Chicagoland: Mears - Dodge Saturday interview

CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) NOTE: Mears led Saturday's first practice session with a lap of 177.784 mph. Mears will start 11th in Sunday's race. "We ran a pretty good lap time. The car was pretty tight right out of...

CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)

NOTE: Mears led Saturday's first practice session with a lap of 177.784 mph. Mears will start 11th in Sunday's race.

"We ran a pretty good lap time. The car was pretty tight right out of the gate. I think that's why we were able to run such a fast lap. As time went on it just got too tight on the long run, so we've got to work on freeing up the car. Honestly I'd rather be about 10th or 12th on the sheet and have the car turning a little better. We're working on it. Donnie's got some ideas. We're by no means bad. We've just got to get it turning better. I told them yesterday I thought we could run in the teens in practice, but I messed up a little bit in three and four and got in a little bit too hot. I think we could have run a flat in qualifying, but I got into one a little too hot. I was pretty happy with it. We picked up from practice and it gave us a good starting spot. We've just got to work on getting our car good. If we can get it to turn a little better it's going to make a big difference."

IS THIS A GOOD TRACK FOR YOU? "It always has been. I don't know why, but Chicago has always been a good track for us. We've always qualified well and raced well. Hopefully that will continue."

DID THE DAYTONA FINISH GIVE YOU A LITTLE BOOST? "Yeah, after everything we went through down there (wrecking primary car in practice) To come back and get a top 10 was pretty exciting."

ARE YOU GOING TO SHAVE? "I probably shouldn't. So far things are going well. I probably should leave it alone. I was kinda lazy and didn't shave. I don't know if I'm going to shave or not. If we keep getting speed maybe I'll let it keep going."

CAN YOU STILL MAKE THE CHASE? "Sure, we're not giving up on that at all because we're not out of it. Until they say we're mathematically eliminated we're not giving up on it. I can't remember how far I'm out. I'm a hundred and something out (145). It just doesn't matter. We've got to have good races. I feel like if we start reeling off top fives and top 10s we'll be there. Our job right now is to not finish outside of the top 10 leading up to Richmond."

DO YOU LIKE THE TRACKS COMING UP? "Yes, here, Loudon, Indy has been a good track. A lot of tracks are coming up where we have a chance to do well. Sometimes we get kidded about being a lame duck, but there's nothing to say about that. People are going to have their opinions. We all know it's not true. Our team is working harder than it ever has to win races and get top-10 finishes. It doesn't do any of us any good not to try hard. The fun thing about racing is winning, and that's what we all want to do."

-dodge-

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup