Phoenix II: Casey Mears preview

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team earned their eighth top-10 finish of the 2006 season with a seventh-place effort last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Mears remains 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL...

Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:

* Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team earned their eighth top-10 finish of the 2006 season with a seventh-place effort last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Mears remains 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings heading into the final two races of the season. He sits just 67 points out of the 13th position.

* Solid Season: Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team are having one of the most consistent seasons of Mears' four years in the NEXTEL Cup Series. Mears has eight top-10 finishes, but more importantly he has just two finishes out of the top 30. He finished 43rd at Pocono and 35th at Watkins Glen. The consistency has Mears sitting 14th in the standings, an improvement of nine positions at the same time last year.

* Phoenix: Mears is looking for his first top-10 finish at the 1-mile oval this weekend in the Checker Auto Parts 500. This weekend's NEXTEL Cup race will be Mears' sixth race at the track where his best finish is 20th. In the spring, Mears qualified in the top 10 for the Subway Fresh 500, but a tight-handling car and an on-track incident dropped Mears a lap down. Despite getting in position to receive NASCAR's free pass, the caution flag never fell in the team's favor.

Casey Mears Quotes:

On Phoenix... "Ever since we developed this new short track car, I look forward to taking it to places like Phoenix. We had a solid run a Martinsville, my best by far, and the team is coming off a great finish last weekend. I've typically run well at Phoenix, even though the results don't show that. Hopefully this weekend we can get the car dialed in and run up front all day.

"When we were here in the spring, the car was so tight at the start of the race I couldn't get it to turn in the corners. Once the sun went down and the guys made some major adjustments, the Texaco/Havoline Dodge got better. Unfortunately, we went a lap down, got back in position to get our lap back and the caution never came our way.

"I've been to Phoenix so many times, I love coming here. It's been a fun track for me because I've had the opportunity to run stock cars, Indy Cars and Indy Lights cars. But it's been challenging on the Cup side."

-credit: cgr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears