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Engines Keep Casey Mears Confident at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2007) - With each passing day of Daytona 500 preparation, Casey Mears gets a little more comfortable in his new Hendrick Motorsports surroundings.  The same goes for his comfort with restrictor-plate racing at places like Daytona and Talladega, Ala.

Mears, who finished second to now-teammate Jimmie Johnson in last year’s Daytona 500, plans to continue his rapid progress on the big tracks.

“I’m constantly getting better at it. Constantly learning, you know,” Mears said. “At first you come in not understanding what these cars do in the air and how to work the air and how to avoid some of the wrecks. At first you just think, ‘Man, this is just a luck thing. Whoever wins this is just whoever’s in front at the end.’

“But you start realizing that there is an art to it and I’ve learned a lot about it over the last few years now. I feel like I got a pretty good handle on how to do that. There’s always more to learn. I’ve never considered myself a guy who knows everything.”

While still learning, Mears says the hard work of the Hendrick Motorsports engine department provides him with plenty of confidence going into the “Great American Race.”

“Knowing that [a Hendrick engine] is underneath you is reassuring,” said Mears, driver of the No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet. “In this sport you have to stay ahead of things all the time. I feel really confident that we’ve got engines that are really strong this year and I’m looking forward to it.”

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