Charlotte: Casey Mears race report

Team Target ends night early in Coca-Cola 600 CONCORD, N.C. (May 25, 2003) --- Casey Mears and Team Target had an early night in the Coca-Cola 600 due to transmission problems. The Target Dodge finished the rain-shortened event in 35th place ...

Team Target ends night early in Coca-Cola 600

CONCORD, N.C. (May 25, 2003) --- Casey Mears and Team Target had an early night in the Coca-Cola 600 due to transmission problems. The Target Dodge finished the rain-shortened event in 35th place after starting in 19th position.

Right at the start of the race, Mears radioed in to crew chief Jimmy Elledge that his car was way too tight in the corners. Mears began to fall back through the field to race in 30th position. Team Target made adjustments on the No. 41 Dodge during pit stops but Mears was unable to gain positions.

On lap 192, Mears radioed in that he lost third gear. He continued to race and lost second gear on lap 260. Mears radioed in stating, "The car sounds real bad." Elledge brought Mears into the garage and the team changed the transmission on the Dodge as the rain started. Team Target got Mears back onto pit lane just as NASCAR called the race early due to rain. They had to settle for a 35th place finish as Mears dropped to 39th in the championship points standings.

Mears competed in a total of three races this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He finished fourth in his No. 19 Target Dodge in the ARCA race on Friday. Saturday, Mears drove his No. 19 Microsoft Dodge to a 15th place finish.

"Overall, it was a great learning experience for me this weekend," Mears said. "I have to thank Chip (Ganassi, owner) for giving me the opportunity to compete in these three races. We didn't necessarily have the finishes we wanted but we did get a lot accomplished."

Ganassi teammates Sterling Marlin and Jamie McMurray finished seventh and 25th respectively.

Team Target will head to Dover International Raceway for the MBNA America 400 on June 1, 2003. The race will be broadcast live on FX television and MRN radio at 1:00 p.m. EST.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray