Q and A with Casey Mears
Casey Mears holds daughter Samantha Mae prior to the start of the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
Photo by Brian DeGruchy/The Racing Experts
By Isabel Gonzalez
June 26, 2016
SONOMA, Calif.—NASCAR drivers are set to tackle the 28th annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway Sunday. This is the first road course of the season, and Casey Mears from the GEICO Chevrolet team talked to the The Racing Experts about his thoughts on this weekend.
Mears has never had a win at Sonoma. In 12 career starts at the raceway, Mears’ best finish was fifth-place in 2008. He’s posted two top-ten finishes and seven top-20 results overall at the track.
Mears finished Friday’s practice with the second fastest time, 75.209 seconds, 0.034 behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. After the qualifying round on Saturday, Mears secured a spot on row seven in 14th position.
Q. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Sonoma race? Mears: “I guess just a lot of fun, you know. I really enjoy the road course and getting to California where I grew up. It’s fun to come back, but also just the racetrack. “We only get to run a couple road courses a year, so it’s always fun and kind of a treat to get to shift gears, and go right and left. “We always enjoy the racetrack here. It is a lot of fun and we just like being here.”
Q. How would you describe your relationship with this race? Mears: “It’s kind of one of those places where we typically run well. We always have fast racecars. It’s just whether or not you get caught up with something or if there’s an issue. And we’ve had a couple times where we’ve had some issue. Last year we actually had an axle come flying out. That was pretty random. It was a part that we didn’t service ourselves. We get it from an outside vendor. So you know, typically if there is no issues here, we didn’t get caught up in any crashes, or had any major off-track issues, then we run well. So we are looking forward to it and hopefully have a good day here. ”
Q. Do you feel maybe you have a home field advantage? Mears: “I don’t know, I mean, it feels good to be home. But really at the end of the day it’s another track and there’s a lot of guys that are talented getting around this place. You know, I enjoy the road courses. I grew up racing, road racing. So coming back to this type of events, they are a lot of fun for me.”
Q. You have yet to get a top 10 finish this season. Do you feel you might get it this weekend?
Mears: “For sure we can here. Absolutely. I think that we’ve had good opportunities to do that throughout the whole season. We’ve had really fast racecars. Our GEICO Chevrolet has been fast. We’ve been competitive, we’ve just had a lot of random odd things happen this season. So for sure, if we can just have a clean weekend then we can definitely have an opportunity to do that.”
Q. Is there anything else you would like to say? Mears: “Nope, I’m good. I’m excited about the weekend. Like I said, it’s just always fun to be here, being back on the west coast. Hopefully we’ll have a good result.”