Chicagoland: Pole winner interview

Casey Mears , No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - Pole position ON YOUR QUALIFYING RUN: "It was good. I was very, very happy with it. We fortunately got a bit of a cloud over in (turns) three and four. It's kind of funny ...

Casey Mears , No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - Pole position

ON YOUR QUALIFYING RUN:

"It was good. I was very, very happy with it. We fortunately got a bit of a cloud over in (turns) three and four. It's kind of funny because one and two is actually my better corner. Three and four the thing got a little bit tight but one and two was just unreal. I felt like we got through there very well. Just happy. I'm happy to get my first pole here with Hendrick Motorsports in the National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet. It's just awesome. Obviously when we start something new you always want to do things right and to get a win this year and a pole now - we're in the All-Star race for sure next year and also in the Bud Shootout. Looking forward to next season for those and hopefully we can get some more before the year's out. I was real proud of the guys because we unloaded off the truck today and the thing just felt awesome. I told them when I got out of the car after practice I said 'we've got a shot at the pole here, we've got a real good shot at it.' Th ey made the right adjustments and (I) put a good lap in and got it."

SINCE YOUR WIN IN CHARLOTTE, HOW MUCH MORE CONFIDENT HAVE YOU BEEN AND IS THIS POLE AN INDICATION OF THAT CONFIDENCE?

"I don't know if it's as much confidence as, for me, relief to where we got rid of that monkey off our back a little bit and could just focus on what we need to do week in and week out. We've had a little bit of trouble. We lost our power steering at Sonoma, got into it with somebody at Loudon and knocked the toe out of the car. Had a bad couple of races after the (Coca-Cola) 600 but we obviously were in contention there at Daytona. Chicagoland has been a great race track for me and sitting on the pole here in the Busch car and winning a Busch race. Always run real well in the Cup car and I'm looking forward to it. Obviously our team is on a little bit of a roll. Definitely all the guys are thinking positive and have got great attitudes. Constantly figuring out how we can get better. Even though we're running well, figuring out how we can get better and make t hings better all the time. This is the car we ran at Charlotte and they worked on it to try and make it better so I'm just real proud of the job they've done."

HOW DO YOU EXPECT NEXT SEASON TO WORK OUT?

"I think next season is going to be great. I'm really looking forward to it with (Dale) Junior coming in. He's a great guy; we get along well. Obviously he's got a lot of talent and has a resume to prove it. So we're looking forward to having him there and I think we're going to work really well together. I feel like Kyle (Busch) and I have been working really well together this year. It's been fun working with him as well, obviously talented and doing a good job. But looking towards next season, I'm very excited about it. I think it's going to be maybe a little bit more of a relaxed atmosphere. He's really laid back so you can't help but to be relaxed. Hopefully things flow well."

ARE YOU SHOOTING FOR TOP-FIVES EVERY WEEK SO YOU CAN MAKE THE CHASE?

"We have to. We really do. Because you can't count on those other guys having bad races when you want to try and make the Chase. Our goal was to top 10 it from Charlotte out and that hasn't happened yet so we've just got to get some good top fives. Obviously we'd like to win this race; it would give us a good boost. But we need to top five it from here on out if we want to make the Chase and we probably need the help from some other guys that have bad ones. We're on the outside looking in right now but we still have a shot at it and we're going for it."

DO CLOUDS OVER THE TRACK REALLY HELP YOU RUN FASTER OR IS IT IN YOUR HEAD?

"It does. It's a little bit of both. Sometimes I tell the guys to put a darker shield on so I think it's cloudy out so I go out and run faster. But definitely when a cloud comes over, if you can count to five it's going to be a little bit quicker. Fortunatley we had one down there in three and four; that's where I needed it the most because I got a bit tight and it may be kind of in your head a little bit but for some reason whether it's in my head or it's grip on the track, it will always go faster when a cloud is out. It goes hand in hand, I guess.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Casey Mears
Teams Hendrick Motorsports