While Southern California natives, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick, are among the most noticeable NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers for California, several drivers in NASCAR’s top series approach 2010 as a year of changes, big and small.
Allmendinger wheels a legendary car number
Allmendinger takes the wheel of the famed No. 43 this season and hopes that his enthusiasm takes the car to Victory Lane this year. “Just to be a part of something the King is involved in, and to have him come up and ask me to be part of it, it’s just a real honor to me,” Allmendinger said. “And I’m going to try to repay him by going out and working as hard as I can — harder than I ever have — and by trying to win as many races as possible.”
Mears finds a seat for the early season
With the loss of sponsorship for the RCR No. 07, Mears was forced to find another seat for the 2010 seat. Even with the tough economic climate, Mears was able to get a six-race deal with Key-Up Motorsports.
Mears will need to race into the Daytona field knows that is critical to his season, “…the whole thing here is to qualify one, we get in the show then we are able to approach the race and I think that obviously if we do make the race we got to have realistic goals and I think a big accomplishment for us would be to make all the races and be inside the top-35 when the music stops at the end five races and be able to get into Martinsville regardless would be good.”
Gordon and Gilliland team up for Daytona
The teams for Gordon and Gilliland have formed an alliance for the Daytona 500 and will be fielding cars, prepared by Robby Gordon Motorsports, that are essentially identical. Gilliland will move from BAM Racing in Daytona to the No. 38 of Front Row Motorsports in Fontana for nearly the rest of the season. Gordon will be driving in the SCORE series as well as Dakar in 2010, while fielding the No. 7 in Sprint Cup races.
What’s ahead for Cali’s drivers? The Gatorade Duels
After a good showing in Daytona qualifying, Speed starts the second Duel in sixth position and hopes to follow up with a solid showing for Sunday’s start. Joining Speed in Duel 2 are Gordon (16th), Mears (20th), and Gilliland (21st). In Duel 1, Johnson rolls off fourth, Allmendinger in 12th, and Harvick in 15th.
SPEED is televising the twin Duels starting at 2pm ET on Thursday.
For more information on Southern California Motorsports, check out:
- NASCAR 2010 preview (part one): Jimmie Johnson and Harvick among contenders for title
- Joey Logano takes NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown
- NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown K&N Pro Series qualifying rundown
- NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Super Late Model rundown
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