Talladega: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Crazy Eights: Casey Mears and the No. 41 Target Dodge earned two top-10 finishes last year at Talladega Superspeedway. Mears piloted the No. 41 to two eighth-place...

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Crazy Eights: Casey Mears and the No. 41 Target Dodge earned two top-10 finishes last year at Talladega Superspeedway. Mears piloted the No. 41 to two eighth-place runs. His best start at the 2.66-mile track is eighth after his qualifying effort in October of 2003.

* Standings: Mears and the Target team fell several spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standing to 26th after a disappointing finish in Phoenix last weekend. Mears now sits 169 points out of the NASCAR Top 10.

* Phoenix: Mears and the team finished 39th last weekend after a part failed on the No. 41 Target Dodge. Mears was in position to receive the NASCAR free pass when the yoke broke during the restart on lap 172. He was forced to bring the Target Dodge to the garage for repairs. The yoke is part of the universal joint that connects the drive shaft to the transmission.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team will be taking chassis #209 to Talladega Superspeedway for the second restrictor-plate race of the season. Mears piloted this car to a 26th-place finish in the Daytona 500 in February. The team also tested this chassis at Talladega two weeks ago. It was the team's back-up car for the superspeedway race last season.

* Double Duty: Mears will be pulling double duty this weekend when he drives the No. 38 Dodge in the NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday. This is the first Busch Series race of the season for Mears.

Casey Mears Quote:

On Talladega... "I'm looking forward to going back to Talladega," said Mears. "Obviously part of the reason is because we ran so well there last year, but we had a great test there a few weeks ago. We gained some speed during the test that we were missing in Daytona, so we should run competitively. I am getting more and more comfortable on this type of track. It takes a while to get used to the drafting and bump drafting. Once you get accustomed to it, it becomes pretty fun.

Jimmy Elledge Quotes:

On restrictor-plate racing... "I'm thrilled to death to go to Talladega, we're ready for it. Casey's going to make something happen this weekend. He's very good in the draft and he enjoys it. The car wasn't good in Daytona. It was ok, but not great. Thanks to the guys in the shop we have a new car. They redid it, we tested it and we're very happy with the results. The Target team is very optimistic going into this weekend."

-cgr-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears