Darlington II: Casey Mears race report

Victory Hopes Go South for Team Target in Southern 500 DARLINGTON, S.C. (August 31, 2003) --- Casey Mears entered the last Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend with high hopes of keeping his Target Dodge up front in the field. Unfortunately, his...

Victory Hopes Go South for Team Target in Southern 500

DARLINGTON, S.C. (August 31, 2003) --- Casey Mears entered the last Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend with high hopes of keeping his Target Dodge up front in the field. Unfortunately, his day at Darlington Raceway went south halfway through the race.

Raybestos Rookie candidate, Mears, qualified his Target Dodge in 21st position for the Southern 500. Team Target struggled with the handling of the car all day. On lap 167, Mears went high and hit Jeff Gordon causing a chain reaction accident that also involved four other cars.

"I moved right up into Jeff (Gordon) but I had no idea he was there," Mears said. "I got a little bit of a run on Ricky Rudd and those guys were kind of bottled up. I started to go low and I didn't want to get on the inside of him because we were having a tough day out there anyway. If I would have ever known that he was there I would have never come up. All we were trying to do is finish. We weren't having a good day and I just wanted to get through the whole race."

Team Target repaired the Dodge and Mears went back out on the track and gained a few positions. Mears finished the race in 35th position and remains 34th in championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Sterling Marlin finished the Southern 500 fourth and 35th respectively. Terry Labonte was the race winner.

Team Target races under the lights at Richmond International Raceway next Saturday. The Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 will be broadcast live on TNT television and MRN radio on Saturday, September 6th at 7:30 p.m. ET.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears