Casey Mears was born March 12, 1978 in Bakersfield, California, and was surrounded by racing as he grew up. His father, Roger Mears, was one of the top performers on the off-road racing arena and his uncle, Rick Mears, won the Indianapolis 500 four times during his racing career. Mears began his own racing career at the tender age of four with BMX bicycles, and then he moved to ATVs at his hometown speedway. In 1991 he started racing go-karts and moved to SuperLites Off-Road Series a year later where he made a few top-three finishes.
“Tradition and heritage” have been used to describe Casey Mears, the new driver of No. 42 Dodge Charger in 2006. His family history and his surname transcend any one racing series. His fourth season was completed in 2006, on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit. Over the years with Felix Sabates, at Chip Ganassi Racing, Mears has continued improving, which has given him the needed experience to be able to withstand the pressure that goes with racing the celebrated “Texaco Star” car. Many experienced and talented drivers have driven the “Texaco Star” on the NASCAR circuit like, Kenny Irwin, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Davey Allison.
Mears commented that not only was it a privilege to have Texaco/Havoline sponsor him but having grown up knowing them and the relationship Texaco/Havoline had with Mario and Michael Andretti. The 2004 season revealed Mears to be a strong competitor, earning him his first Top-5 finish at the Watkins Glen International. He also followed his Uncle’s footsteps by winning the pole position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in track-record time. During 2005 Mears NEXTEL Cup season was up and down. He had two races in Homestead and Texas, which were potential winners but with late-race cautions he was prevented from doing so. Altogether it wasn’t a complete write-off as he was able to finish the season with 3 Top-5 finishes and 9 Top-10s.
By the end of 2009, Casey Mears had notched up 252 consecutive race starts, one win, 12 Top Five positions, and 46 Top Tens. The year started off with the announcement the Mears would be driving the #90 Key Motorsports Chevrolet in 2010, but he broke his consecutive race starts record by failing to qualify for the 2010 Daytona 500 and later failing to qualify for Las Vegas, Fontana and Atlanta. Time will tell whether Casey Mears will regain his form and add more successes to his NASCAR racing history.
NASCAR hosts a number of exciting auto racing championships every year and this year will be no different. Not only will the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series be kicking off in less than three weeks time, but a number of great drivers, such as Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Casey Mears, are set to return to the racetracks for another great season.
So far it seems as though NASCAR enthusiasts cannot wait the last few weeks before the Daytona 500 officially kicks off the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A large number of drivers and car owners will be heading down to the Daytona International Speedway this Saturday to take part in the Rolex 24. So far the line-up is looking pretty good. NASCAR stars have been participating in this pre-sprint cup race since 1962, making the most of the race and enjoying a fun-filled weekend that also gives them a great season warm-up. Casey Mears, who won the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype in 2006, and Juan Pablo Montoya who took the title in 2007 and 2008, will both be returning to Daytona for this year’s race. Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson will also be making an appearance, as will other greats such as Kyle Petty, AJ Allmendinger and Colin Braun. Roger Penske, Richard Childress and Kevin Buckler have also submitted entries for the event. More than fifty different Daytona Prototype and GT cars are expected to be entered for the event, making the Rolex 24 at Daytona action packed and exciting.
So far the race is set to start at 15:30 on Saturday, but practice runs and qualifying will get underway long before on Thursday. All eyes will be on Montoya, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas to see if they can again burn up the tarmac on the “Roar Before the 24” test to determine the fastest speed. Both Pruett and Rojas are defending Rolex 24 at Daytona winners and they have taken the Daytona Prototype trophy home before. Montoya has remarked that his car is â€˜pretty quick’ and said he is excited about the event. It won’t be long now before fans crowd the Daytona stadium ready to warm up for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with a little pre-championship racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.