BUSCH: CHAMPCAR/CART: Casey Mears to drive in Busch series 2002

Motorsport.com -- Casey Mears switches from openwheel racing to stock cars in 2002. It was announced Friday, November 9th at Homestead that Mears, son of off-road and openwheel racer Roger Mears will drive for the Welliver-Jesel Motorsports in...

Motorsport.com -- Casey Mears switches from openwheel racing to stock cars in 2002. It was announced Friday, November 9th at Homestead that Mears, son of off-road and openwheel racer Roger Mears will drive for the Welliver-Jesel Motorsports in the Nascar Busch series next year. His teammate will be Hank Parker, Jr.

Mears is driving in his first Busch race for the team replacing Geoffrey Bodine. Today, Mears qualified 21st out of 43.

Mears, 26, brings years of racing experience to the table. In 1999, his final year in the Indy Lights series, Mears finished second in the standings. His first Champ Car race was in 2000 at Fontana for Team Rahal where he had his career best 4th place finish. Since then, Mears has tested both Indy Racing and Champ Cars. This past October, Mears drove for Mo Nunn Racing.

In October, Mears drove at Talladega in an ARCA sanctioned race where he started 15th and finished in ninth. He drove a car prepared by Welliver-Jesel. The Bakersfield, California driver will drive a Dodge Intrepid next year and will be a candidate for "Rookie-of-the-year."

The team has had a rough year this season and wanted a change for 2002. The owners, Scott and Jeff Welliver and new owner Wayne Jesel are looking forward to having Mears aboard.

"For being a young guy, Casey has shown a lot of technical expertise," commented Jesel. "We are excited to have two young guns as drivers."

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS , NASCAR-NS