Charlotte II: Casey Mears preview

* This Week's Jack Daniel's Chevrolet for Lowe's Motor Speedway... Mr. Jack's Crew will unload chassis No. 282 from the Richard Childress Racing stable for the 334-lap, 500-mile race at LMS. This Chevrolet Impala SS was built new this year and...

* This Week's Jack Daniel's Chevrolet for Lowe's Motor Speedway... Mr. Jack's Crew will unload chassis No. 282 from the Richard Childress Racing stable for the 334-lap, 500-mile race at LMS. This Chevrolet Impala SS was built new this year and raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where it finished 19th, Michigan International Speedway in August finishing sixth and, most recently, at Dover International Speedway finishing 17th.

* Mears in Charlotte... Through his previous 13 starts at LMS, the Bakersfield, Calif., native earned his Sprint Cup Series victory winning the Coca-Cola 600 in 2007. In addition to that victory, Mears has three top 10s. He has completed 4,304 of 4,512 (95.4 percent) laps of competition with an average start of 18.1 and a 22.5 average finish. His best start has been third, which he's done twice. When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last visited Charlotte in May, Mears qualified 36th and finished 33rd in the rain-shortened event.

* Making Points One Race at Time... As a result of their 11th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway last Sunday, Mears & Co. remains 20th in points, but moved within 12 points of 19th place. Through the last four races, Mears has three top-15 and four top-20 finishes.

* Through the First 30 races... The seven-year Sprint Cup veteran has posted three top-10 and 11 top-15 finishes this season. Mears has accumulated an average start of 27.1 to go along with a respectable 19.9 finishing average while completing 8,390 of 8,553 (98.1 percent) laps contested. The 31-year old has led four laps in three different events and been running at the end of every race.

* Vote Greg Cooke for "Wrenchman of the Year"... Jack Daniels Racing's Shop Foreman at RCR, Greg Cooke, is one of eight finalists who has been nominated for the "Wrenchman of the Year" award from Craftsman. To cast your vote for Greg Cooke, click on to www.craftsman.com/wrenchman. Once registered, you can vote once a day until the polls close on Tuesday, October 20.

* RCR at Charlotte... In 107 starts at LMS, RCR has earned five points-paying victories. Four of those were by Dale Earnhardt, while Jeff Burton added to the total with a win in the October 2008 race. Kevin Harvick also recorded an impressive win at the 2007 All-Star Race, to go along with Earnhardt's three victories at the annual all-star showcase, giving RCR a total of nine Sprint Cup Series checkered flags at LMS. Additionally, RCR boasts 19 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes at LMS with seven different drivers including Earnhardt, Ricky Rudd, Mike Skinner, Harvick, Burton and Clint Bowyer. Richard Childress, a former driver on NASCAR's senior circuit, contributed two of those top 10s from 1978-1979.

* The Collective RCR... In 30 races this season, RCR's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries have notched nine top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. The No. 29 team kicked off the 2009 season with a win in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. RCR-prepared cars have also completed 33,299 laps with four different drivers including Burton, Bowyer, Harvick and Casey Mears. RCR teams have led 188 laps and all four teams have earned just shy of $17 million combined purse money in 2009.

* Come See Casey... Fans will have three opportunities to see Mears during the Charlotte race week. On Wednesday, he will be at the Hooters in downtown Charlotte on 124 W. Trade St from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Then, on Saturday, Oct. 17, stop by the Jack Daniel's Experience just outside of Turn 1 at 4 p.m. From there, he will head to the Jack Daniel's merchandise trailer to sign autographs and meet fans from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. Tickets are limited and issued on a first-come, first-serve basis at the trailer. Hours of operation for the JDX are as follows: Thursday, 2 to 7 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Mark Your Calendars... In honor of its 40th anniversary, RCR will host a Fan Day at their Welcome, N.C. complex on Thurs., Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities include driver and pit crew autograph sessions, self-guided tours of RCR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and engine shops, radio remotes, musical entertainment, pit crew competition, viewing of the DALE movie, question-and-answer session with team owner Richard Childress and much more. General admission to RCR's Fan Day is just $5, which will benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma.

* Online with the Times... To keep up with the latest news and information about Richard Childress Racing, and to view exclusive online content, visit the team's official website at www.rcrracing.com. For qualifying and race results, check us out at www.twitter.com/RCRRacing. And, be sure to follow the newly-launched Twitter account of www.twitter.com/RCR07CaseyMears to keep up with the latest team news.

CASEY MEARS:

This race takes place at night, as opposed to the 600 that starts in the day and ends at night. Does that make this race easier?

"I think so. Anytime you can race under similar conditions the whole race, it's going to make it easier to keep up with changes. In the 600, you're trying to see what you can put up with just so you can get to the night time and really dial your car in for the finish. For this weekend's racing being run all at night, it makes it easier to try and focus on being good the whole race."

Is LMS really that temperature sensitive?

"Every track we run these days is temperature sensitive. We'll go somewhere and the track temperature will change 10 degrees and throw off how the cars are handling. We've actually joked that it would be just as valuable to have a real good weatherman on the team just so we can figure out what adjustments to make ahead of time when the temperature changes. You have to figure out if the car went in that direction because the cloud cover changed, or did it go that way because it was going to anyhow as the race wore on? These are the variables we're dealing with now to get our Jack Daniel's Chevrolet just right. "

You're a past winner at this track, but it hasn't been to kind to you since that victory in 2007:

"It hasn't. But, we won that race in the old car and we have been in the new race car since that time. We just haven't been able to hit the right feeling I've been looking for, but in the old car we were always a threat to be in the top five or top 10. Since then, it's been pretty difficult."

-credit: rcr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears
Teams Richard Childress Racing