NorCal Drivers Racing Highlights: May 20-22, 2011

This past weekend was busy one for all of the NASCAR series. The K&N Pro Series East & West held a combined race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The Nationwide series raced on Sunday in Iowa as well. The Truck Series raced Friday night in Charlotte and the Sprint Cup All Star race was Saturday night. The IZOD IndyCar Series was busy with time trials, preparing for the Indy 500 this coming weekend . The NHRA was in Topeka, Kansas but none of the NorCal racers made the trip. The USAC Sprint Car Series was in Bloomington, Indiana. The USAC National Midgets raced in Haubstadt, Indiana. The World of Outlaws were at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio on Friday night.

J.R. Hildebrand from Sausalito, CA our "NorCal Driver of the Week"
J.R. Hildebrand from Sausalito, CA our "NorCal Driver of the Week"

Our “NorCal Driver of the Week” is J.R. Hildebrand from Sausalito, California. J.R. is the leading rookie in the IZOD IndyCar Series and was attempting to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500. It is the 100th Anniversary of the race and several past winners as well as drivers who don’t compete in IndyCar on a weekly basis were trying to get in this very special race. J.R. and his teammate, past winner Buddy Rice, had been fast in practice but the weather had been unpredictable and track conditions were constantly changing. Saturday the 21st was Pole Day and J.R. went out 11th, and at the time was 3rd fastest at 225.579 mph. As the day worn on, his time held up and he will start the race in the 12th spot, 4th row on the outside. The difference between 12th and the final 33rd spot was 1.70 mph. The speeds are the average of 4 laps, one little mistake could have cost him the opportunity to race. What an amazingly clutch performance! Congratulations to J.R. Hildebrand! Read more

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East & West

Cody Hodgson from Escalon was the highest finishing NorCal driver with a 12th place finish.

Matt DiBenedetto from Grass Valley won the pole award and led 24 of the first 25 laps. He had just retaken the lead from eventual winner Brett Moffitt on Lap 85, when he cut a tire to bring out the caution. He wound up 20th overall, his first finish outside the top 10 this year.

Eric Holmes
from Escalon, started in the 22nd spot and finished in the 14th position.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Matt Crafton, the points leader started 14th and struggled to a 26th place finish which dropped him 2 spots to 3rd in the 2011 points standings.

Justin Marks of Rocklin, last week’s pole winner, started 25th and finished strong in the 9th spot. This was Justin’s 2nd top ten of the year and it moved him up 5 spots in the points standings to 15th place.

Brad Sweet from Grass Valley qualified in the 4th position and came home with a top ten in 10th place. Brad moved up 2 positions and is now 21st in the points.

T.J. Bell from Sparks, NV was involved in a wreck on lap 70 and finished in 31st place.

J.R. Hildebrand with teammate and past winner Buddy Rice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
J.R. Hildebrand with teammate and past winner Buddy Rice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

A.J. Allmendinger of Los Gatos started 2nd and finished 4th in the Sprint Showdown, only the top 2 finishers transferred to the All Star race.

Mike Skinner from Susanville qualified 12th and finished in the 15th position in the Showdown.

T.J. Bell from Sparks started 21st and finished in the 18th spot. He got some good experience but did not make the All Star race.

Jeff Gordon from Vallejo, the only NorCal driver in the All Star race started 12th and finished in 15th.

USAC National Midget Sprint Car Series

Bryan Clauson originally from Carmichael, finished in 6th in the 100 lap feature event. Bryan is the leader in the points standings.

Kyle Larson of Elk Grove finished the race in 12th place.

Kody Swanson from Kingsburg suffered a terrible crash on lap 81 and had to be life-flighted to the hospital in Evansville. Kody was credited with a 22nd place finish. Read More

Tanner Swanson, Kody’s brother also flipped later in the race on lap 90 and finished in the 19th position.

J.R. Hildebrand at over 220 mph on the track at Indy.
J.R. Hildebrand at over 220 mph on the track at Indy.

USAC Sprint Car Series

Kyle Larson from Elk Grove was 2nd in his heat race and finished third in the Feature race.

Damion Gardner from Concord finished 3rd in his heat and then in 8th place in the 30 lap feature. He is now 2nd in the points standings.

Bryan Clauson from Carmichael struggled to an 18th place but remains 4th in the series points standings.

Keith Bloom Jr. from Anderson finished in the 9th spot.

World of Outlaws

Jason Meyers of Clovis finished 2nd in his 10 lap heat and then 5th in the 40 lap A-Main. He moved up a spot to 4th in the series points standings.

Paul McMahan from Elk Grove, recorded his 4th fast time of the year to lead the series. He won the B-Main and finished 10th in the A-Main. Paul also moved up a spot to 7th in the standings for this season.

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