CASEY MEARS TEAMS WITH DORRICOTTT RACING FOR 1999
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Feb. 4 , 1999) - - Dorricott Racing and Team Mears have announced that they will combine efforts for their challenge of the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship with Indy Lights driver Casey Mears competing under the Dorricott Racing moniker. The addition of Casey Mears to Dorricott Racing creates a highly visible three-car program, which will also feature returning drivers Oriol Servia and Philipp Peter
"I'm delighted that Casey Mears, his father Roger Mears, and Team Mears will be teaming up with Dorricott Racing this season," said Dorricott Racing team owner Bob Dorricott. "I believe that by pooling of our resources and combining our team's efforts, a dynamic relationship is being created between two of Indy Lights' most competitive teams and among three drivers who are each capable of winning the Indy Lights championship."
Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., will be entering his third season of regular Indy Lights competition. In 10 Indy Lights starts in 1998, Mears recorded five top-10 finishes including an Indy Lights career best third place finish at Nazareth Speedway in round three of the 14-race season. His eighth place finish at California Speedway after starting 18th in the Lights season finale was enough to move him to 17th in the final point standings despite being unable to compete in four Lights events.
The 20-year old Mears first full season in Indy Lights was 1997 where he raced in all 13 events and finished ninth place in his season debut at Homestead. In finishing 11 races, Mears compiled an impressive lap completion percentage of 95.2 percent (598 laps completed out of 628) which tied him for fourth place in that category. He also ranked third place overall in miles completed at 94.7 percent (930.461 miles completed out of 982.239).
"I'm really looking forward to working with Dorricott Racing for the 1999 and 2000 race seasons," said Mears. "Besides being a top flight organization, it's a team that brings a tremendous amount of Indy Lights experience to the table. I also look forward to working with Oriol and Philipp. A three-car effort and the input that will come from having three different drivers running the same circuits will definitely benefit the entire team."
Mears, who is son of legendary off-road champion Roger Mears and nephew to four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, began racing "Big Wheels" at age three. He then progressed through 70cc Three-Wheelers in the "Pee Wee" class at Bakersfield Speedway to 80cc Stock and Modified Quads. His debut season in go-karts in 1991 was highlighted by setting the fast time, new track record, and winning his heat and main event at Riverside International Raceway. He moved to the SuperLite Series in '92 where he earned repeated podium finishes. Mears also attended the Bondurant Driving School.
Mears continued in the SuperLite Series in 1993 driving for the Mirage Racing Products Team. In addition to scoring several top-10 finishes in heat and main events, he expanded his learning curve to include the Jim Russell Racing School and Pro Russell Series'.
Mears returned to SuperLite's in 1994 with the Off-Road Stadium Team for Nature's Recipe, and completed a second year in the Jim Russell Racing School Series where he won seven races in 18 events to capture the championship. He added another highlight when he cinched third place in the Jim Russell Triple Crown Championship with a win at Mesa Marin Raceway.
Podium success continued in 1995 when he captured the 1995 USAC Triple Crown Championship while remaining a front-runner in the SuperLite Series, Jim Russell School Series, and McKenzie ShortCourse Championship.
Mears made his Indy Lights debut at the 1996 Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland where he finished eighth place for Team Medlin. He also continued his valuable seat time in the Jim Russell School Series and McKenzie ShortCourse Championship Series.
"Teaming with Dorricott Racing presents Casey with an outstanding opportunity to grow as a driver and showcase his abilities," said Roger Mears. "Dorricott Racing offers a tremendous reservoir of resources, experience, and professional growth potential as well as an established Indy Lights program for Casey to hang his hat. I couldn't be happier that he has signed for a two year program that will include an extensive testing schedule. Casey has also received full endorsements from our long-time sponsors, who are as thrilled as I that we've been able to combine our efforts with one of Indy Lights' flagship teams."