MOORESVILLE, N.C., (December 5, 2002) --- Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that Casey Mears will drive the No. 41 Target Dodge in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series with veteran Jimmy Elledge performing the crew chief duties.
"The addition of Casey adds a lot of excitement and energy to the team," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "Our company is about winning races and adding value to our sponsor's investments and we're confident that Casey's work ethic and talent coupled with Jimmy's experience can help us do just that for Target."
The 2002 season marked Mears' first year in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division and his first full season running stock cars. He captured two top-10 finishes in his first season and finished 21st in driver points. Mears' racing background includes CART and IRL racing from 1996 to 2001. In 1995, he captured the Jim Russell USAC Triple Crown Championship after finishing third in 1994. Casey is the nephew of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Rick Mears.
"I'm excited to be starting my Winston Cup career with Target Chip Ganassi Racing," Mears said. "This is a great opportunity for me to be a part of a first-class organization that is dedicated to winning championships. I am especially excited to drive for Target. They have had a long, successful relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing and I'm looking forward to giving them more success in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series."
Jimmy Elledge comes to Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates after spending four years in the crew chief role at Andy Petree Racing.