Casey Mears and No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Career-Best: Casey Mears earned his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career-best finish last weekend in the Daytona 500 when he took the checkered flag in...
Casey Mears and No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge
Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:
* Career-Best: Casey Mears earned his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career-best finish last weekend in the Daytona 500 when he took the checkered flag in second place. It was his first top-five effort at the superspeedway and his first race in the famed Texaco/Havoline car.
* Standings: Mears now sits second in the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, the highest ranking of his 109-race career. His previous best points ranking (10th) came after Las Vegas in March 2004. He has scored top-five finishes in three of the last four races, he finished fourth at Texas and fifth at Homestead last fall.
* Double-Duty: Mears will make his return to the NASCAR Busch Series this weekend in a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) car. His Dodge Charger will carry the logo and number of his NEXTEL Cup car, the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. Mears competed in the NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway in 2004 in an in-house car where he captured the pole and finished second in the race. His team will be led by crew chief Lee McCall who earned five wins, 20 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes calling the shots in the NEXTEL Cup Series for CGRFS.
* California: Mears will be making his sixth start at his home-state track of California Speedway. His best NEXTEL Cup Series finish at the 2-mile oval is eighth which he accomplished in May of 2004.
* In the Navy: Mears and the No. 42 crew will be visiting the North Island Naval Base in San Diego on Thursday as guests of the "Seahawks" of HSM-41. The No. 42 crew will be matched up with the squadron member with similar duties on an aircraft crew and participate in a patch-swap ceremony, helicopter simulations and a night-vision goggle demonstration.
Casey Mears Quotes:
"It feels great to start the season off so well. First our test sessions at Nashville and Las Vegas went great, we went to victory lane in the 24 hour race and now we finished second in the Daytona 500. I spent the last three years trying to establish myself as a driver in the NEXTEL Cup Series, and I think I have finally done that.
"It's exciting going to California after such a good race. I have so many family and friends that come out to the track that it will be fun to see them all now. I'm looking forward to racing this weekend though. We had such a great test in Las Vegas, and since California is a similar track, I'm optimistic heading into this weekend.
"This weekend will also be my first weekend back in a Chip Ganassi Racing Busch Series car. The car is going to look just like my Cup car with Texaco/Havoline, so that should also be fun. The last time I ran a Busch car at California we won the pole and finished second. Hopefully if we are successful in the Busch race and it will translate into success on Sunday."