Casey Mears and the ...
Casey Mears and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard were 13th-fastest this morning and 20th overall today in practice for Sunday's 500-mile CART FedEx Championship Series season finale at California Speedway. The rookie Mears navigated the 2-mile high-banked oval here in 32.324 seconds (an average of 225.975 mph). He took over for the injured Alex Zanardi in the Pioneer-WorldCom Car four races ago at the Grand Prix of Houston. Mears finished fourth here last year in a Team Rahal entry, his first-ever Champ Car start.
Teammate Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard clocked the eighth-fastest lap of this morning's opening session, a 32.127-seconds (227.360-mph) effort that was 14th-best among drivers in today's morning and afternoon session times combined. Kenny Brack was fastest today at 31.676 seconds (230.597 mph). Bruno Junqueira was second at 31.718 seconds (230.292 mph), followed by Paul Tracy at 31.771 seconds (229.908 mph).
Practice resumes at 8 a.m. PST (11 a.m. EST) Saturday with qualifying set for 11:15 p.m. PST (2:15 p.m. EST). Qualifying will be shown on ESPN2 at 1:30 a.m. EST. Race time Sunday is 12:30 p.m. PST (3:30 p.m. EDT) with a live broadcast set for ESPN.
"Right now, we definitely could use some more speed for qualifying, but I think we're in good shape for the race. It's really tough to tell where you actually stand because of all the drafting that's going on out there. We had the car pretty trimmed out in the morning session. In the afternoon, we worked on getting the car to work right in traffic, and it feels pretty good as far as that goes. We'll just take what comes. This is the kind of race where you want to make the extra effort to take care of your equipment so you can go racing at the end of the day."