The NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Atlanta had A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos) topping the charts for the California contingent with a sixth place finish. Scott Speed (Manteca) also had a top ten finish in his Red Bull No. 82 Toyota. Meanwhile, points leader, Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield) struggled with a ill handling race car for a ninth place finish. Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon) broke a streak of wins with a 12th place finish.
The Kobalt 500 showed that the underdogs can indeed rise to the top, as the usual suspects had to work hard for a solid finishing spot. While David Gilliland (Riverside) ended his day mid-pack in 26th place, the only driver not to follow the trend was Robby Gordon (Orange).
Gordon’s No.7 Toyota was the first car out of Sunday’s race. His tire blew out going into turn one and sent him hard into the outside wall. The No. 7 began the day 17th in points. With the 43rd place finish, Gordon dropped to 36th in the standings. Considering 2010 points begin to be used for go-or-go-home status outside of the top-35 in only two races, Atlanta may have proven costly for Gordon’s team.
Though NASCAR is dark this upcoming weekend, Gordon will be racing in the SCORE international off-road racing series. He will drive in the trophy-truck class of the San Felipe 250.
California Sprint Cup drivers: Atlanta finishes
- AJ Allmendinger – 6th
- Kevin Harvick – 9th
- Scott Speed – 10th
- Jimmie Johnson – 12th
- David Gilliland – 26th
- Robby Gordon – 43rd
- Casey Mears – DNQ
NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
- Harvick – 1st (—)
- Johnson – 4th (+1)
- Speed – 12th (+4)
- Allmendinger – 23rd (+4)
- Gordon – 36th (-2)
- Gilliland – 37th (+1)
For more information on Southern California Motorsports, check out:
- Golden Vegas weekend for Southern California NASCAR drivers: Kevin Harvick wins despite frustration
- Familiar faces of Busch, Biffle and Logano light up Nationwide race at Auto Club Speedway
- NASCAR 2010 preview (part one): Jimmie Johnson and Harvick among contenders for title
- NASCAR 2010 preview (part two): California’s NASCAR drivers represent current state of the sport
Janelle Jalbert is a fan of a variety of racing formats and equally enjoys the history of the sport. Janelle grew up in an auto mechanic’s family and swears that there is carb spray running through her veins. She can be reached via email for both comments and story ideas. You can follow Janelle as the Southern California Motorsports Examiner on Twitter as @SoCalMotorsport.
Janelle also serves as the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner. Feel free to join the discussion about the hard racing in the CWTS at the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner fan page on Facebook.