CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) NOTE: Mears ranks 11th in the series standings, 38 points out of 10th place. He finished 10th in his last start at the Monster Mile and will be making career start No. 121 on Sunday. DO YOU...
CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Mears ranks 11th in the series standings, 38 points out of 10th place. He finished 10th in his last start at the Monster Mile and will be making career start No. 121 on Sunday.
DO YOU THINK THE PENALTY AGAINST KYLE BUSCH WAS JUSTIFIED? "No, I really don't. It doesn't matter to me. At the end of the day what he did (last week at Lowe's Motor Speedway) didn't affect me at all. Do I agree with his reaction? No. Did NASCAR agree with it? No. Did it affect me? Really, no. I felt bad before I saw his reaction that I took him out. It was my fault. I didn't mean to. It was a racing incident and he overreacted to it, but it didn't affect me at all. How he reacts to his issues is his own deal."
YOU TWO HAD PROBLEMS AT PHOENIX, TOO. "Yeah, it's funny. If you get into it with a guy a couple of times people think there might be an issue. There's really no issue at all. I just happened to be the guy around him at the time, and last weekend he just happened to be around me. There's no issue at all. He did what he did. I spun out. I don't agree with what he did, but at the same time it doesn't affect me. How ever NASCAR wanted to handle it is fine with me. They wanted to handle it in a certain way and they did. They feel like that's the right thing, so that's fine."
HOW DOES THROWING SOMETHING AT A GUY'S CAR MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER? "That's a good question. I've never done it. You'd have to ask those guys who have done it. When you slam your finger in a drawer or something, you jump up and down and cuss and scream and you might throw whatever's in your hand. Then five minutes later you're over it. Really, probably what he did is just a natural reaction from being mad, but the thing you've got to know and learn in this sport is you're not at home and you're not by yourself. You're responsible for your reactions. One of these days he'll learn that and we'll all go on. My race ended up the way it did, and what he did didn't change anything for me so it doesn't bother me that much. I know a lot of people saw it on TV and thought it was wrong. Obviously there have been several comments that support that, but at the end of the day I really don't care that much."
YOUR CAR WAS PRETTY GOOD AT CHARLOTTE "We made some decent gains at Charlotte. We ran inside the top five at Daytona and that was the last place until Charlotte. We've been consistent and came home with a couple of top 10s and the majority of top 15s and top 20s. At Charlotte we had a car that was capable of running in the top five. When that incident happened, I didn't understand why the car changed the
way that it did. All night long when we came in and didn't take tires and took fuel only, the car was maybe a little loose for a lap and then it got really tight. That time we came in and just took fuel only and it got really, really loose and got looser. I'm not here to make excuses. Maybe we had a small hole in the tire or something, but the more I think about it the stranger it gets because it never reacted that way all night. It was disappointing. We led so many laps in the Busch race and had a good chance to win that and ran out of fuel. In the Cup race we ran in the top five and thought we had a car that was capable of getting a good finish. We didn't get the finishes and results we wanted, but we had a pretty good weekend."
COMMENT ON RUNNING AT DOVER "We've had three or four top-10 cars here and only got one top 10. Right now I don't know how we're going to be. I'm really, really loose, a lot looser than I've ever been here. I don't know if it's the new tire or what. We didn't focus much on qualifying trim. I like this track. It's a lot of fun to drive, but the car's got to be right around this place or it's no fun."
HAVE YOU BEEN ANGRY HERE BEFORE? "When I got into it with my teammate? I was really angry because I was so excited about my racecar that day. It was one of the best cars I've ever had here. We were marching right up through the field. A situation is a situation, but I thought he (Jamie McMurray) kept pinching me when he could have given me room. He gave the first two guys before me room. I think one reason I was so frustrated with myself because if it had been anybody except my teammate I would have wrecked him and not wrecked myself trying to miss him. When your car is right around this place it's fun, but a small mistake can be a big mistake here because you're carrying so much speed through the corners. If you get a little loose you get real loose real fast."
COMMENT ON THE POINTS "We're real good at maintaining our 11th spot. Like last week at Charlotte, what a great opportunity to get back in the top 10. We come out with a 21st place finish. We've been good at doing that. We need to take the opportunities we have and capitalize on them. My job is to try to get inside the top 10. That won't change from the first race to the 26th. I don't want to have to go to Richmond and find out if we're going to make it or not. I'd like to be seventh or eighth going into Richmond and take some of the pressure off. That's my goal. We need to focus on putting some solid runs together, not making any mistakes and finishing every race we can and hopefully get solidly in the top 10. We've got a shot. I hate to race defensive, but at the same time we've got 10 races at the end not to race defensive."