Homestead: Casey Mears preview

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team were poised for a top-15 finish at Phoenix International Raceway when fluid on the race track sent the No. 42 car spinning around and into the wall with just...

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team were poised for a top-15 finish at Phoenix International Raceway when fluid on the race track sent the No. 42 car spinning around and into the wall with just seven laps to go on Sunday. The team was able to repair the car and stay on the lead lap, but Mears dropped from running 15th to finishing 26th. Mears also slipped one spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship standings to 15th following the race in the desert. With 3,847 points, Mears and team are just 19 steps away from 14th and 43 points out of 13th heading into this weekend's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS).

* Mears Non-Stop: Mears, along with fellow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers David Stremme and David Gilliland, will be highlighted in this Sunday's (November 19) special airing of NASCAR Drivers Non-Stop on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET. The episode will travel alongside the drivers throughout their weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and see how they really never slow down, even when it comes to getting a little downtime.

* Homestead-Miami: Mears came very close to ending his 2005 season on a very sweet note at Homestead last November, when he had more than a 1-second lead with just 16 laps remaining in the race. Unfortunately, a late-race yellow flag for debris derailed Mears' momentum and he quickly discovered he had his hands full with a very tight No. 41 Target Dodge (Mears team at the time) on the final restart of the race. Still, he was able to hold on to finish fifth, leading a total of 75 laps.

* Testing: Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team tested at HMS just a few weeks ago in preparation for this weekend's 400-mile race. It was the final test session of the NASCAR determined seven-track assessment schedule for 2006. Mears tested on Monday (Oct. 16) and Tuesday (Oct. 17), leading the second session on Monday with a lap time of 31.200 sec./173.077 mph.

* Good luck, Casey: This weekend's run at HMS is not only the season finale for Mears and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team, but it will mark Mears' last run for CGRFS. The driver and team confirmed earlier in the season they would be parting ways at the end of the year. Mears has spent his entire NEXTEL Cup career driving for Ganassi and Sabates, starting with his rookie season in 2003. Together, they have earned multiple poles, top-five and top-10 finishes throughout the four-year partnership in both the Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series'. Just this past July, Mears and his CGRFS team grabbed his career-first NASCAR victory at Chicagoland Speedway in the NASAR Busch Series USG Durock 300.

Mears Quote:

"I'm excited about going to back to Homestead," said Mears. "Last year we ran up front and contended for the win, so we now we can run well. The Texaco/Havoline team had a great test at Homestead, and I would love to finish out the year on a high note for the team.

"It has been a great four years working with the team and for Chip and Felix. I've learned a lot from everyone and I'm thankful for everything that the team has done for me."

-credit: www.chipganassiracing.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Casey Mears , David Stremme , David Gilliland