Casey Mears is eager for return to Nashville Superspeedway. CHARLOTTE, N.C.--- Phillips 66 driver Casey Mears is feeling good about returning to Nashville Superspeedway for the running of the Inside Traxx 300. Why shouldn't he? He ran...
Casey Mears is eager for return to Nashville Superspeedway.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.--- Phillips 66 driver Casey Mears is feeling good about returning to Nashville Superspeedway for the running of the Inside Traxx 300. Why shouldn't he? He ran extremely well during the Busch Series' first appearance at Nashville Superspeedway earlier this season.
The final results may not reflect the strong showing, but Mears and his teammates know the true story. While running in the top-10 with less than 50 laps remaining in the race, a lapped car made contact with the No. 66 Dodge in turn one causing damage to the right front fender.
"We had a very drivable car and it seemed like we were going to have one of our best finishes of the season until we suffered some damage to the right front fender," said Mears, who finished the event 23rd. "The good thing is we get a second chance to redeem our misfortune."
Mears points to the first race at Nashville in April as a turning point for he and the team. Since then, the Phillips 66 team has run well in several other races, including a top-five finish in Talladega. before falling victim to some bad luck.
"Our early season test session at Nashville really helped us," Mears said. "We made some significant gains with the front-end geometry of the car that helped us when we returned for the first race in April and I think it showed during the race."
Mears has also fell victim to some bad luck this season while running towards the front. At New Hampshire International Speedway last month Mears was running in 14th and moving through the field before an engine problem slowed his progress. Two weeks later at Lowe's Motor Speedway after starting 30th, Mears had marched his way through traffic and was running 12th before an accident took him out of contention.
"We've had some good runs, but just haven't been able to finish them off," said Mears. "The good thing is we're making progress and learning more and more about the Dodge Intrepid each week.
"I know our team has the capabilities to run well every week. It's true this season has been one big learning curve for me, but it still doesn't change how I approach each race. Just because I haven't spent too much time in stock cars or haven't been to a particular track before does not affect my outlook on things. I still want to win every race."
Besides relishing the opportunity to improve upon his previous finish at Nashville, Mears is also looking forward to running under the lights.
"The lights definitely add excitement to the races," Mears remarked. "It's kind of like visiting the Las Vegas Strip at night compared to the daytime hours. The lights just add to the whole experience."
Mears spent much of his time racing under the lights while competing at stadiums in the SuperLites Off-Road Series as a teenager.
"Racing under the lights is a challenge because it can be difficult to read the track," said Mears. "Thankfully everyone has to deal with the same challenges. Our car's setup will also be slightly different due to the nighttime conditions, but I feel confident going into the race at Nashville."