California Connection: How our California NASCAR & INDYCAR Drivers Fared at Talladega and Sao Paulo, Brazil

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (May 6, 2013) – Front Row Motorsports lived up to its name Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, as FRM driver David Ragan (No. 34 Farm Rich Ford), driving for an underfunded team, won the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and teammate David Gilliland of Riverside,  finished second.

Below is how our California drivers fared in Talladega.

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

5th PLACE FINISH:    “I thought the race would be settled between me and (Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth), but then those two guys came up on us so fast.  I could see Carl trying to block, and he finally said there’s no real way to block this speed that they’re bringing, and those two went blowing by. It’s really cool for that team.”

Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Bakersfield
12th in points

40th PLACE FINISH:  " I feel like this race was a flashback to Daytona (International Speedway). We had a great run last weekend, and I was really hoping that we could carry that momentum into this weekend, but we didn't have a chance to make it to the end. I've got to thank the Budweiser team for working so hard to try and get us back on track. Wish we could have had a better result, but that's part of superspeedway racing."

Jeff Gordon
No. 24 Imron Elite Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Vallejo
14th in points

11th PLACE FINISH:  Gordon stated 9th, dropping two spots on the day to finish 11th.

Casey Mears
No. 13 GEICO Ford
CaliConnection: Bakersfield
24th in points

24th PLACE FINISH:  Mears ran 189 of the 192 laps on the day, finishing in 24th place.

David Gilliland 
No. 38 Love’s Travel Shop Ford
CaliConnection: Riverside
29th in points

2nd PLACE FINISH:   “It’s been my dream since I came to Front Row to get (team owner) Bob Jenkins to Victory Lane.  This is about as much as I could help today. For an under-funded team to be able to come in here and finish 1-2 is just awesome. It’s a huge day for any team to get first and second, but for our little team, it’s a special day. I still want to get that first win, but we’ll take second for sure and get the first win for our team.”

AJ Allmendinger 
CaliConnection: Los Gatos
35th in points

Allmendinger did not compete in Sunday’s NASCAR race.

Scott Speed
CaliConnection: Manteca
38th in points

Speed did not compete in Sunday’s race.

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

19th PLACE FINISH:  The Riverside native was able to move up seven spots on the day.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 383
2, CARL EDWARDS, 342
3, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 324
4, CLINT BOWYER, 316
5, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 314
6, KASEY KAHNE, 299
7, ARIC AMILROLA, 293 
8, PAUL MENARD, 290
9, KYLE BUSCH, 285
10, GREG BIFFLE, 280
11, MATT KENSETH, 279
12, KEVIN HARVICK, 276



NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Saturday, May 11 @ Darlington.

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (May 6, 2013) – James Hinchcliffe captured victory at the Sao Paulo Indy 300 Sunday, driving the No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport. It marked the second win in 35 starts for the 26-year-old resident of Indianapolis.

Below is how our INDYCAR drivers fared in Brazil.

Ryan Hunter-Reay
No.  1 DHL Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Dana Point
6th in points

11th PLACE FINISH:  Defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, qualified first and led twice for a total of 16 laps, but a late-race flat tire relegated him to the 11th finishing position.  “Extremely disappointing today. Absolutely had the car to win. Guys gave me a great, great car…the pit stops were awesome. Definitely needed to capitalize on this opportunity, but we got a flat tire about halfway through the race which pretty much sidelined us. We pit super early on the last stop, had to save fuel the remainder of the race. I was lifting halfway down the straightaway so… we were wounded and stayed that way. Happy for the teammates – James on the win and Marco on the third.”

Charlie Kimball
No.  83 Novo Nordisk Honda
CaliConnection: Camarillo
10th in points

10th PLACE FINISH:  "It was a really solid day for the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car. I really can't say enough about the Chip Ganassi Racing guys, not just help from my teammates but these guys in pit lane were rock solid. We had great pace; we were able to get quicker all-day long, pass cars and move forward. We were able to take advantage of a pretty aggressive strategy. I'm happy to leave here with another top-10. Heading into Indy we needed another good result. Another top-10 will really help our momentum and confidence as we head toward the big one.”

Oriol Servia
No. 22 Panther DRR Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Santa Monica
8th in points

4th PLACE FINISH:  "I had a great car today! We had to go through the field twice and still finished fourth. I really thought we had a podium; really, we had a car to win. We have worked so hard to have the car and the team we have.  We are contenders. We just announced that we need to find more sponsorship to continue after Indy, but I'm very happy today. We are working well, we are doing our jobs right, and something good is going to happen!"

JR Hildebrand
No. 4 National Guard
Panther Racing Chevrolet
CaliConnection: Sausalito
16th in points

15th PLACE FINISH:  “The definite good thing was that the National Guard Chevy was really good. We were really good in the tight sections of the track, and we tried hard to make for a neutral car, because we thought we’d be saving fuel.  But now it’s time for Indianapolis – and that’s our wheelhouse. Next week is as important as the first week on the racetrack to get prepared, so we’ll be smart about that like we have in the past and we’ll be hauling ass when we get there.”

AJ Allmendinger 
No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet 
CaliConnection: Los Gatos
26th in points

Allmendinger did not compete in Sunday’s race.

IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, TAKUMA SATO, 136
2, MARCO ANDRETTI, 123
3, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 116
4, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 112
5, SCOTT DIXON, 101
6, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 94
7, JUSTIN WILSON, 91
8, ORIOL SERVIA, 89
9, SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, 86
10, CHARLIE KIMBALL, 80
  
NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Sunday, May 26 @ Indianapolis

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