Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: Bristol: The .533-mile short track has not been kind to Mears in his three years of NEXTEL Cup racing. Mears is looking for his first top-10 finish at the track on Saturday night. His best finish at the bullring is...
Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:
Bristol: The .533-mile short track has not been kind to Mears in his three years of NEXTEL Cup racing. Mears is looking for his first top-10 finish at the track on Saturday night. 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. He did take the green flag from the 12th spot this past March but qualifying was rained out so the field was set by the 2005 Owner's Points. Mears was running in the top 15 in March on lap 200 before two on-track incidents forced him into the pits for repairs. He ended up falling two laps down and taking the checkered flag in 25th.
Casey Mears Quotes:
"I keep waiting to have a good finish at Bristol. It started out as a tough track for me, but now I just seem to find trouble during the race. Donnie and I both know that in order for me to finish in the top 10, I need to start up front. The speed has been there to run well and we've never had a problem of running competitive lap times in race trim. My problem has been qualifying. There's obviously a fast way of getting around Bristol during qualifying that I've struggled a little bit with in the past. It gets me back in the pack and we get caught up in things that really aren't our fault. We are going to focus on qualifying a little more this weekend so we can try and get that top-10 starting spot and avoid some of those incidents.
"The first part of the race was going well for us in the spring. I started 12th and was able to run in the top 15 for the first 200 laps. Then, I got caught up in an incident with the No. 49 car and the race went downhill from there. We came in to fix the fenders and it put us back to 30th, and once we were back there I couldn't seem to avoid any of the on-track wrecks."