Pocono: Casey Mears race report

Mears finds love in the Pocono Mountains LONG POND, Pa. (June 8, 2003) --- From the first time he took a lap around her, Casey Mears fell in love with Pocono Raceway. It all started two weeks ago when Mears visited Pocono Raceway for the first...

Mears finds love in the Pocono Mountains

LONG POND, Pa. (June 8, 2003) --- From the first time he took a lap around her, Casey Mears fell in love with Pocono Raceway.

It all started two weeks ago when Mears visited Pocono Raceway for the first time to test his ARCA car. Mears turned some pretty impressive lap times according to crew chief Jimmy Elledge.

"Of all the places we've been to, Pocono is the track he has adapted to the fastest," Elledge said. "I was very impressed with how fast he went on his very first lap on the track."

This past Thursday, Mears set a track record in his No. 77 Target Dodge during ARCA qualifying and won the pole for the ARCA race that was scheduled on Saturday. Unfortunately, rain cancelled all track activity on Saturday and the ARCA race has been postponed to a later date.

Friday was another good day for Mears and Team Target at Pocono. Mears jumped out of the gate and was quickest in first practice for a while. He then went on to qualify 19th for Sunday's Winston Cup race.

Sunday's main event was a consistent run for Mears and Team Target. Mears faired well at Pocono compared to the other rookies. Finishing in 21st place, he was the second highest finishing rookie (Greg Biffle finished in 20th place).

"We had a good car and it was unfortunate that we ran out of fuel to put us a lap down," Mears said after the race. "That first run, we were really tight and fell back in the field. Jimmy Elledge did a really good call on making a change to the car. We had an excellent car. I mean, there were several times after we made that first change, from that pit stop on out we were just as fast as the leaders the whole time. We had an excellent car, just ran out of gas and got a lap down."

Ganassi teammates Sterling Marlin and Jamie McMurray finished sixth and 32nd respectively. Mears is currently third in Raybestos Rookie Standings.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray