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Tag Archives: Casey Mears

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR Sprint Cup: Pocono-Michigan Edition

In many ways, the Sprint Cup Series’ venture to the Pocono Mountains was a microcosm of the season to date.  There was a singular figure who led many a lap, multi-time champions finding ways to struggle, and frontrunners succumbing because of the not-so-alive half the alliance between man and machine.  …

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Junior or Patrick–Marketability Matters

Last week I started my very own hypothetical race team and picked my short list of the most talented drivers racing in Sprint Cup today. Any of the five would make a strong start for a new team for sure, and talent like that should attract sponsorship to the team as well. But I said I wanted to start with a two-car team, and being an upstart, I might not get all the top talent I’d like to have. So what to look for in a second driver? Well, part of success in today’s NASCAR is marketability. That’s right, the ability to look good on TV and push a product to its intended demographic has become increasingly important. I’ll admit, I’ve never quite gotten it--after all, shouldn’t driving ability be paramount? But it’s not always that easy. These days, in addition to being able to wheel a car like he stole it, a driver has to look good on television, be able to speak flawlessly to a group of VIP’s, act in commercials if the sponsor so desires, and do windows. Okay, so I made the last one up, but it’s not really that far off. Today’s driver cannot simply be a driver anymore. That’s why, with the notable exception of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., I paid special attention to drivers outside the typical NASCAR spotlight--the guys who always seem to find a ride because of their personal appeal. Here’s my list of five guys in Cup who have those intangibles needed to woo and impress sponsors and fans alike--even if they don’t always get the spotlight.

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Beyond the Cockpit: Casey Mears On His Past, His Future, And His Family

_No question about it, Casey Mears has racing in his blood. His grandfather Bill began the "Mears Gang" tradition in the 1950s, racing anything with wheels while winning the infamous Pikes Peak hill climb during his heyday. But little did he know then that the accolades would get bigger and better for the following generation. Casey's Uncle Rick won the Indianapolis 500 four times, and father Roger is an off-road racing legend - conveying a passion for motorsports to son Casey that runs deeper than ever these days. Even during a season of struggle -- Mears will miss the Chase in his second and final year with perennial contender Hendrick Motorsports -- the love for anything motorsports allows to him to see the light at the end of the tunnel during these trying times._ _In this latest edition of Beyond The Cockpit, our Amy Henderson sat down with Mears to talk about the driver's past, present, and future -- with a lot of stops in between. The 30-year-old talks about his beginnings in racing, his family's influence, his friendship with Jimmie Johnson, and the strangest question a fan has ever asked him. It's one-on-one time with one of NASCAR's brightest stars, the nicest guy in the garage according to drivers and fans -- and the latest generation of the legendary Mears Gang._

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Prepping Your Team For Indy Glory

Hopefully, you enjoyed your off weekend and your fantasy team got well rested -- because man, will they wind up needing that break. This weekend’s Brickyard 400 kicks off a grueling 17-race stretch to championship weekend at Homestead, and it's time to get everything geared up and ready to go for the Fantasy home stretch. Unless you went way out on a limb with your picks at Chicago, you likely didn’t see your team get blown away in the Windy City. But with the prestige of winning at the Brickyard up for grabs this weekend, every team is going to be bringing their "A" game this Sunday. As you prepare your team for a race of historic proportions, keep in mind the delicate balance between picking a driver who is hot at a particular track and which drivers were running well _before_ the break ... but not three months before. Confused a bit yet? We'll sort it all out for you; just take a deep breath and get ready for the long week ahead by reading the latest edition of Fantasy Picks 'N' Pans.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Pre-Brickyard 400 Edition

As teams approach one of the most prestigious races in the Sprint Cup Series and fans and drivers are refreshed following a rare off weekend, it's a perfect opportunity to recognize some of the streakiest drivers heading into this year's Brickyard 400. Of course, one man has been in a league of his own all season - but another driver has surprised in mirroring Kyle Busch's points total over the past nine races. Who is that famous wheelman giving Busch a run for his money? And who's season is suddenly running on life support after a strong early start? See who are some of the worst drivers in the series as of late, and who has an opportunity to kiss the bricks on Sunday by checking out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Making Your Team Work in the Windy City

The Sprint Cup Series heads to the Windy City this weekend for another intermediate race track. For the first time, the race will be held under that lights at Chicagoland Speedway leaving many fantasy gamers a little nervous. Some drivers are on a roll and momentum certainly plays a role in the sport. Others very well may be on a mission from God. With recently announced driver changes and NASCAR penalties, who knows what also might be playing with the psyche of combatants this weekend. Read on to see which drivers our experts feel are driving on a full tank of gas with half a pack of cigarettes wearing sunglasses in this week’s Picks ‘n’ Pans. *Crank ‘em up:* A blown Goodyear Eagle is all that kept *Jimmie Johnson* from winning the race at Chicago last season. Prior to the tire failure, Johnson led 82 laps and was among the fastest cars in the field. 2007 wasn’t the first time Johnson ran up front at Chicago. Minus his 37th place outing last summer, Johnson has never finished a Chicagoland race outside the Top 10.

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Mirror Driving: The Busch-Montoya Scuffle, A Silly Season Shuffle, And Saving The Truck Series With…The IRL?

*Juan Pablo Montoya received a two-lap penalty during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire for rough driving after intentionally spinning Kyle Busch under caution. Montoya said it was because Busch ran into him several times before that incident. Was the penalty fair, or was Montoya in the right?* Amy: It was fair, but what pissed me off was NASCAR's refusal to penalize Aric Almirola for the same offense. Bryan: The contact between Busch and Montoya on its own didn’t warrant it, but seriously, Busch deserves to be spun every race for the duration of the season. NASCAR should have left it alone. Tony: It was fair, especially because the spin came under caution.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Edition

Rain just laps from the finish at Loudon was a blessing for a number of teams, who were able to use pit strategy to finish much higher than where they'd run all day. But for as many teams as the rain helped, it hurt plenty of others. Tony Stewart had arguably the best car all day -- leading a race high 132 laps -- but fell to 13th place, while a number of hot streaks came to an end -- including Carl Edwards' string of seven consecutive races with a Top 10 finish. But one streak that will continue on to Daytona this weekend is Jeff Burton's impressive 17-race, Top 15 performance. Burton is among those in this week's "HOT" column; read below to see who else joins him in this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup after New Hampshire. *HOT* *Tony Stewart:* If it weren’t for bad luck, Stewart wouldn’t have any luck at all lately. This is the stretch of the season where the former champion traditionally starts to hit his stride, but good finishes that could have been better have held the No. 20 team back just a little. Two weeks ago, he was forced to recover from a late-race spin to finish 10th; this week, it was rain and pit strategy that relegated the race’s lap leader to finish 13th. Stewart did seem emotionally drained in his post-race interview, and many will argue it’s partially due to him exploring his options for next season. But those who think this will be a repeat of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s misfortunes upon deciding to leave the No. 8 last season may need to think again...

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