Pocono II: Casey Mears preview

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: Standings: Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team are holding fast in the 15th position in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings. Mears is 251 points out of 10th with seven races remaining before the "Chase for the ...

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

Standings: Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team are holding fast in the 15th position in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings. Mears is 251 points out of 10th with seven races remaining before the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

Off to Pocono: Mears has seven NEXTEL Cup and two ARCA starts at Pocono Raceway. His best finish at the 2.5-mile track is 10th in a NEXTEL Cup car. Mears was involved in an incident on the first lap of the June event this year and was relegated to a 43rd-place finish when the car was damaged beyond repair. It is his and the Texaco/Havoline team's only finish outside the top 30. In his rookie year for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2003, he visited victory lane in the two ARCA races he ran at the 2.5-mile track.

First Pole: Pocono Raceway is the site of Mears' first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pole position. He earned the pole on July 30, 2004 by turning a lap time of 52.411 seconds around the track at an average speed of 171.720 mph. He went on to earn his second-career pole the following week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Chassis: Crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team are bringing chassis #401 to compete in the Pennsylvania 500 this weekend. The last time Mears drove this chassis was at Michigan where he finished seventh. He also drove this chassis at California, Las Vegas, Texas and Dover already this season where he finished seventh, ninth, 14th and 21st respectively.

Casey Mears Quotes:

On Pocono ...

"My last trip to Pocono was really disappointing. I thought we had a pretty good car, but never got a chance to see what it could do. We didn't qualify as well as we expected, so Donnie (Wingo) and the guys made some changes to the car that we all felt were in the right direction. To start the race and only run a half a lap was tough. I expect Pocono to be a strong track for me and the Texaco/Havoline team, so hopefully we will redeem ourselves this weekend.

"When I won the pole here two years ago, we were still shifting. So the racing and qualifying is a little bit different now. We are going to focus on qualifying a little bit more this weekend; we haven't started the races recently where we need to in order to run up front consistently.

"I'm still looking forward to this weekend though. We all know that it's crunch time if we want to make 'The Chase.' Top-10 finishes may not be enough anymore, we need to rack up some top-fives if we want a shot at making it at Richmond."

-cgr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing