Las Vegas: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Las Vegas Facts: Casey Mears captured his best finish of the 2003 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After qualifying the Target Dodge 18th, Mears drove the No.

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Las Vegas Facts: Casey Mears captured his best finish of the 2003 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After qualifying the Target Dodge 18th, Mears drove the No. 41 to a 15th-place finish in the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400.

* Mears Notes: The team has seen significant improvement in their qualifying efforts already this season. Mears qualified the Target Dodge ninth for the Gatorade 125s at Daytona and 14th for the Subway 400 at Rockingham.

* Target Team: The Target Team currently sits 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings. The team was 30th in points after the first two events in 2003.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team are bringing a new chassis, #402, for the 267-lap race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Casey Mears Quotes:

On Las Vegas... "I'm really excited about heading to Las Vegas," said Mears. "Going to Las Vegas is almost like going home to me. When my dad and I both raced off-road, we would go to Las Vegas at least four or five times a year. I have a lot of family and friends that come over from California to watch me race. It's also a huge event for Target and our associate sponsors so it creates a fun and exciting atmosphere for me.

"We finished 15th last year and that was our best finish all season. It's not a great finish, but it's something to build on for this race. The first time I competed at Las Vegas in a Busch car I qualified third, and ran well until we had trouble in the pits. It's a track that I look forward to racing at because of the success I've seen already.

"I'm glad Sterling (Marling) and Jamie (McMurray) tested at Las Vegas earlier this year because with the new tire and spoiler packages, their data will be extremely useful. I like the 1.5-mile tracks that are quick and take a good handling car to be successful. The new package is going to add a new dimension to the racing, but it will also be a challenge for the teams.

"I can already see a huge difference in myself and the team this season. It's obvious to me that the changes we made to the cars and the team itself have already had a huge impact. One of the biggest differences from last season is my comfort level with racing in the NEXTEL Cup Series. Until last season was completed, it was hard for me to evaluate where I was at the time. Now, I'm much more comfortable and confident with the series, the tracks and the guys I'm competing against each week."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears