Texaco/Havoline Team Facts: * Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team earned their second straight 20th-place finish, and slipped to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings. This is the team's first weekend out...
Texaco/Havoline Team Facts:
* Standings: Casey Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team earned their second straight 20th-place finish, and slipped to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings. This is the team's first weekend out of the top 10. Mears is just 10 points out of 10th heading into this weekend's Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR).
* Testing: Mears and the Texaco/Havoline team are taking part in the two-day open test at Lowe's Motor Speedway this week in preparation for the All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 races in two weeks. Mears has two top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place run last October, at the 1.5-mile track located just a few miles from the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates shop.
The team also participated in a two-day test at Richmond International Raceway two weeks ago. Mears was in the top five on the speed charts in the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge during the test sessions.
* Richmond International Raceway: Mears has competed in six NEXTEL Cup events at Richmond International Raceway. He earned his best finish at the track last October when he crossed the start/finish line in the 23rd position.
* Chassis: Crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Texaco/Havoline team will take chassis #503 to Richmond International Raceway this weekend. Wingo and Mears tested this chassis at RIR three weeks ago before taking it to Phoenix on April 22. Mears finished 20th at the race in the desert, but is looking for his first top-10 effort at Richmond this weekend.
Casey Mears Quotes:
"I am going into Richmond cautiously optimistic. I was able to put up a fast lap in the Texaco/Havoline Dodge during the test session, but the car wasn't as good as we wanted it to be on the longer runs. We also struggled at Phoenix which was after we tested at Richmond. Hopefully, some of the things we learned at the test and during the Phoenix race will make the big improvements we are looking for this weekend. I think the team has made gains from the test a few weeks ago, so I'm looking forward to seeing where we stack up against the competition at Richmond.
"Richmond is a cool track. It's always fun to race under the lights. The crowd is very enthusiastic and always appears to enjoy the race. What make this place fun is that it typically has a second groove and it makes for great racing. It seemed like the upper groove was already coming in at the test, so I think it's going to force the place to have two grooves again. Richmond hasn't been a kind track to me in the past, and it will be important to get a good finish this weekend. We slipped out of the top 10 after Talladega, so it is critical we get some solid runs going."