PLACE FINISH:  Although qualifying 22nd, Speed was not able to make up any ground, finishing the event in 25th place.

Boris Said  
No. 32 HendrickCars.com Ford 
CaliConnection: Carlsbad 
48th in points

29th PLACE FINISH:  Making his first appearance in the 2012 season, started the race in 28th, and finished 29th.

Robby Gordon  
No. 7MAPEI/Save Mart Supermarkets  Dodge 
CaliConnection: Orange 
50st in points

39th PLACE FINISH:  In what may be his final NASCAR race this season due to sponsorship, Gordon finished 39th after encountering steering issues 73 laps into the event.

Mike Skinner  
No. 52 Toyota    
CaliConnection: Susanville 
68th in points

Skinner did not compete in Sunday’s race.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:
Position, Driver, Points
1, MATT KENSETH, 596
2, GREG BIFFLE, 585
3, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 582 
4, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 571 
5, TONY STEWART, 533  
6, KEVIN HARVICK , 532
7, CLINT BOWYER, 529  
8, DENNY HAMLIN, 523
9, MARTIN TRUEX, JR., 520
10, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 490 
11, CARL EDWARDS, 479
12, KYLE BUSCH, 459

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Saturday, June 30 @ Kentucky

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (June 25, 2012) - Ryan Hunter-Reay's second consecutive short track victory was reason enough to celebrate. Closing to three points of IZOD IndyCar Series championship front-runner Will Power was a bonus.  Ryan Hunter-Reay, who prevailed at the Milwaukee Mile a week earlier following a 90-minute rain delay, won the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway Saturday.

Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Saturday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race in Iowa.

Oriol Servia  
No. 22 Panther DRR Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Santa Monica 
12th in points

21st PLACE FINISH:  "Well, today was a disappointing day. Actually this is kind of the same thing that happened to me last year. In the last pit stop the valve in the fuel hose wouldn't open and this year it wouldn't close so the fuel kept flowing on the car and it created a fire and I think it burned something on the back. We had to stop because we were burning the engine basically. I'm really disappointed because we took a big gamble on the setup and the Sandvik Coromant car was awesome and I hate losing points like this."

JR Hildebrand 
No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Sausalito 
14th in points

22nd PLACE FINISH:  Hildebrand was involved in a single-car accident on lap 96 and retired from the race.  “I feel terrible for the entire National Guard and Hiring Our Heroes team right now, we had such a good car that I had everybody believing that with a couple of yellows we could get back on the lead lap and motor up to the front. The car was really that good. With (Ryan) Hunter-Reay I just washed up into this wake and had a huge run on him, and when you’re that close the car doesn’t turn as much as you want it to and I missed not hitting him by a couple inches. After that we were a few laps down, but man, we were hauling the mail and the National Guard Chevy was so fast. We’ve had a lot of bum luck this year, and the Panther guys have been doing great in the pits, but just haven’t been catching breaks, and to throw one away with a silly mistake on my part is really a bummer for the guys.”

Charlie Kimball 
No.  83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda 
CaliConnection: Camarillo 
16th in points

17thPLACE FINISH:  "It was a fun night overall.  I learned more in the second-half of tonight's race than all of the short ovals we've done all year. I've got to give a lot of credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys.  I was working my marks.  They rocked it in pit lane.  There was one stop where we went by four or five guys in pit lane.  They kept making the car better and giving me more and more speed in pit lane. I was learning in traffic.  In the end there, we just brought it home, knocking on the door of a top-10, which is good to build some momentum heading into this string of road courses.

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:
Position, Driver, Points
1, WILL POWER, 286
2, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 283 
3, SCOTT DIXON, 271   
4, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 261  
5, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 256
6, SIMON PAGENAUD, 246 
7, TONY KANAAN, 235
8, DARIO FRANCHITTI, 216 
9, RYAN BRISCOE, 205
10, GRAHAM RAHAL, 193

NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Sunday, July 8 @ Streets of Toronto.

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