CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR drivers fared this weekend

Several IZOD IndyCar Series and NASCAR drivers have California connections. Below is a roundup of how each California driver fared at their respective races this weekend.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Aug. 20, 2012) – With only three races left in the season, the IZOD IndyCar Series took the weekend off as it prepares for its Aug. 26 event in Sonoma, followed by the Sept. 2 INDYCAR event on the Streets of Baltimore, then the MAVTV 500 IZOD IndyCar World Championships season finale at Auto Club Speedway on Sept 15.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Takuma Sato (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda), Simon Pagenaud (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda), Josef Newgarden (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda) will test at Auto Club Speedway.  Sato, 13th in points, Pagenaud, 6th in points, Newgarden, currently 23rd, will be available for interviews at noon.  Media is welcomed to come between 9am – 5pm to capture video and photos of on-track activity. (Time is subject to change)

Oriol Servia 
No. 22 Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet    
CaliConnection: Santa Monica 
11th in points

Charlie Kimball 
No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch Honda  
CaliConnection: Camarillo 
16th in points

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

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, WILL POWER, 379
2, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 374
3, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 353  
4, SCOTT DIXON, 351   
5, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 316
6, SIMON PAGENAUD, 311 
7, TONY KANAAN, 307
8, DARIO FRANCHITTI, 271
9, RYAN BRISCOE, 267
10, GRAHAM RAHAL, 256

NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Sunday, Aug. 26 @ Sonoma.

 

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Aug. 20, 2012) – Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing and Ford Motor Company all celebrated the end of a drought Sunday with Biffle's victory in the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.  With his third victory at the 2-mile track, his second of the season and the 18th of his career, Biffle broke a seven-race dry spell for both Ford and owner Jack Roush at MIS. Biffle also grabbed the points lead from Californian Jimmie Johnson, who finished 27th after his engine failed in the closing lap.

Below is how our California drivers fared this weekend.

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

27th PLACE FINISH: Jimmie Johnson scored his worst non restrictor-plate finish of the season after his engine expired on Lap 195.
 

Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet 
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
8th in points

16th PLACE FINISH:  Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John's team finished 16th at Michigan International Speedway after battling handling issues during the Pure Michigan 400. "Obviously, that was not the kind of day we were expecting to have. Our team struggled all weekend to find the speed and setup we needed to get the Jimmy John's Chevrolet out front. We'll regroup this week and switch our focus to Bristol (Motor Speedway)."

Jeff Gordon  
No. 24 Drive To End Hunger/AARP Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: Vallejo 
16th in points    

28th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon was sidelined with engine issues on lap 95.  “This is a tough place on engines.  We rarely have these issues and it’s unfortunate to have this one here today.  It’s the kind of year we have been having.  I was hoping after Pocono we could carry some momentum and not have these kinds of back-to-back weekends, but that’s not the case.  We go on to Bristol and fight hard there.”

Casey Mears  
No. 13 GEICO Ford   
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
27th in points

37th PLACE FINISH:  Qualifying 29th, the Bakersfield native had a rough day, falling 8 places on the day.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 Taco Bell Ford   
CaliConnection: Riverside 
28th in points 

18th PLACE FINISH:  Starting 36th, Gilliland was able to move up 18 places on the day. 

Josh Wise  
No. 26 MDS Transport Ford  
CaliConnection: Riverside  
39th in points 

40th PLACE FINISH:  The Sonoco Rookie of the Year Contender finished 40th, facing suspension problems 21 laps into the event.

Scott Speed  
No. 95 TWD Ford     
CaliConnection: Manteca  
43th in points

Speed did not compete in the weekend’s event.

Mike Skinner  
No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford 
CaliConnection: Susanville 
52nd in points

39th PLACE FINISH:  With only 25 laps into the Pure Michigan 400, electrical issues with Skinner’s No. 98 Phil Parsons racing Ford took him out of the race.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, GREG BIFFLE, 823
2, MATT KENSETH, 803
3, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 801 
4, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 795 
5, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 776 
6, MARTIN TRUEX, JR., 763
7, CLINT BOWYER, 757  
8, KEVIN HARVICK, 738
9, TONY STEWART, 728  
10, DENNY HAMLIN, 727
11, KASEY KAHNE, 694
12, CARL EDWARDS, 689

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Saturday Aug. 25 @ Bristol

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NASCAR recently identified several drivers in their weekly and touring series that they have identified as young up and coming stars who represent the next wave of young talent set to make an impact on the national series scene.  One of those drivers is Kyle Larson from Elk Grove, Calif. who competes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the highest level of NASCAR's developmental race series.  We’ll keep up with Larson’s progress as he makes his way to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  The Series took the weekend off, preparing for its Sept. 3 event in South Carolina.

Kyle Larson  
No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota   
CaliConnection: Elk Grove 
2nd in points

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, BRETT MOFFITT, 392
2, KYLE LARSON, 372
3, CHASE ELLIOTT, 370
4, COREY LAJOIE, 367
5, EDDIE MACDONALD, 340
6, BRYAN ORTIZ, 339
7, BRANDON GDOVIC, 337
8, BEN KENNEDY, 334
9, SERGIO PENA, 321
10, DARRELL WALLACE, JR., 311

NEXT K&N EAST SERIES RACE:  Sept. 3 @ Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway.

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