Talladega: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team finished 20th at Phoenix International Raceway, a career-best finish for Mears at the 1-mile ...

Casey Mears and No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team finished 20th at Phoenix International Raceway, a career-best finish for Mears at the 1-mile track. Mears and the team remain 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings for the third straight week. In 2005, seven of the 10 drivers who were in the top 10 following Phoenix qualified for the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

* 2005 vs. 2006: Mears sat 26th in the standings in 2005 following the eighth racing of the season, 16 spots from his current 10th-place position. He completed 2135 laps out of 2691 (79 percent) after Phoenix in 2005 and has completed 2647 laps out of 2695 (98 percent) this season.

* Talladega Superspeedway: Mears will be making his seventh NEXTEL Cup start at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. He finished eighth twice at the 2.66-mile tri-oval, both finishes came in 2004. Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team finished second in their last restrictor-plate race at the season opener in Daytona, a career-best finish for Mears.

* Chassis: Crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team will take chassis #006 this weekend for the Aaron's 499. The No. 42 team also ran this chassis at Talladega last season where it scored second and 12th-place finishes.

Casey Mears Quotes:

"We're taking a different car to Talladega than we ran at Daytona in February. It's actually the car Jamie (McMurray) ran so well with at Talladega last year. Daytona and Talladega are actually quite a bit different. Daytona is more of a handling track so you can bring something that's a little bit faster to Talladega.

"I'm not sure about the new softer bumper this weekend. I know they want to get rid of guys slamming people, and I think they did when they had the meeting at Daytona. It was one of the cleanest races I've seen in a long time. I feel the majority of the crashes are caused not by the guy trying to bump draft, but the guy in front trying to block the driver that has a run on him.

"I'm optimistic about going to Talladega, but I'm optimistic about wherever we go now. I feel like we're capable of winning races and I think we showed that we can win at the restrictor place tracks with our finish in Daytona. We've just got to stay focused, and I think we'll be fine. The past few weeks have been disappointing, so hopefully we can get back to the form we were in at the start of the season."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Casey Mears