California Connection: How our California NASCAR and INDYCAR Drivers Fared at Pocono and Texas

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. (June 10, 2013) – Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS, scored his third win of the season and third win at Pocono Raceway in dominating fashion Sunday.   Johnson closed the deal by leading 128 of the 160 laps in the race, and was untouchable while cruising to his 63rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.   He extended his overall lead in the series to 51 points over second place with his ninth top-10 finish of the season.

Below is how our California NASCAR drivers fared in Pocono.

Jimmie Johnson
No. 48 Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet
CaliConnection: El Cajon
1st in points

1st PLACE FINISH:    ” But great race car, clearly.  I mean, that car had a ton of speed in it, and not only the car but I think our engine really had a chance to shine today, and the configuration here and the fact that we're able to shift, our engine shop works really hard to make that power, and today it showed, and then at times when we needed to conserve fuel we could get that done, as well.  I felt like it was a very well rounded weekend for us clearly with speed, that speed, you need power, and then when we needed to back it down and save some fuel we could do that, too.”


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

9th PLACE FINISH:  "The Rheem crew did a great job today at Pocono Raceway, especially coming back from that mid-race set back on pit road. Recovering from that mistake to finish in the top 10 is proof of how hard this team works each week." 



Jeff Gordon
No. 24 AXALTA Coating Systems Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: Vallejo
11th in points

12th PLACE FINISH:  Jeff Gordon failed to win his seventh race at Pocono Raceway, finishing 12th on the day.


Casey Mears
No. 13 GEICO Ford
CaliConnection: Bakersfield
26th in points

22nd PLACE FINISH:  Mears was only able to move up five spots on the day.


David Gilliland
No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford
CaliConnection: Riverside
30th in points

24th PLACE FINISH:   Gilliland was able to move up 7 spots on the day.


Scott Speed
CaliConnection: Manteca
38th in points

Speed did not compete in Sunday’s race.


AJ Allmendinger  
No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Los Gatos
42nd in points

33rd PLACE FINISH:  Despite starting 18th, Allmendinger finished 33rd on day. 


Josh Wise
No. 35 MDS Transport Ford
CaliConnection: Riverside
49th in points

34th PLACE FINISH:  The Riverside native was only able to move up 2 spots on the day.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 521
2, CARL EDWARDS, 470
3, CLINT BOWYER, 452
4, DALE EARNHARDT JR., 439
5, KEVIN HARVICK, 434
6, MATT KENSETH, 418
7, KYLE BUSCH, 412  
8, KASEY KAHNE, 400
9, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 398
10, GREG BIFFLE, 395
11, JEFF GORDON, 393
12, PAUL MENARD, 385


NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Sunday, June 16 @ Michigan.


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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (June  10, 2013) – Helio Castroneves dominated the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway to take sole possession of first place in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings through eight of 19 races.

Driving the Chevrolet-powered No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske car, Castroneves led 132 of 228 laps on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval and won by 4.6919 seconds over reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.

Below is how our INDYCAR drivers with a California connection fared at Texas.


Ryan Hunter-Reay
No.  1 DHL Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Dana Point
3rd in points

2nd PLACE FINISH:  "Man, the drivers had to drive it tonight, and that No. 1 DHL Chevy was great. We made the most of it and we kinda' lost it there when that yellow (flag) came out, our strategy was such that we needed that yellow not to come and we had a good shot at winning it today thought. It's just... man, after a long day like that we need to down some Sun Drops. That was, I'll tell ya... that was interesting. That was hard to even get by some of the slower traffic. You were just searching everywhere for grip; I had so many catches out there I thought were going into the wall. It's going to be tough to go to sleep tonight."


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

17th PLACE FINISH:  “It’s a little disappointing for the No. 83 team tonight because we had a great car and the crew did a really great job in the pits.  I have no complaints with where we are, we just didn’t quite catch the yellows.  We have had a lot of races where strategy and yellows have worked to our advantage, but tonight it just didn’t quite work out.  We had a really good car, we just struggled a little bit with stuff that was out of our control.  That’s fine.  We’ll focus on the fact that we had a really good car.  There was a stint we went passed the car leading the race and drove away.  I think it bodes well for the future, so I’m looking forward to going to Milwaukee next week since we had a really good test there and we’ll go racing.”


Oriol Servia
No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Santa Monica
19th in points

19th PLACE FINISH:  "Definitely not the initial race I wanted representing the National Guard and Panther Racing. I had really high hopes to go for a win, since we’re out of the championship anyway. We made a bunch of changes before the race, and I think the car was not way off, but one of the stints we put too much wing in, and at the end of the tires we probably should have come in two or three laps before that because we were already very loose. Then on one of the bumps the rear just went, which was unfortunate. Luckily we saved the car, but the truth is the race was still not lost, because sometimes you can get your laps back at a place like this, but with no more yellows we couldn’t make any miracles happen.”


AJ Allmendinger  
No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Los Gatos

Allmendinger did not compete in Saturday’s INDYCAR race.



IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 259
2, MARCO ANDRETTI, 237
3, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 232
4, TONY KANAAN, 195
5, TAKUMA SATO, 194
6, SIMON PAGENAUD, 194
7, SCOTT DIXON, 193
8, JUSTIN WILSON, 184
9, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 176
10, DARIO FRANCHITTI, 168


NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Saturday, June 15 @ The Milwaukee Mile


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