June 24, 2011 |
They might be among the most dreaded words in the NASCAR garage: "I feel good about things. " So declared Jimmie Johnson on Friday as the El Cajon native pursues an unprecedented sixth consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship. Johnson, 35, is fifth in this year's Cup standings heading into Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the curvy Infineon Raceway road course, where he is the defending champion. He had been second to Cup points leader Carl Edwards until last weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway, when Johnson spun his No. 48 Chevrolet, struggled to regain the lost positions and finished 27th.
June 23, 2011 |
As NASCAR arrives in California wine country to take on the twisty Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma, what's notable is how many of its top drivers already are in danger of missing the sport's title playoff. Drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya (15th in points), Kasey Kahne (19th), Joey Logano (23rd) and Jeff Burton (25th) are among those needing to pick up the pace with 11 races left before the Sprint Cup Series opens its 10-race Chase playoff Sept. 18. The top 10 drivers in points after 26 races advance to the Chase.
August 22, 2010 |
As the field accelerated to take the green flag and start the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, Dan Wheldon suddenly found himself upside down in a race car that was pirouetting down the track with a full load of fuel. Starting the race 12th in the 25-car field, Wheldon flipped over after being clipped by another car. But Wheldon, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, walked away unhurt thanks to the car's protective body work around his head. "It's a shame," he said, because his car "was really strong all weekend and we were hoping for a really good finish.
August 21, 2010 |
A year ago, Will Power was looking forward to a strong run in the IndyCar race here at Infineon Raceway, only to have his weekend cut short when "I ended up getting taken away in a helicopter. " The driver suffered a broken back in a practice crash while driving part time for Roger Penske's team. The accident not only ended Power's season, he feared it might harm his chances of obtaining a full-time ride with Penske this year. But Penske gave him the ride anyway and Power, after months of rehabilitation, took full advantage and is back at Infineon in top form.
June 21, 2010 |
There's nothing like an unruly road-course race to jumble NASCAR's championship standings. When the Sprint Cup Series arrived at the serpentine Infineon Raceway here, the top five drivers in points were Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth. Harvick finished third in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma on Sunday, and the Bakersfield native maintained his lead in the standings. But Kyle Busch and Hamlin had dreadful days that dropped them each a notch while Jimmie Johnson – seeking an unprecedented fifth consecutive Cup title – won the race and jumped to second behind Harvick.
June 20, 2010 |
Reporting from Sonoma, Calif. — Martin Truex Jr. left Infineon Raceway fuming at Jeff Gordon , and Gordon said Truex had every right to be angry. Just past the midpoint of Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, Gordon's Chevrolet bumped into the back of Truex's Toyota, causing Truex to spin and dropping him several positions into a group of cars that soon were involved in a big crash on a restart. "We should never have been in that position" so deep in the field, said Truex, who finished 40th in the 43-car field.