Bristol: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team are fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings following their 21st-place finish at Atlanta ...

Casey Mears and No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team are fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings following their 21st-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Monday. The team has earned three top-10s in the first four races of the 2006 season. Mears was 17th in the standings last year following the Golden Corral 500.

* Bristol: The .533-mile short track has not been kind to Mears in his three years of NEXTEL Cup racing when he looks to capture his first top-10 finish at the track on Sunday. His best finish at the bullring is 21st in his rookie year, his only lead-lap finish. His best qualifying effort came last fall when he started the 500-lap race from the 14th position.

* Testing: Mears, crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team tested at Caraway Speedway last week and on Wednesday in preparation for the Food City 500 and next week's race at Martinsville.

* Eyes in the Sky: Mears will be relying on spotter Tab Boyd, from Pensacola, Fla., to help him maneuver through the field this weekend. This is Boyd's second year spotting for Mears in the NEXTEL Cup Series. Boyd also races locally, is a finish fabricator at the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates shop and "tabbed" Bristol as his favorite track on the circuit.

* Chassis: Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team will take chassis #214 for this weekend's Food City 500 at Bristol. This is the first time Mears will pilot this short-track chassis, but the Texaco/Havoline team ran this car at Bristol last spring.

Casey Mears Quotes:

"Bristol has always been a tough track for me. The speed has been there to run good and we've never had a problem of running competitive lap times in race trim. My problem has been qualifying at Bristol, and that's kind of weird because qualifying is a lot of fun there. There's a way of getting around Bristol that I've always struggled a little bit with as far as getting in a great lap time. It gets me back in the pack and we get caught up in things that really aren't our fault. We'd like to qualify in the top 10 so that we can try and avoid some of those incidents.

"I didn't grow up racing on short tracks like most of the guys in NASCAR did. The shortest track I drove before I came to race stock cars four years ago was a mile. A lot of these guys grew up racing quarter miles and half miles and things like that. I just need more time and experience on them, and I think that's what we're trying to accomplish at Caraway."

-cgr-

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