Martinsville: Casey Mears preview

Target Team Facts: * Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team will be taking chassis ...

Target Team Facts:

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team will be taking chassis #302 to the .526-mile short track in Martinsville, Va. The team has not run this chassis in the past year, but has tested with it on several occasions.

* Martinsville Facts: Mears and the Target Team are looking to improve on their best finish at Martinsville Speedway of 17th. Mears earned the top-20 finish in the fall of 2003. He produced his best qualifying effort of 12th in last year's spring event.

* Standings: Mears and the No. 41 Target Team dropped to 26th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings after a disappointing 43rd-place finish last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. With the top 30 cars so close in points, Mears and the team sit just 141 points out of the NASCAR Top 10.

Casey Mears Quotes:

On Martinsville... "Martinsville has been a very difficult track for me," said Mears. "I have to admit this may be the first time I look forward to going. I think as I get more experience on it in the Target Dodge, the more it will grow on me. There's a lot of beating and banging that goes on and it is a race of survival. We ran pretty well last spring on the longer runs before we had some gear problems. Hopefully I will finish on the lead lap, get some good laps under my belt and come home with a top-10 finish.

"This season has been tough so far. We've had great cars so far this season, but we haven't been able to put together the solid finishes that we need. The team gave me the best car I've ever had at Bristol last weekend and we got caught up in a wreck on lap 20. We need to put ourselves in position to create a little luck and get some momentum going before it's too late."

Bird's Eye View of Martinsville:

Tab Boyd joined the Target Team as Mears' spotter at the start of the 2005 season.

"Martinsville and Bristol may both be half-mile tracks, but they are very different to spot for," said Boyd. "Things happen much quicker at Bristol than they do at Martinsville, but it's easier to spot at Bristol. Last week is a perfect example of things happening quickly at Bristol, and there is just nowhere to go. But, Bristol is a momentum track so you can tell after a few laps if a car is going to be able to pass you. Martinsville is more difficult because people try and outbreak you similar to a road course. They brake and dive bomb past you virtually without warning."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears