CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the All-Star Race, defending his Coca Cola 600 title, racing the Indy 500 and Dale Jarrett. Full transcript below. TALK ABOUT...
CASEY MEARS, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the All-Star Race, defending his Coca Cola 600 title, racing the Indy 500 and Dale Jarrett. Full transcript below.
TALK ABOUT EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ALL-STAR RACE AND THEN DEFENDING YOUR COCA COLA 600 VICTORY: "I am really excited about coming back here for the All-Star race, it is obviously a lot of fun, all the drivers enjoy it. This year, more than ever I enjoy coming back because we really earned our way in. Just looking forward to it. It is an all-out race. You don't have to worry about points, or bringing the car back, you have to go out and try to win the race. I was just on Trackside Live and Darrel (Waltrip) was showing me the winnings and the earnings and the difference between first and second, it definitely pays to win. We are going out there to go have some fun and hopefully get this Kellogg's CARQUEST Chevrolet up front.
"Going in to the 600, I am just real excited about. To come back and be able to defend a title for the first time at one of the biggest races of year, being the month of May, I think we have a great shot at it and I am looking forward to it. One of the real cool things we are excited about from a team standpoint, coming back to Lowe's is we are bringing the 500th chassis that Hendrick Motorsports has built. That is a big deal and a big milestone for the team. It would be great to have a victory with that car."
HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO WIN A NON-POINTS PAYING RACE? "There is an edge, once you go over it, I don't gauge a whole lot on how far over the edge. I think obviously, I think this is one of those races either there is a really big crash early or there is one late. You have to be a little bit patient at times, I think, because everybody has the mindset to go, go, go. A lot of times, that gets a lot of people in trouble. It pays to be a little bit patient early on. Obviously you have to drive hard and run hard to make sure you make the right adjustments for the end. This tire it seems like it is hard enough and seems like we are going to be able to go on it for a while. It is going to be interesting to see what happens the last couple of segments of this race but I think you are going to have to find out early what you need and make the right adjustments and be ready to go."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RACE IN THE INDIANAPOLIS 500: "I would love to run the Indy 500, always will. The one thing, over the years, it has gotten diluted. It was diluted a little bit in my eyes just like it was in everybody's eyes and it is very exciting to see those two series get back together. To see a full field, and to see how many cars are there for the month of May is very exciting. It definitely makes it a lot more appealing. I think that if it was possible to make it happen time wise, I would love to go back and run the 500 and then run the 600 as well."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT DALE JARRETT AND HIS LAST RACE? "Dale Jarrett is an awesome guy first of all. Just a great person. I kind of got in on the tail end of his career and don't have a lot of first-hand knowledge of racing side-by-side with him, obviously the last couple of years I have gotten to do that. What a great guy! I have a ton of respect for the way that he holds himself, for the things he has accomplished over the course of his career and in my eyes, he is just one of the great guys that has been in this sport, definitely. I look forward to racing with him this one last time."
-credit: gm racing