Dover II: Casey Mears preview

Mears Prepares for 100th Career NEXTEL Cup Start Casey Mears knew as a teenager he wanted to drive cars for a living, it was the family business. Little did he know then, it would be in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series instead of some form of...

Mears Prepares for 100th Career NEXTEL Cup Start

Casey Mears knew as a teenager he wanted to drive cars for a living, it was the family business. Little did he know then, it would be in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series instead of some form of open wheel racing. Mears will be making his 100th start in the NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend at Dover International Speedway in the No. 41 Target Dodge. Although the decision to move to stock cars was tough, it's a decision he doesn't regret.

"I can't believe I'm making my 100th start in the Cup Series," said Mears. "When I had the opportunity to run in the Busch Series four years ago, I thought it might be temporary. I really believed I would be back in an open wheel series. Today, I can't imagine racing in any other series but NASCAR.

"Dover has been a frustrating track for me. We've had top-10 cars at times, but couldn't put the finishing touches on the race. This past spring we couldn't get the car to turn right. Hopefully we can get a good handle on this new car we are taking and make my 100th start a memorable one."

In 99 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts, Mears has accumulated two poles, two top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. The highlight of his stock car career came at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he captured the pole at a record-setting speed last season.

Target Team Facts:

* Taming the Monster: Mears has five NEXTEL Cup starts at the 1-mile concrete track in Dover. While his best finish at Dover is 24th, Mears was running eighth last fall when the right-front tire went flat. The team changed motors before the start of the race this past June and battled a loose condition on the Target Dodge to finish 24th.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target team are bringing chassis #505 to Dover International Speedway this weekend. This is a new chassis for the team that performed well at the test session at Nashville Superspeedway last week. Mears and the team are looking for their first top-10 finish at the concrete track.

* Standings: Mears and the Target team remain 25th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings after finishing 23rd last weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway.

-cgr-

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Casey Mears