Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson Collect Second and Third Finishing Positions at California Speedway Team Chevy Drivers Capture Seven of Top-10 Spots; Mark Martin Takes Points Lead for First Time Since September, 2002 Fontana, Calif. - Jeff ...
Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson Collect Second and Third Finishing Positions at California Speedway
Team Chevy Drivers Capture Seven of Top-10 Spots; Mark Martin Takes Points Lead for First Time Since September, 2002
Fontana, Calif. - Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS and Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, finished second and third respectively in a dramatic four-lap shootout at California Speedway. The pair of California natives passed fellow Team Chevy driver Jeff Burton, No 31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo SS on the final restart of the 250-lap/500-mile Auto Club 500 and set their sites on leader but ran out of laps to catch leader and eventual winner Matt Kenseth.
"We had a fast race car and there were times we were able to show it," said Gordon. "We were racing up there with Matt (Kenseth) and Tony (Stewart) and that was fun. I really enjoyed that. It's just great when you have a good race car and the guys are making good adjustments and good pit stops.
"I don't know what happened to the 31 (Jeff Burton) on the restart. He just didn't go. We were able to get up there to second and hold Jimmie (Johnson) off. We never had anything for Matt (Kenseth)."
A total of seven Team Chevy Monte Carlo SS drivers scored top-10 finishing positions with four of the top-five carrying the Bowtie branding.
Burton finished fourth followed by Mark Martin, No. 01 U.S. Army Monte Carlo SS in fifth. Martin is now leading the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series point standings, the first time since September 2002.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniels Monte Carlo SS, crossed the finish line in seventh spot with Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo SS, in eighth place. Kyle Busch, No. 5 Carquest/Kellogg's Monte Carlo SS finished ninth.
Stewart showed strength in the early part of the race leading for 28 laps. A pass-through penalty for speeding on the entry to pit road put him to the back of the field to rally to his top-10 finish.
Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Monte Carlo SS, ran in the top-five the majority of the race despite a penalty for exiting pit road too fast. With less than 20 laps to go in the race, Harvick was chasing down Kenseth until a red flag for a multi car wreck stopped the field until the final restart. Harvick punctured his left-front and had to pit when the race went green for the final four laps.
Eight Team Chevy drivers now sit in the top-10 driver standings with two of the 36-race season in the books.
Round three of the 2007 season will be on March 11, 2007 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
-credit: gm racing