Team Target Battles Handling and Radiator problems at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 16, 2003) --- After starting the Ford 400 in the 15th spot, Mears had handling and radiator problems that left him with a 27th place finish at the ...
Team Target Battles Handling and Radiator problems at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 16, 2003) --- After starting the Ford 400 in the 15th spot, Mears had handling and radiator problems that left him with a 27th place finish at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
At the beginning of the race, Mears reported that the car was too loose. Throughout the first half of the race, the Target crew made adjustments during the caution periods. The handling on the Target Dodge was starting to come around but on lap 142 Mears reported that he had hit debris on the track.
There was no visable damage to the car so Mears continued to race. The debris had punched a hole in the radiator and within three laps the car was in the garage and the Target crew worked furiously to put in the new radiator. Team Target was able to change the radiator in three laps and Mears returned to the track 33rd. Unfortunately the car's handling was still an issue and the Target team was unable to recover from being three laps down.
"The car was not great to start with," Mears said. "We were working on it and thought we were getting it better but then we ran over some debris on the track. The debris went through the grill and blew a hole in the radiator. The guys did an unbelievable job changing the radiator in three laps. We have had some bad luck this year but rookie years can be like that. I am looking forward to starting over in 2004."
Mears finished the 2003 season 35th in the Winston Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Sterling Marlin finished the race 9th and 10th respectively.