Martinsville: Casey Mears preview

TARGET TEAM FACTS: * Chassis: Team Target will take chassis ...


* Chassis: Team Target will take chassis #201 to Martinsville. #201 was a backup car on the #40 team last season.

* Mears has never competed in a race at Martinsville Speedway. He tested there in the Target Dodge on April 1 and 2.

* Mears is currently third in Raybestos Rookie point standings, behind McMurray and Biffle.

* Mears and Jamie McMurray are the first teammate rookies to compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors.

* Mears became the first rookie to lead a lap and the only rookie to lead a lap in the Daytona 500.


You have not competed at Martinsville Speedway. How did your test go there? "The test went well. We kind of got off to a slow start since I haven't been to a place like that before and really haven't done a lot of short track racing. It was a new experience for me to be at a small place like that. By lunchtime we picked up on it pretty good. When we left on the second day we left with the quickest time of everybody else there so we felt really good about it."

What do you think about 43 cars racing around that track?

"It's going to be pretty wild. When someone asks you what's your favorite track, it's probably the farthest thing from it for me. It's just a tough place and I like places where you carry a lot of speed and momentum and where you get that sensation of speed. I'm looking forward to having 42 other cars out there. I think it's going to make that place a lot more fun. Running around by yourself at testing is just kind of slow and there's not a lot to it. I definitely have a lot to learn as far as those races go and I think we learned a lot in the test and I'm feeling pretty good about it."

How did you adapt to braking at Martinsville?

"The whole track takes getting used to. I've never had to stop that much on a racetrack before. Every other track I've been on, you just carry so much momentum and speed. It's similar to driving a road course. I got a lot of good advice from different people. Jimmy Elledge drove me around the track and told me what he has learned from drivers he has worked with in the past. Michael and Darrell Waltrip were there at the test and they gave me some pointers. It helped a lot so I knew what to expect at that place having never even seen it before. We ran a ton of laps during that test."

Team Trainer

What precautions are you taking for carbon monoxide at Martinsville?

"We are using our standard filters. We are going to change them a bit more regularly than we did before. Normally, we change them every one or two days. At Martinsville, we're going to change them at the beginning of every practice and prior to the race. And we're going to double up on the filter for the race. We're also going to have all three of our drivers tested before and after practice to get a carbon monoxide level. To see what is normal and see what they intake or don't intake. We will be able to calculate where they are before and after and then we can make changes based on that reading."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray