Casey Mears, No. 25 GMAC National Guard/GMAC Impala SS, met with members of the media and discussed his plans for next year, if he has any concerns about continuity with the change to the 5 team, comparing this change with when he's made other car...
Casey Mears, No. 25 GMAC National Guard/GMAC Impala SS, met with members of the media and discussed his plans for next year, if he has any concerns about continuity with the change to the 5 team, comparing this change with when he's made other car changes and if he was surprised about the change to the 5 team.
Select quotes from driver interview:
ON HIS PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR: "I'm excited about it. I think just being part of Hendrick Motorsports, it can be a lot of fun. Obviously, getting involved in Hendrick Motorsports, and then working with Darian (Grubb) has been a lot of fun. I've had a great time this year. I think it's been fun getting to know him and work with him and work with the 25 team and the National Guard and GMAC, but at the same time I'm really looking forward to next season and working with Alan (Gustafson) and the 5 team. Obviously the focus for the remainder of this year is to win more races before the year is out, doing as good as we can for the team for the remainder of this season. I think the good thing is it's going to be a lot of fun and the fact that Darian will still be really heavily involved with both teams, on the 5 and 25 side, so I'm just looking forward to being part of the whole program and really curious to see how things are going to play out next year. Obviously, working with Dale and Tony (Eury) Jr. coming ov er, there's a lot of exciting stuff going on, and I'm looking forward to see how it will play out."
ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT ANY CONTINUITY THAT WAS BUILT UP WITH THE NO. 25 TEAM WILL BE PUSHED AWAY? No, not really because all the guys are still going to be there. At some point it will be nice to have a good couple years in a row with the same crew chief and all the same sponsors and stuff like that and just build the relationship and carry it on over to the next season but I think that's going to be an opportunity that we're going to have for next year and I think with Dale coming in, now I think things are secure the way they're supposed to be for the next few years. Looking forward to building that, and at the same time, like I said, I'm still going to be working with Darian quite a bit. A lot of the guys that are on the team right now are focused on being part of the organization in some capacity. I don't know exactly how it will work out yet but I've built relationships with all those guys. We're within the same team right now, within the same shop. I think that it's not like everything we built this year is just gone now. It's all still going to be there. I'm lookin g forward to it. I think it's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to down the road at some point getting some consistency and going into the next year with the same program but as of right now I don't feel like I am losing the guys that I have. I feel like I am gaining the other side as well. It remains to be seen."
ON IF THIS IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM WHEN HE WENT TO THE 41 TO THE 42 CAR: "I don't think it's completely different. Obviously there's some similarities for sure and that's why I know it's not going to be that big of a deal. When I did that, from the 41 to the 42, it was an internal thing as well and I already knew all the guys on team and it was a very easy transition. Obviously the part of Alan and I getting to know each other a little bit more and then getting to know the 5 guys a little bit more personally is going to be what's probably going to take the time to gel. It's going to be totally different starting the season, knowing that all the cars and everything is in place to be competitive. That team is already structured together where I really feel like with Darian coming in late, we kind of had to build something the first part of the year and then you start to get to go racing about seven, eight races in. I think we'll be able to hit the ground running maybe a little better than we did this season. I think it will be great to have Darian a part of that as well with helping Alan and I get up to speed a little bit quicker."
SO THIS CHANGE DIDN'T TOTALLY COME OUT OF THE BLUE? "No. When you're involved in this sport long enough you understand that anything is possible. I don't think any of this was really a surprise. At the same time I think that there were so many different possibilities. Obviously Darian really enjoys being a crew chief. He's had great season so far and I think he will for the rest of the season and I think he's very excited about this opportunity. I think in a lot of ways this is going to be the best thing for everybody."
-credit: gm racing