CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR and INDYCAR drivers fared this weekend in Pocono and Mid-Ohio

Several NASCAR 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. (Aug. 6, 2012) – California’s very own Jeff Gordon took advantage of a multi-car accident and timely rainfall at Pocono Raceway on Sunday to put his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet in victory lane for the first time this season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.  It was Gordon’s 86th career Cup win; and he set the record for the most career wins at Pocono with six. He is now in wild-card contention in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Below is how our California drivers fared this weekend.

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

14th PLACE FINISH: “When I was cooling my tires down through the tunnel coming to the green I noticed that something didn’t feel right.  I kept trying to clean the tires off and it got a little better so I just assumed I had trash on my tires, but when I got down into turn one I realized that I had a right-rear (tire) flat. Unfortunate that we lost the lead there and we got a couple of cars in the process.  I shouldn’t feel bad about that but not much you can do with a right-rear flat.” 

Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
9th in points

16th PLACE FINISH:  Harvick started 21st on the day but was only able to move up 5 spots, finishing 16th in the event.

Jeff Gordon  
No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: Vallejo 
13th in points    

1st PLACE FINISH:  "I tell you what; the way our year has gone we’ll definitely take it like this. Man, I’ve never seen the seas part quite like that before (laughs) like they did going down into (Turn) 1.  I tell you what, with all the things that have gone wrong for us this year, I’m hoping that this is the one that makes up for it all.”

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

35th PLACE FINISH:  Qualifying 29th, the Bakersfield native finished only 40 laps before brake issues put him behind the wall.

David Gilliland  
No. 38 ModSpace Motorsports Ford 
CaliConnection: Riverside 
30th in points 

21st PLACE FINISH:  Starting 26th, Gilliland was only able to move up 5 places throughout the day. 

Josh Wise  
No. 26 MDS Transport Ford  
CaliConnection: Riverside  
40th in points 
37th PLACE FINISH:  The Sonoco Rookie of the Year Contender finished 37th, facing brake problems 34 laps into the event.

Scott Speed  
No. 79 Ford      
CaliConnection: Manteca  
46th in points

Speed did not compete in Sunday’s event.

Mike Skinner  
No. 98 TRAQM.com Ford   
CaliConnection: Susanville 
54th in points

41st PLACE FINISH:  Skinner, who encountered rear gear problems 26 laps in finished 41st.

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 744 
2, MATT KENSETH, 739
3, GREG BIFFLE, 738
4, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 736 
5, MARTIN TRUEX, JR., 694
6, TONY STEWART, 691  
7, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 690 
8, DENNY HAMLIN, 683
9, KEVIN HARVICK, 681
10,CLINT BOWYER, 679  
11,KASEY KAHNE, 622
12,CARL EDWARDS, 619

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Sunday, Aug. 12 @ Watkins Glen

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2012) – Scott Dixon saved fuel when he needed, kept the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car out of harm's way and took advantage of every opportunity. And his pit crew performed admirably, too.  All told, it led to Dixon winning the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday for the fourth time in the past six years. His 29th victory tied Rick Mears for 10th all time.

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

25th PLACE FINISH: "We all know that this is apart of racing, but it really stinks when it happens to you. At the start of the race when I went to fourth gear it just broke and I don't know why. We then changed the gearbox and we lost six laps because of it.  It's just part of racing when things like this happen. It's just unfortunate, because we keep getting closer to the podium, but we have three races left and I think that we will have good cars at all of them so we still have time to shine."

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

Because of an injury, Kimball did not compete in the weekend’s event.

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

9th PLACE FINISH:  “We were banking on there being some yellows in there to make it a two-stopper like the guys up at the front, but we ran too hard in the first stint for that to pan out. We ended up having to make a splash for fuel that cost us a few spots there at the end of the race. But, having said that, we really battled back to come here with a racecar that was legitimately fast.”

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. 6, 2012) –  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.

Corey LaJoie finally was able to celebrate in Victory Lane at Iowa Speedway, closing out a dominating effort Friday night with a win in the Pork Be Inspired 150.  It was the third NASCAR K&N Pro Series win of the season for LaJoie and may be the sweetest -- coming on the heels of a flat tire in the final laps at Columbus Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson  
No. 6 L&M Ethanol Toyota   
CaliConnection: Elk Grove 
2nd in points

2nd PLACE FINISH:  Sonoco Rookie of the Year Contender Kyle Larson placed second in the Pork Be Inspired 150 at Iowa Speedway Friday night.

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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