CaliConnection: How our California NASCAR & INDYCAR drivers fared in Martinsville & Barber

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 8, 2013) – Jimmie Johnson closed out a perfect weekend at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon, winning the STP® Gas Booster™ 500 in dominant fashion.  Johnson, who took over the points lead in the process, started on the pole in a Chevrolet after a track-record qualifying run on Friday and then led 346 laps Sunday on the way to his 62nd career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory.
 
Below is how our California drivers fared in Martinsville.

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

1st PLACE FINISH:    “We had a great weekend, probably the most calm, relaxed thought-out we’ve had. We really fell back on our experience and stayed committed to that.  In the race we had to adjust on the fly. The track changed more than we thought it would. And then the 15 (Clint Bowyer) and the 24 (Gordon) showed up and I had my hands full.

Jeff Gordon   
No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet    
CaliConnection: Vallejo 
12th in points    

3rd PLACE FINISH:  It was an exciting day for us.  I think third was a great finish for us, and happy to bring home third.  We needed the points.  We needed a good solid run.  The 48, you give him that No. 1 pit stall at Martinsville, and I mean, it's almost near impossible to beat him.

Kevin Harvick  
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
14th in points

13th PLACE FINISH:  "The Budweiser team had a solid run today, but it came down to pit strategy at the end, and it didn't work in our favor. Next weekend is another race. We'll move on from Martinsville (Speedway) and put our focus on Texas (Motor Speedway)."

Casey Mears  
No. 13 GEICO Ford   
CaliConnection: Bakersfield 
17th in points

16th PLACE FINISH:  Mears started the day in 41st position and was able to make his way through the pack throughout the day.

AJ Allmendinger        
CaliConnection: Los Gatos 
31st in points 

Allmendinger did not compete in Sunday’s race.

David Gilliland   
No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford  
CaliConnection: Riverside 
34th in points 

28th PLACE FINISH:  Gilliland qualified 30th and was only able to move up two spots on the day.

Scott Speed  
No. 95 Surrender The Sponsor Ford 
CaliConnection: Manteca  
40th in points

41st PLACE FINISH:  Although qualifying 28th, Speed only lost ground on the day, finishing the event in 41st place.

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

35th PLACE FINISH:  The Riverside native moved up 7 spots on the day, finishing 35th.



NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, JIMMIE JOHNSON, 231 
2, BRAD KESELOWSKI, 225
3, DALE EARNHARDT, JR., 219 
4, KYLE BUSCH, 203
5, KASEY KAHNE, 199
6, GREG BIFFLE, 199
7, CARL EDWARDS , 193
8, CLINT BOWYER, 179
9, PAUL MENARD, 179 
10, MATT KENSETH, 172
11, JOEY LOGANO, 167
12, JEFF GORDON, 164

NEXT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE: Saturday, April 14 @ Texas

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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (April 8, 2013) - Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay overtook Helio Castroneves on Lap 76 of 90 and then held off Scott Dixon to win the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama by .6363 of a second on Sunday.  Castroneves, who won the inaugural event in 2010 on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course, finished third and Charlie Kimball finished fourth. Will Power, who started on the front row, finished fifth.

Below is how our Golden Staters fared in Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race in Alabama.

Charlie Kimball  
No.  83 Race With Insulin Honda 
CaliConnection: Camarillo 
6th in points

4thPLACE FINISH:  All in all, it's been a great race.  I'll have to talk to Novo Nordisk into letting me run the Race With Insulin paint-scheme all year.  To have all the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams represent blue rims this weekend meant a lot.  Jamie McMurray finished top-10 in Martinsville and the GRAND-AM boys finished top-five yesterday.  It’s been a great weekend for diabetes awareness and the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew.”

Oriol Servia  
No. 22 Panther DRR Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Santa Monica 
18th in points

15th PLACE FINISH:  "That was a disappointing race. On the first lap, I was involved in the first crash. I got hit from behind and I hit Hinch (James Hinchcliffe), which I'm sorry for. I saw three cars abreast in front of me and I tried to take it easy, maybe Graham (Rahal) didn't see it and we all just ran into them. It was a bad start and it's hard to come back from last. We had a decent car, but I had the rear bumper ripped off in that first crash so the car was not behaving at its best. We did what we could, we were never as fast as the top five cars, but we definitely as good as those running 6th, 7th, and 8th. If we would have been able to jump up front, we would have been able to stay there."

JR Hildebrand  
No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet  
CaliConnection: Sausalito 
21st in points

17th PLACE FINISH:  "I felt good all day, and the Panther team did a great job in the pits as well. But I felt like we had a couple varying scenarios that inevitably didn't go our way.  We were able to fight hard to keep our spot in the last few laps and I think at the end of the day we need to continue moving forward and working with what we have to get better. These last two races if we would have started up front we would have stayed there, so that's the aim going into Long Beach."

AJ Allmendinger   
No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet   
CaliConnection: Los Gatos 
25th in points

19th PLACE FINISH:   "All in all today was a good day in the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevy and there are a lot of positives to take out of it. We had a good start and I thought I was pacing myself well, we could have had a top-10 day without the couple breaks against us. It was a good day with a bad stall and unfortunately after that point we were saving fuel so it made it tough to make up ground. But I know that I can compete with these guys and look forward to getting even better at Long Beach."



IZOD IndyCar Series Driver Leaders:

Position, Driver, Points
1, HELIO CASTRONEVES, 79  
2, SCOTT DIXON, 70   
3, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, 66
4, MARCO ANDRETTI, 61
5, JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, 56
6, CHARLIE KIMBALL, 51
7, TONY KANAAN, 49
8, WILL POWER, 47
9, JUSTIN WILSON, 46
10, EJ VISO, 44
  

NEXT IZOD INDYCAR SERIES RACE: Sunday, April 21 @ Streets of Long Beach

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