BUSCH: Seven Golden Boys return home to California

There's no place like home Seven Golden Boys Return Home To Compete in NASCAR Racing on Labor Day Weekend FONTANA, Calif. (August 27, 2004)-There's no place like home, and for seven California-born NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch ...

There's no place like home
Seven Golden Boys Return Home To Compete in NASCAR Racing on Labor Day Weekend

FONTANA, Calif. (August 27, 2004)-There's no place like home, and for seven California-born NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series drivers the familiarity of "Home Sweet Home" will ring true when they return to the Golden State for the Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 weekend at California Speedway on Sept. 3-5.

Who are these Golden Boys you ask? They are none other than NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Robby Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Casey Mears, Jason Leffler and Ron Hornaday, Jr.

Four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon was born in Vallejo, Calif. Arguably the most-heralded Golden Boy, who seems to grab victories everywhere he goes has three wins at California Speedway. He's the only multiple winner at the superspeedway in NASCAR's premier series, with the speedway's Inaugural race in 1997, again in 1999 and a win in the Auto Club 500 earlier this year.

Additionally, Jimmie Johnson will return home this September. Johnson, who is originally from El Cajon, Calif., has raced both NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series at California Speedway and won his first race in NASCAR's top series at the 2-mile, D-shaped oval in 2002.

Another Gordon that can claim the Golden State as his home is Robby Gordon. The No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet driver hails from Bellflower, Calif. He has raced in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and the Champ Car Series at the superspeedway.

Another southern California city to claim NASCAR drivers is Bakersfield, Calif., and they take great pride in their speed. The Kern County city has had several notable drivers come out of the region, including current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears. Harvick, the driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, has two wins at California Speedway ('98 in the Truck Series and '02 in the IROC event). Harvick has raced in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR West Series and the IROC Series here.

Sophomore driver Casey Mears has competed in two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events with his best finish coming in May when he finished eighth. Mears, who comes from a family of racing legends, has competed in both open wheel and stock car races at the Fontana, Calif., oval.

In addition to the Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500, the NASCAR Busch Series Target House 300 will take place on Saturday, September 4. Californians and NASCAR Busch Series drivers Jason Leffler and Ron Hornaday, Jr. will celebrate their homecoming at California.

Leffler, who won the pole in May in the Stater Bros. 300 presented by Gatorade, is originally from Long Beach, Calif. The No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet driver has competed in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series at the track.

Ron Hornaday, Jr. will compete in his eleventh race at California Speedway this September. Hornaday who is from Palmdale, Calif., has raced not only in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series here, but also in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series. The No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet driver's best Busch Series showing at California Speedway came in 2003 when he finished 10th.

The Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 joins the Target House 300 NASCAR Busch Series race Labor Day weekend. Tickets for Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice are $40 and $50. Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pop Secret 500 tickets are $65 and $135. For ticket and event information call 800-944-RACE (7223) or visit the speedway's website at www.californiaspeedway.com.

-cs-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Robby Gordon , Casey Mears , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson