All-Star: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Standings: Mears and the Target team held onto their 25th-place standing in the NEXTEL Cup championship chase after finishing 28th in Richmond last weekend. Mears...

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Standings: Mears and the Target team held onto their 25th-place standing in the NEXTEL Cup championship chase after finishing 28th in Richmond last weekend. Mears now sits 307 points out of the top 10, and 525 points behind the leader.

* Nextel Open: Mears qualified the No. 41 Target Dodge on the outside pole last year for the Nextel Open. However, as Mears took the green flag he lost the transmission on the Target Dodge causing a chain reaction that sent the No. 41 into the wall.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team will be taking chassis #404 to compete in the NEXTEL Open for a shot at the All-Star Challenge. Mears drove chassis #404, which was his back-up car, in Texas to a fourth-place finish after a cut tire sent him into the retaining wall in his primary car. The fourth-place effort tied Mears' career-best finish.

* At Home: There are four members of the Target Team who not only live in North Carolina, but were born and raised in the state. Car chief Stephen Lane is from Winston-Salem, front tire changer Bobby Burrell calls Huntersville his hometown, rear mechanic and catch can man Eric Hoyle hails from Asheville and engine specialist Tim Jones is from Clemmons.

Casey Mears Quote:

On The Open... "These 1.5-mile tracks are the type of tracks that we have been running well at this season. I am very optimistic heading into The Open. The Target Team had the cars dialed in at Las Vegas and Texas, so I think we have as good of a shot as anyone to race ourselves into the All-Star race. We are taking the car I finished fourth with at Texas. Before that run, I hated that car. So this will be a good test for it.

"All three of the Chip Ganassi Racing cars finished in the top five at Texas, so I expect Jamie (McMurray) and Sterling (Marlin) to be two of my biggest competitors out there. Last year we qualified great and expected to run up front, and didn't even get to complete a lap. On the start I lost the transmission and ended up in the wall. I'm looking to redeem myself this year. It's such a fun event, I would love to be able to compete in the All-Star Challenge."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing