Mears Takes Pole For USG Sheetrock 400 At Chicagoland

7/13/07, Joliet, IL – Casey Mears bested Martin Truex, Jr. in qualifying for Sunday?s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup USG Sheetrock 400 to be held at Chicagoland Speedway. Mears driving the Hendrick Motorsports National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo ran a lap at 29.580 seconds, 182.556 mph.

This is Mears? third career Bud Pole in 103 career NEXTEL Cup starts, first since August, 2004 when he won the pole for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mears? other career Bud Pole, his career first came the previous week at Pocono. “When you start something new, you always want to do things right,” said Mears, who is 19th in points and the only Hendrick driver outside the top eight. “To get a win and now a pole, we’re in the all-star race next year and also in the Bud Shootout.” Mears has additional confidence this weekend, “This is the car that we won Charlotte with so everyone is pretty pumped this weekend.”

This is Truex?s best career starting position, and his eight top-10 start of 2007. Truex ran a lap at 29.593 seconds at 182.476 mph.

Ryan Newman qualified third and Mark Martin was fourth fastest. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top-5. Dave Blaney and Paul Menard (and fastest rookie) were the two fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time. Mears? teammates Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson quailed in the top-10 in the sixth and eighth positions. Clint Bowyer qualified seventh and Kyle Petty substitute John Andretti was ninth. Matt Kenseth ended up tenth fastest. When asked does going fast on Friday translate to fast on Sunday, Kenseth remarked, ?You hope so, but it?s just qualifying day. I was pleasantly surprised that the changes we made the car faster. It was not that good in practice, but that was pretty good right there.?

Missing the field were Scott Riggs, Brian Vickers, Dale Jarrett, A.J. Allmendinger, Kevin Lepage and Kenny Wallace.

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