Chicagoland: Mears post-qualifying interview

CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- Third-place qualifying interview "I think these types of tracks suit my driving style the best. Coming from the Indy car side of things, it's the fast tracks I really enjoy and the team seems to get a...

CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) -- Third-place qualifying interview

"I think these types of tracks suit my driving style the best. Coming from the Indy car side of things, it's the fast tracks I really enjoy and the team seems to get a good handle on them. Just recently we've found a little bit aerowise that has really helped us out. Jimmy Elledge (crew chief) has done a really good job working with the body shop and our aero program. We've made some big changes in downforce and small changes on the car that have really made a big difference on the track recently. This is the same car we ran at Michigan and qualified so well with and raced with, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the season with things we've found midway through the year."

"We've just got to be consistent. I think the biggest problem we've had as a team is just putting the whole race together. Throughout the year little things have happened beyond our control. Some of it has been in our control. At Michigan we had a great car. Unfortunately, the pit crew has been awesome all year long, and going into Michigan for some reason we just had a bad day and got a lap down in the pits. We just need to have a good, consistent day without any problems and we can get a top-five run."

"Qualifying is important for pit selection and everything, but it also feels good to qualify well. It's always difficult when you start in the back, at a place like this where cars are so aero dependent and you get in the back and you get in a mix like that you feel like you have a hold of the car and if you get track position and just get up front you can take off and leave everybody. I think the track is going to widen out. Last year it widened out and got two grooves and made it a little bit easier to pass. It's never easy to get to the front, but I'm sure he (Tony Stewart) can do it."

"I think the biggest thing with our organization, with our team, is that we know we can do it. We've had races where we know we can run good. It seems like at the beginning of the year it was one stupid thing after another -- getting paper on the grille, or pitting at the wrong time, little things that would get us a lap down and we couldn't get it back or get caught up in a crash that really wasn't anything of our doing. The biggest thing and most frustrating thing right now is we know we're legitimately at least a top 15 team. We know we can run inside the top 10, but we just can't put a whole weekend together. If we come out and run better and have a great finish on Sunday it's not going to be a surprise to us. We feel like we're one of those teams that could come out and win a race and it wouldn't be that big of a surprise to us, but it would be a huge surprise to everybody else. I don't feel like we need to really turn things around. I just feel like we need a little luck on our side and do things right throughout the weekend."

"Jamie's deal is his deal. He's a talented driver and has been a good teammate and will be a good teammate. If feels like that's a better opportunity for him, then more power to him, go do it. As far as my deal, I've been told they want me around next season but that's the extent of it. I just haven't seen anything solid that says I'm going to be there. I'm just kind of hanging out, hoping things go well the next couple of races. Whatever they tell me, hopefully soon, we'll know."

"I'm happy with my team. I really like working with Jimmy. I really like the guys I work with. I think we can improve and do a lot better than we're doing now, so if I stick around, I'd be happy with that. If not, I'm keeping options open to go do something else as well, but right now it's their option and as soon as they let me know I can make a decision."

"I think it's frustrating for anybody to be in that situation. Obviously he's had a ton of success in the past with his Indy car programs. For whatever reason right now, I really don't know much about the Indy stuff, but it's frustrating. He's frustrated with it and I think some of that drags over to our side. When we have a bad day it drags over into their side. I think there's a lot of frustration all the way around right now with him especially being the team owner. They're doing a lot trying to fix it. They're doing a lot of changes right now trying to make things right. That's a good question for Chip. I just drive the car and let him worry about it."

"They either want me or they don't. I don't know if what happens to Jamie is going to depend on what happens to me. That's another good question for Chip. The longer they wait to tell me anything hurts me. Bottom line. If he could tell me tomorrow he wants me there and actually gives me a piece of paper that says I am going to be there, great. I've got a job, go figure it out. I think the way this series is right now there are a lot of good rides open for next year. I'm just not to worried about it. I'm focused on trying to run good every weekend and hopefully he gives me an answer soon. That's all I can say. I think he will."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart