NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 26 Casey Mears

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Casey Mears

Season finish: 26th

2014 Season Stats: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 3 Top-10s, 0 Poles.

What went right: The nephew of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears performed well in restrictor-plate races: 10th at the Daytona 500, 14th at the spring race at Talladega, a season-best finish of fourth in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, and another 10th in the fall at ‘Dega. Mears also largely avoided disaster with just one DNF all year, and that didn’t come until the Chase race at Martinsville.

What went wrong: Mears’ team, Germain Racing, is one of several smaller teams that has an alliance with the bigger Richard Childress Racing. JTG-Daugherty Racing and Furniture Row Racing are also in that group, and while Mears’ 2014 season was comparable with that of Martin Truex Jr. and FRR, A.J. Allmendinger and JTG-D have bragging rights of sorts with their Watkins Glen win and Chase berth.

There was also this bit of unpleasantness with Marcos Ambrose. For his part, Mears gave Ambrose credit for actually tagging him.

2015 Prospectus: If Mears can continue to do well on the plate tracks, he might be next year’s Allmendinger or Aric Almirola by earning a “wild card” win that propels him into the Chase. Beyond that, Mears and the No. 13 team should focus on continuing to maximize their partnership with RCR and gaining “best in class” status over JTG-D and Furniture Row.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.