Las Vegas: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Paint Scheme: The No. 41 Dodge will sport its first special paint scheme of the 2005 season this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The familiar red bullseye on...

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Paint Scheme: The No. 41 Dodge will sport its first special paint scheme of the 2005 season this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The familiar red bullseye on the Target hood will now feature the Energizer Bunny. Energizer, a major associate sponsor of the No. 41 Dodge, will become the primary sponsor for the Las Vegas race and will carry the black and silver colors of Energizer.

* Turning 27: Casey Mears will celebrate his 27th birthday on Saturday in Las Vegas. Mears will then roll out in the No. 41 Energizer Dodge on Sunday for his 75th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.

* Chassis: Jimmy Elledge and the team are rolling the dice with chassis #306 in Las Vegas this weekend. The team ran this chassis four times last season at Charlotte, Fontana, Atlanta and Darlington.

*                     Las Vegas Facts: Each time Mears has traveled to
Las Vegas, he has earned a career-best finish.  In 2003, his best finish
of the year was 15th at the 400-mile race.  When he returned to Las Vegas
in 2004, he earned his first career top 10.  His current career best is a
fourth-place effort at Watkins Glen.  Will three times be a charm?

Casey Mears Quotes:

"I was worried before the start of the season," said Mears. "We didn't have the kind of test we wanted in California and Las Vegas. Last weekend cast aside any doubts I had about how we can, and will, perform this season. We ran really well in California, but we just couldn't seem to buy a break. We learned a lot at California that should help us in Las Vegas. This track has been good to me, so hopefully we will be able to get our first top-10 or top-five finish of the season.

"We're running the Energizer paint scheme this weekend on the No. 41 Dodge. It always puts a smile on my face when I see the Energizer bunny on the hood of my car. We ran an Energizer paint scheme at Bristol last year and didn't give them the finish we wanted, so hopefully Las Vegas will bring me and the bunny better luck.

"I've spent a lot of time in the Las Vegas area. My dad raced off-road around this area two to three times a year when I was kid, and then I started racing there in different series. Because I grew up in California, it's a track that many of my family and friends get to come to and that makes this race special. I've spent the last week back in Bakersfield and it was great to be home, but I'm looking forward to getting back to the track.

Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge Quotes:

"I think I would feel worse about being 27th in points right now if I thought we had bad cars," said Elledge. "If we had a little luck on our side, we'd be sitting pretty. We had top-10 race cars at Daytona and California. We were running ninth in Daytona with 30 laps to go and got in the wreck. In California, a hot dog wrapper stuck on the grill twice and we were forced to pit early so we wouldn't blow up. I feel pretty good about this season and I'm really looking forward to Las Vegas."

-cgr-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears