Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge * Testing: Casey Mears, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., and the Target Team tested for two days at California Speedway in preparation for the second race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup ...
Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge
* Testing: Casey Mears, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., and the Target Team tested for two days at California Speedway in preparation for the second race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule.
* Chassis: Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team are taking chassis # 402 out west for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. This chassis, fitted with the new Dodge Charger body, was the most popular chassis in the No. 41 team's stable last season. The team captured the pole at Indianapolis and earned four of its nine top-10 finishes with this chassis in 2004.
* California Facts: Mears has driven in four different series in two styles of cars at California Speedway. He has raced in CART, Indy Lights, Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series cars at what he considers his home track in Fontana. His most memorable race at California Speedway came in his CART Series debut when he ran a third car for Team Rahal and finished fourth in 2000.
* NASCAR Stats: Mears and the Target Team have competed in three NEXTEL Cup events at California Speedway. Their best start was sixth last fall and their best finish was eighth in May of 2004.
* Daytona: Mears was poised for a solid finish in the Daytona 500 when he was involved in a multi-car incident with 20 laps to go while running ninth. He finished 26th in the first race of the 2005 season.
* California Guys: Aside from driver Mears, crew chief Elledge and shock specialist Roger Parkinson are both from California. Elledge was born in Redding, Calif., while Parkinson grew up in San Diego.
Casey Mears Quotes:
"Last week was a little disappointing, but I always look forward to going out west," said Mears. "I consider California Speedway my home track and I have a lot of family and friends that come out for the race weekend. I've raced quite a few races at this track in different types of cars, and I really love it.
"We tested out here for two days, and I thought the car was decent but not great. I know that we were just using a test motor, so I'm optimistic about going back with more horsepower under the hood. This will be a real test on the teams this year and should be a good indicator on what we can expect over the course of the season. This will give us an idea of what the new Charger can do and how good this team will perform throughout the year. Everyone on the Target Team has high hopes for this season.
"We tried to focus on some things in the off-season that we could improve on going into this season, and one of those things was pit stops. Our pit crew did an awesome job in Daytona. I don't think there was a stop where we didn't pick up spots. I know they worked extremely hard and it showed this past weekend."