Kansas: Casey Mears preview

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team remain 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings for the fourth consecutive week. Mears and the team were on course to finish in the top 15 at Dover ...

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team remain 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings for the fourth consecutive week. Mears and the team were on course to finish in the top 15 at Dover International Speedway last Sunday, but the No. 42 Dodge Charger ran out of fuel with less than two laps remaining in the race while running 14th. After coming down pit road for a splash of gas, Mears took the checkered flag in the 22nd position.

* Kansas: Mears has three NEXTEL Cup starts at Kansas Speedway, and his 2005 run turned out to be the charm for him and the CGRFS team as they had an almost flawless performance on their way to an eighth-place finish (started 34th). In 2004, it looked as if Mears was poised for a career day when the right-front tire blew out with just 70 laps remaining in the event. He was running fourth at the time and had already led 14 laps (finished 31st). In 2003, he finished 24th in his rookie run after qualifying 12th.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline Team are brining chassis #406 to Kansas this weekend. The Banquet 400 will be the chassis' first race.

* Montoya, Welcome Aboard!: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced Juan Pablo Montoya has been released from his Formula One contract and officially joined the world of stock car racing. He began with the ARCA/ReMAX Series test session at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway earlier this week. Montoya is also scheduled to test with the ARCA/ReMAX Series at Iowa Speedway in Newton this Friday, September 29. Ganassi announced in July Montoya had signed a multi-year deal with the CGRFS organization to compete in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series beginning in 2007. When the Colombia, South America, native assumes driving duties of the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger next season, he will be the first Formula One regular to go NEXTEL Cup racing full-time.

Casey Mears Quotes:

"I had a really good run and great finish at Kansas last year. The team put me in a great car and we just executed the entire weekend very well, and the top-10 finish was a result of all of that. We built a new car specifically for this track (Kansas) that Donnie and the guys are taking, so I can't wait to see how it runs. The guys at the shop took some of the things that worked well on our new short-track cars and transitioned the changes that made sense to our intermediate program. The mile and a half tracks haven't been as strong this season for us as they were last year, but were hopeful that this new car will remedy that."

-credit: cgr

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