Casey Mears Delivers Track-Record Pole-Winning Lap in Ford 300 Qualifying

MIAMI, FL., -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series hot shoe Casey Mears, driver of the No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Dodge, shattered the NASCAR Busch Series qualifying record with a lap of 177.936 mph during Thursday's Ford 300 qualifying session.

2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. took the outside pole by posting a lap of 177.009 mph in the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Chevrolet. Rounding out the top five were Paul Menard (176.916), Kasey Kahne (176.869) and Kyle Busch (176.696).

Mears' qualifying lap snaps the previous track record held by Greg Biffle, who won the Ford 300 pole in 2003 with a lap of 177.416 mph. "Everything was in our favor there," said Mears of his third career Busch Series pole. "We had a great car and the conditions cooled off there at the end and I think helped us a little bit and it made me hungrier. It was fun, it's cool, anytime you can run a lap like that and set a new track record, that's awesome."

With the Busch Series title secured, Truex Jr. says he can pull out all the tricks in his bag as he tries to win Saturday's Ford 300.

"We're going to try to win the race, which is what we have always tried to do," Truex Jr. said. "But I think we can take some extra gambles if it comes down to fuel mileage or something like that. I think we can make some gutsy calls that we haven't been able to do all year long."

Tickets are still available for Friday's Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series finale and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Qualifying and Saturday's Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series finale and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Final Practice Happy Hour. To order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend, call (305) 230-RACE or (866) 409-RACE.