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Daytona 500 Winner Kevin Harvick Leads Strong Team Chevy to Fontana California Speedway FONTANA, CALIF - Team Chevy will make its next appearance at California Speedway with tremendous momentum from the season-opening event at Daytona ...

Daytona 500 Winner Kevin Harvick Leads Strong Team Chevy to Fontana California Speedway

FONTANA, CALIF - Team Chevy will make its next appearance at California Speedway with tremendous momentum from the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway.

In the 13 previous NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races (NNCS) held on the two-mile, slightly banked oval, Chevrolet has taken five trips to victory lane. Kyle Busch, No. 5 Carquest/Kellogg's Monte Carlo SS became the youngest winner at the speedway with his 2005 win.

The Auto Club 500 marks a homecoming for four Team Chevy drivers - Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS and Casey Mears, No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Monte Carlo SS.

As if Bakersfield, CA native Harvick, hasn't been busy enough since his remarkable Daytona 500 victory (he also won the NASCAR Busch Series Race on Saturday), he is set to drive a Bowtie brand in the three NASCAR national series events on tap this upcoming weekend at the Fontana, CA two-mile track.

Harvick, who is ready to claim his first win in his home state, sits atop the NNCS point standings as the 2007 season swings in to high gear.

"Since winning the race, it's been as exciting as you can get," said Harvick. "To win the Daytona 500 and the Busch race in the same weekend, get those first Superspeedway wins down is a lot of fun. Now we get to go home and see my family and friends. It will be that much more exciting in California.

"I'd definitely rather be on the racetrack. It's something to where this week, you get to celebrate winning the Daytona 500. They've been very organized with everything, really making things go really smoothly. We've been able to rest at night and have somewhere nice to sleep, too. It's really not been much worse than being at home.

"I am still going to race all three races. We planned on doing that from the beginning. Just trying to get the Truck program started off on the right foot. Be in the Busch car this week, too. When you're in the car at the track, you can kind of get away from the rest of it."

Gordon was born and raised in Vallejo. Gordon has the most wins (three); most top-five finishes (six) and most top-10 runs (six) of all active NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers at the Fontana track. The four-time NNCS champion left Daytona 10th in the final finishing order and stands prepared to make a statement in the 250-lap/500-mile race.

Defending NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion, Johnson, has one win at California Speedway on his resume, taking the victory in 2002. After being sidelined as a result of an accident early in the Daytona 500, Johnson is poised to make a charge to the front of the field on Sunday.

Race two of the 36-race 2007 NNCS marks the second start for Mears as a member of Team Chevy. The Bakersfield born driver joined Hendrick Motorsports at the conclusion of the 2006 season. His 20th place finish at Daytona is further incentive for Mears to put on a great show with a stellar finish before his hometown crowd.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Kyle Busch