posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 03:16 PM
INDIANAPOLIS - Casey Mears grew up dreaming about winning poles and races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He just never pictured doing it in a
On Saturday, Mears took a big step in his budding NASCAR Nextel Cup career, and the first step toward emulating the Indianapolis success of uncle Rick
Mears, by winning the pole for the Brickyard 400.
He took full advantage of an early draw in the qualifying line to post a lap of 186.293 mph. That broke the Indianapolis stock car qualifying record
of 184.343, set last year by Kevin Harvick.
"It feels great to be back here at Indy and holding up the Mears name proud," Casey said after driving his No. 41 Dodge to the second pole of his
career and second in as many weeks. "Hopefully, I will have a good race on Sunday. It would just mean everything in the world."
After seeing his father, Roger, race at the speedway in the early '80's, and watching Uncle Rick win six poles and four races in the Indianapolis 500,
Casey always pictured himself racing an open-wheel car on the 2½-mile Indy oval.
The youngster, then 23, tried to make the 500 in 2001 but was unable to get a Galles Racing entry up to speed and came up short in last-minute
qualifying effort after jumping into a car fielded by Derrick Walker.
"I think this is a good feeling of redemption," Mears said. "To have such a horrible month and not qualify for the show was just heartbreaking. I've
got a lot of unfinished business here and this is a real good first step."