NASCAR: Speed finally living up to his name

The sunglasses were propped on his head, and a smile easily crossed his face. For once, Scott Speed not only looked California cool, but also felt it.

Relief, happiness — no one in the garage Sunday felt better than Speed after the Auto Club 500. Not even race winner Jimmie Johnson.

Speed, the Californian from Manteca beginning his second full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is in a situation where he must prove himself. A refugee from Formula One, but without the credentials of Juan Pablo Montoya, Speed needs to show he belongs. Otherwise, he could go the way of other open-wheel drivers such as Dario Franchitti.

Out of the series.

If you would like to read racescribe author Martin Henderson’s story for ESPNLosAngeles.com on Speed and the proving ground that he is walking, click here.

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