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National Guard Busch Series team hoping for 'no restrictions' at DIS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) – Casey Mears, driver of the No. 24 National Guard Chevrolet, is looking to make his 12th NASCAR Busch Series start of the season this Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

In his three Busch Series starts at Daytona, Mears posted his career-best finish of seventh at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in 2002.

“With the fins on the roof of the (Busch Series) cars, definitely they suck up a little better,” Mears said, comparing them to the Nextel Cup Series entries. “With more drag and a little bit more downforce, they run a little slower and it’s easier to run two-, three- and four-wide. All the same things apply. You’ve got to work with guys out there, get to the front and stay out of that ‘big one.’

“I like to try to focus on getting to the front the whole race. Some guys lay back. I think if you’re trying to get to the front the whole race, you’ve learned how to get to the front and you know how to do it at the end when you need to. That’s one thing that I really focus on. And the Busch Series is a good warm-up for the Cup side. Obviously, they handle a little different, but a lot of the same strategies apply.”

Crew chief Chad Walter has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 222 as the primary option for Daytona. The car was tested at Daytona back in February.

Mears and the National Guard team will recognize the 53rd Infantry Brigade—nicknamed the “Gator Brigade”—this weekend on the hood of the No. 24 National Guard Chevrolet.

Known as the largest National Guard unit in the state of Florida, the Gator Brigade have had two infantry battalions serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom and were some of the first National Guard soldiers in Iraq during the initiative.

As of last weekend’s 10th-place finish at New Hampshire International Speedway, Mears now has 10 top-10s and six top-fives in the NASCAR Busch Series. Mears currently sits 18th in driver standings, while car owner Rick Hendrick is now 29th.

The NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway will air live Friday, July 6 on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET.