BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH CASEY MEARS, NATIONAL GUARD MONTE CARLO SS: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE A GUY LIKE JEFF GORDON FOR A TEAMMATE? "We work really close together - all of us on the team do. But I think that Jeff, having the experience that...
BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH CASEY MEARS, NATIONAL GUARD MONTE CARLO SS:
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE A GUY LIKE JEFF GORDON FOR A TEAMMATE? "We work really close together - all of us on the team do. But I think that Jeff, having the experience that he's had over the last few years and being as close a friend as he is has been great to be able to pick his brain and get a little bit more detailed information. We've been friends and I've been able to get advice over the past couple of years, but now, being on the same team I get more detailed advice and that's really good. It's really something."
ARE YOU SURPRISED ABOUT THAT? "Surprised? No, we're really good friends so I'm not surprised. We get along really well. And ever since I moved back here (east coast) we've gotten really close and hung out away from the track a lot. So I'm not really surprised because we're already good friends."
WHERE DOES HE HELP YOU THE MOST? "I can't really say. Anytime that I need advice I can go to him. Nothing stands out in my mind. When we go into our meeting today, I'm going to probably ask a couple of questions and it's probably going to help me out. It's just a little bit all the way around (like) what they're doing for set-ups and race trim versus qualifying and there are probably just 10 million little things that he's got a lot of information on from being here for so many years. Obviously by having so much success, he's a good guy to have to pick his brain, for sure."
DO YOU LIKE THE MICHIGAN TRACK? "Michigan is really awesome. I've always really enjoyed it from the time I raced Indy Lites there. I always had a lot of good finishes there and good results. I tend, for some reason, to always do well there at Michigan. We've had some top fives there and I'm looking for one up from that. We've led races there in the past and I'm looking forward to going back with a car similar to the one we had in Charlotte. We had a very fast race car. Hendrick Motorsports has done a great job with the RO7 motor and I think we have a good shot at it when we go back."
CAN YOU WIN THE POLE? "I think we definitely have a shot at it. We're within range. I overdrove the Tunnel Turn in practice. But right off the truck, the car has been really good. We're definitely in the ball park."
YOU WON YOUR FIRST CAREER POLE HERE. WHAT IS IT ABOUT POCONO? "I don't know what it is about this place, but for some reason as soon as I unloaded the first time I was ever here with an ARCA car, we were really fast. And then with a Cup car, we were fast right out of the gate. We were quick. For some reason, I've adapted to this track really well and I have no idea why."
ON THE PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL GUARD WELCOME THURSDAY NIGHT: "I think the town was really cool. And it was neat to see that many people being excited about me showing up. It felt like there was somebody standing behind me that they were looking for (laughs). But it was neat that they were so excited to have a NASCAR day in their town. The Pennsylvania National Guard was really cool and receptive to us. They gave us some instruction on how to run an armored personal carrier vehicle. The best thing I liked about it was seeing all the buildings. I really like seeing old things. I'm not a history buff, but I love seeing old building and pieces of equipment and things like that, so that was really cool."
-credit: gm racing