Casey Mears ...
#66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard Round 20 of 21 on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series
Casey Mears and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard was out of today's Honda Indy 300 on the beachside streets of Surfers Paradise after making head-on contact with the wall on Turn 1 of the very first lap and could not continue due to front-end suspension damage. Mears injured his right index finger and was sent to Allamanda Hospital for treatment.
Mo Nunn Racing teammate Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard finished 17th after starting 19th. Cristiano da Matta took the victory today, his second of the season. Michael Andretti was second with Alex Tagliani third. Gil de Ferran finished fourth, one spot ahead of Kenny Brack, to clinch the series drivers championship for the second year in a row.
The 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season concludes next weekend with the 500-miler at high-banked California Speedway tri-oval in Fontana, Calif.
"I feel just terrible about what happened. It was my fault ... a rookie mistake, I guess. I got through the first two race weekends without a scratch. Then we come to a track I've never driven before and still managed to keep it all together through practice and qualifying while a lot of other guys did not. That was the last thing I expected. Everybody got all bunched up through that first corner. They all hit their brakes a lot more than they had all weekend. I got in there a little hot, and before I knew it, it was too late and I hit the wall pretty hard with the nose of the car. I thought we could push-start the car and continue, but there was too much suspension damage. My finger will be alright. I banged it pretty hard and it swelled up pretty big. Dr. Olvey thought I should go get it x-rayed just to be on the safe side."