Bristol II: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Bristol: Casey Mears and the Target Team are looking for their first top-10 finish at the .533-mile oval in Bristol. Mears' best finish at the short track in five ...

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Bristol: Casey Mears and the Target Team are looking for their first top-10 finish at the .533-mile oval in Bristol. Mears' best finish at the short track in five starts is 21st, while his best qualifying effort is 22nd.

* Calling the shots: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge has visited victory lane three times at Bristol Motor Speedway in his NASCAR career -- twice with Dale Earnhardt and once with Mark Martin.

* Chassis: Elledge and the Target Team are taking chassis #302 this weekend to BMS. Mears has driven this chassis twice this season. He drove chassis #302 at Martinsville in April to a career-best finish at the track of 17th and at the June Pocono event where he took the checkered flag in 18th.

* Iron Chef: One of the most recognizable chefs in the country, Mario Batali, will be sitting atop the Target pit box at Bristol on Saturday night. Batali owns and operates several New York City restaurants, appears regularly on the Food Network and is an avid NASCAR fan. Batali is currently working on a cookbook called "Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style" in conjunction with The Sporting News.

* Standings: Mears and the Target team remain 23rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship standings after finishing 14th at Michigan International Speedway last weekend.

Casey Mears Quote:

On Bristol... "Bristol is a great track, but it hasn't been a good track for me," said Mears. "We had a really good car last year, but I got caught up in a wreck. We need to focus on qualifying this year. The best starting spot I've had at Bristol is 22nd, and if you are in the middle or back of the pack, there is a very good chance you will be involved in an accident.

"One of the keys to Bristol is just staying out of trouble, but trouble seems to find the Target Dodge. We need to keep our nose clean and just run laps. I think we only made it about 20 laps in April before the car was totaled.

"The last month has been encouraging for this team. If we can leave Bristol with a top-15 finish, it will give us the momentum we need going to California, which is one of our strongest tracks. We've got a good handle on the 1.5-mile and 2-mile tracks, it's getting through the short tracks that are tough."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Casey Mears , Mark Martin