Friday, January 8, 2010
Casey Mears, who has driven for some of the most successful organizations in NASCAR, is apparently losing his ride with Richard Childress Racing, according to the Peoria Journal Star.
RCR expanded its Sprint Cup program to four cars last year, but will return to a three-car organization in 2010. The team was unable to secure sponsorship for the No. 07 Chevrolet piloted by Mears, according to the report. RCR will continue with Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer.
“Right now we’re going to run three Cup teams out of our shop, and possibly a rookie somewhere along the line but, right now, it’s three teams," said team owner Richard Childress.
"Casey, I’m hoping to try to find him something (at another team). He hasn’t landed anything yet.
“He’s a great guy and did a great job for us at the end of the year and I just wish there was something we could do with him but right now, I don’t want to do anything with a fourth team that’s going to take away from our other three teams.”
Jack Daniels had sponsored the No. 07 car since 2005. The company ended its NASCAR program at the end of last year, citing the economic downtown.
As of Friday evening, there was no announcement on RCR's official Web site on the decision to cut back to three cars. However, in listing the organization's Sprint Cup teams and drivers, no mention is made of the No. 07 team or Mears.
Mears had four top-10 finishes in the No. 07 in 2009 and finished the season 21st in the points standings.
In addition to RCR, Mears has competed for Chip Ganassi Racing and Hendrick Motorsports in Sprint Cup. He has one win, 12 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes in 252 career starts.
RCR as a whole struggled during the 2009 season. None of the organization's four drivers made the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Photo: Casey Mears participates in a Goodyear tire test at Bristol Motor Speedway in July 2009. From Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristolmotorspeedway/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)