Phoenix: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Championship Standings: Mears and the Target Team hold onto the 22nd spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Standings after finishing 13th at Atlanta Motor Speedway last ...

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Championship Standings: Mears and the Target Team hold onto the 22nd spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Standings after finishing 13th at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend. Mears is just 134 points out of 16th place with three races remaining on the schedule.

* Phoenix: Mears has just one start at Phoenix in his NEXTEL Cup career. He qualified ninth for last year's event but lost the engine on the Target Dodge on lap 117 relegating him to a 42nd-place finish. He has competed in the NASCAR Busch Series twice on the 1-mile track in Arizona. His best finish in the Busch Series is 15th.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team are bringing chassis #114 to PIR this weekend for the Checker Auto Parts 500. Mears captured his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup pole in chassis #114 at Pocono in July. He also piloted this chassis at Chicagoland Speedway, Dover International Speedway in September and most recently at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

* Did you know?: Mears will be making his 60th start in the NASCAR Busch Series and 70th start in the NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend in Phoenix.

Casey Mears Quotes:

On Phoenix... "I'm looking forward to Phoenix," said Mears. "Although I've only raced one NEXTEL Cup race there, I've tested in Indy Lights and ran two Busch Races and an IRL race at Phoenix. Last year we qualified really well in the Target Dodge but had an engine problem early on in the race. So while I don't have a ton of experience on the track in a stock car, we've really stepped up our program this year. Luckily we've only had one engine failure all year, so if we can stay out of trouble we should have a good day in the No. 41 Dodge.

"I also love racing at Phoenix because it's closer to home than most tracks, so I have quite a lot of friends and family that come. I love going to the west coast, it's where my racing career really started. At first I traveled following my dad around when he raced, but it was always a part of our family racing history."

-cgr-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears