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Californians Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland Lead Way Westward DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2007) -- Excitement transfers from one coast to another this week as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels west to California Speedway. Leading the...

Californians Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland Lead Way Westward

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2007) -- Excitement transfers from one coast to another this week as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels west to California Speedway.

Leading the way will be the Golden State's own Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet), who won this past Sunday's Daytona 500 -- the third consecutive California native to do so.

After he wraps up the Daytona 500 champion's traditional media tour in New York on Tuesday, Harvick heads west for more of the same, including his Wednesday participation in "California Speedway Day" at Hollywood's Hollywood & Highland.

"It's been great; anytime you get to celebrate a win in the Daytona 500, it's a lot of fun," Harvick said Tuesday.

"I already had a bunch of family and friends coming to California anyway, so this (500 victory) just makes it that much better."

Harvick plans "tripleheader" participation in each of NASCAR's three national series events this weekend. Aside from his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup duties with Richard Childress Racing, he'll combine driver/ owner hats in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series' Stater Bros. 300, piloting the Kevin Harvick Inc.-owned No. 33 RoadLoans Chevrolet. Harvick is the reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion.

He'll also attempt to qualify for Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' San Bernardino County 200 -- the first of four 2007 truck events he's scheduled to drive his own No. 2 Camping World Chevrolet for KHI.

Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland Lead California Contingent

Both the Daytona 500 winner and pole sitter return to home soil this week -- Kevin Harvick and David Gilliland (No. 38 M&M's Ford), respectively, -- also to the sites of some formative triumphs.

Harvick, 31, is a Bakersfield native. Gilliland, 30, is a Riverside native. The former is the third consecutive Daytona 500 winner from California behind 2006 Daytona 500 and reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), who hails from El Cajon, and 2005 Daytona 500 champion Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet), who hails from Vallejo.

Both Harvick and Gilliland, who will start only his 17th series race this Sunday, honed their racing skills in California. Gilliland is the 2005 Toyota All-Star Showdown champion; the event showcases top drivers from the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series and NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series, both top developmental series.

Also the 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series rookie of the year, Gilliland served as crew chief for his father Butch in 1997, the year the elder Gilliland won the series title.

Harvick is equally accomplished in NASCAR West Series circles; he succeeded Butch Gilliland as champion in 1998, a year in which he won the series' pole and race at California Speedway on July 8.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , David Gilliland
Teams Richard Childress Racing