Casey Mears: Marcos Ambrose “got me pretty good with that shot”

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One day after he and Marcos Ambrose were caught fighting after the conclusion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, Casey Mears talked about the incident at a charity 5K run in North Carolina for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.

Mears and Ambrose argued in the garage before Mears grabbed Ambrose and tried to shove him along. Ambrose would have none of that and managed to punch Mears in the temple before crews broke them up.

According to Alan Cavanna of NASCAR.com, Mears is now sporting a bruise and a swollen left eye, both of which were hidden by sunglasses for much of today’s run.

Mears later admitted to Cavanna that Ambrose “got me pretty good with that shot.” As for the matter of potential payback, he mentioned that such a fracas was not “something you just forget.”

However, he also appeared to commend Ambrose – somewhat.

“One thing I can say is that out of all the NASCAR fights, when you see people swing it’s usually a lot of fly-swatting,” Mears said. “He actually connected, so that was pretty good.”

Ambrose and Mears finished 18th and 19th in last night race, which was won by Joey Logano.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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