Target Team Settles for a 32nd-Place Finish at Richmond Richmond, Va. (May 16, 2004) --- Casey Mears and the Target Team spent 15 laps behind the wall to finish 32nd in the American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mears...
Target Team Settles for a 32nd-Place Finish at Richmond
Richmond, Va. (May 16, 2004) --- Casey Mears and the Target Team spent 15 laps behind the wall to finish 32nd in the American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Mears started ninth, his best qualifying effort at Richmond, for the 400-lap race. The first caution flag waved on lap five and Mears told crew chief Jimmy Elledge the car was a little loose. Racing resumed on lap 11 with the Target Dodge in eighth.
It was obvious after the restart that something was amiss with the No. 41. Mears dropped from eighth to 30th and complained the front end was chattering on the track. He was passed by the leader on lap 74, but continued to battle the handling on the car. The caution finally waved on lap 100 and Mears brought the car down pit road for service. The Target crew made a chassis adjustment, changed four tires and added fuel.
The green flag waved on lap 107 with just 21 cars remaining on the lead lap. Mears continued to tell Elledge that the front end was vibrating. The team made another adjustment on the Target Dodge after the caution waved on lap 121. Shortly after the restart, Mears told the team that something was definitely broke in the front end of the car. He drove the car behind the wall on lap 141 for repairs.
The Target Team found something wrong with the upper A-frame that adjusts the camber in the front end of the car. They repaired it and sent Mears back out onto the track on lap 153 in 35th, 15 laps down to the leader. He continued to battle with the handling on the car for the remaining 247 laps of the race to finish 32nd.
"I'm disappointed," said Mears. "We had a great qualifying run, then we struggled in practice. The guys made several changes to the car before the race and during the first four laps I thought we were going to be pretty good. We'll just put this race behind us and see what we can do in Charlotte."
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teammates Sterling Marling and Jamie McMurray finished 15th and 38th respectively.
Mears dropped one spot to 18th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings.
The Target Team heads to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the next two weeks. This upcoming weekend is the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.