The Nextel: Casey Mears preview

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge Target Team Facts: * Championship Standings: Casey Mears and the Target Team slipped one spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings to 18th after their 32nd-place finish at Richmond.

Casey Mears and No. 41 Target Dodge

Target Team Facts:

* Championship Standings: Casey Mears and the Target Team slipped one spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings to 18th after their 32nd-place finish at Richmond. While they have surpassed the 400 point margin for the championship hunt, they are still within striking distance of the top 10. Mears sits 217 points behind 10th-place driver Elliott Sadler.

* NEXTEL Open Facts: This will be just the second time Mears has competed in the NEXTEL Open hoping to race into the All-Star race. He qualified 19th last year, remained in the top 14 through the first segment to finish 12th in the final segment.

* Chassis: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team are bringing chassis #306 to attempt to race into the NEXTEL All Star race this weekend. Mears ran this chassis, his back-up car, to an eighth-place finish at California Speedway three weeks ago.

* Did you know: Mears will be participating in the "Race for Hope" benefiting the Autism Society of America and the Victory Junction Gang Camp on Tuesday, May 25th. The event is going to be held at the NASCAR SpeedPark, just a few miles from the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Fans donated money to race against Mears at the indoor go-kart track.

Casey Mears Quotes:

On The NEXTEL Open... "Last year we weren't very competitive," said Mears. "It was my first event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a Cup car. This year we are taking a car that I know runs extremely well and has run well this season. We had a great test day at Lowe's Motor Speedway a couple of weeks ago that should help a lot on Saturday night. This particular Target Dodge was one of the two cars I tested and I also finished eighth with it a California.

"These 1.5-mile tracks are the tracks that we have been running great at all season. I am very optimistic heading into The Open. The Target Team had the cars dialed in at similar tracks like Las Vegas, Texas and Atlanta, so I think we have as good of a shot as anyone to race ourselves into the All-Star race. I have a great feeling about the next two weeks here in Charlotte.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears , Elliott Sadler