BEST AT TMS -- Casey Mears finished fourth in both NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in 2005 at Texas Motor Speedway. Mears and Jimmie Johnson tied for the best average finish at TMS in 2005. Johnson finished third and fifth. Making his 115th career start...
BEST AT TMS -- Casey Mears finished fourth in both NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in 2005 at Texas Motor Speedway. Mears and Jimmie Johnson tied for the best average finish at TMS in 2005. Johnson finished third and fifth. Making his 115th career start on Sunday at TMS, Mears will be gunning for his first Cup victory. He finished second in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. Mears scored top-10 finishes in the first three races in 2006 and has finished 21st, 25th and 27th in the last three. Mears holds 10th-place in the series standings, 209 points behind points' leader Jimmie Johnson.
CASEY MEARS (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger)
WHY DO YOU RUN SO WELL AT TEXAS? "We typically run well at the mile and a half tracks. The car has been really good both times last year when we went there. I like the speeds. I like the track and the way it's laid out."
ARE YOU GLAD TO GET AWAY FROM THE SHORT TRACKS? "I thought we could have had good runs at both Bristol and Martinsville. At Bristol, I thought we had a top-10 car, same thing at Martinsville. We went a lap down early, but I thought it was going to be pretty easy to get our lap back. We had a gear problem, and there wasn't a whole lot we could do about that. On the competitive side of things, I don't think we were too bad."
IS YOUR CONTRACT READY FOR NEXT SEASON? "We're working on it." IS THAT A DISTRACTION FOR YOU? "Not really. I've had that question the past three years. I'm kind of used to it."
IS IT TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT POINTS? "We're focused on it. We're really focused on having a solid finish at Texas. I slipped down to 10th in the standings and we need to get on the stick pretty hard. We're going to go out there and give it everything we've got. Texas is definitely a good track for us to get back on track. Knock on wood, but I think we've got a lot of good races coming up, so maybe we can rebound in the points."
YOU WERE GOOD IN THE CHARGER ON THE MILE AND A HALF TRACKS LAST YEAR. ARE YOU EVEN BETTER IN 2006? "I think we're just as good. We were pretty good at the mile and a half tracks last year. With two top-fives at Texas, I don't know if we're better than that. I'd have to be satisfied to leave the track Sunday with another top-five finish. Of course it would be better to win, and that's what we're going there to do. That's what 42 other guys are going there to do, too, but unless something's changed there's only one winner. Ten guys make The Chase, and we want to win and be in the top 10 at the end of that 26th race this year. Hopefully, Texas will help us get back on track. It'd be big to win my first race in the Lone Star State."