Bristol: Casey Mears race report

Bristol bites Team Target. BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2003) --- Team Target got bit by Bristol Motor Speedway early during Sunday's Food City 500. Within the first 20 laps of the race, driver Casey Mears got caught in two accidents that put him...

Bristol bites Team Target.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2003) --- Team Target got bit by Bristol Motor Speedway early during Sunday's Food City 500. Within the first 20 laps of the race, driver Casey Mears got caught in two accidents that put him out of contention for a win.

Mears took his first provisional to start the Food City 500 in 39th place at the 0.533-mile speedway. On lap 14, Mears caught the tail end of a wreck and did minor damage to the right front of his Target Dodge when he bumped the #88 of Dale Jarrett. Team Target pitted the car twice before the restart of the race. Mending the minor damage and putting right tires on during one stop and left tires on during the second stop.

On the restart, Mears and a few other cars were catching up with the lead pack. The cars in front of him checked up, unfortunately, Mears got into the back of them and highly damaged the front end of his car.

"It looked like someone crashed in front of us," Mears said after the accident. "I don't know what happened. I was just going through the gears taking my time and it looked like somebody up front may have missed a shift or somebody may have got into somebody else. I never even knew there was a crash until I hit John (Andretti). It's hard to say. I never saw anything, never heard anything. I was just going through the gears and before I knew it John just stopped and I got into the back of him."

Team Target took the car behind the wall to repair the following: removed sheet metal from the front of the car, changed the power steering pump, replaced seven power steering lines and oil lines, bypassed the water pressure tank, changed the radiator and radiator hoses, and checked the front alignment of the car.

Mears went back out on the track on lap 84. He eventually finished the race in 32nd position and is currently 31st in championship point standings.

Kurt Busch was the race winner; this was his second consecutive Food City 500 win.

Team Target heads to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend for the Samsung/Radio Shack 400. The race will be broadcast live on FOX television and PRN radio on Sunday, March 30.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears