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National Guard team hitting the road with Mears

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2007) – After a three-week hiatus from the NASCAR Busch Series, Casey Mears is ready for some extra road work this weekend as he returns to the National Guard Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International.

Although Mears has competed sporadically in the Busch Series for the past seven years, he has never run at the Glen. In fact, Saturday will mark his first-ever start in a Busch Series race on a road course.

Mears certainly isn’t hurting for experience, though, having raced in four NEXTEL Cup events at Watkins Glen with a career-best finish of fourth in 2004. He’s led eight laps and, impressively, has completed all but one circuit in Cup competition there.

“It’s all relative,” said Mears, who recently tested Road Atlanta with assistance from road-course ace Max Papis.  “The Busch cars are going to be a little bit slower because they have less horsepower.

“For the most part, the same parts and pieces apply. If you can get around there good in a Cup car, you should be able to do the same in a Busch car.”

Mears also knows there’s a challenge in switching back and forth between series, especially with the new Chevy Impala SS “Car of Tomorrow” that his No. 25 NEXTEL Cup team will race Sunday.

“It’s not easy to jump back and forth between the Busch car and the new Cup car at a road course,” Mears said.  “It’s a good challenge, but the two cars feel a lot different and you’ve just got to find a way to make the adjustment as fast as you can.”

This weekend, Mears’ No. 5 National Guard Chevrolet will honor the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division, which is spread over eight states, including New York.  Its soldiers were among the first to respond to the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

Catch Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series action on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET.

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