Casey Mears Captures the 48th Running of the Coca-Cola 600
Casey Mears captured his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win Sunday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, winning the Coca-Cola 600 from the 16th starting position. Mears' victory marked the fourth time in five years that a Hendrick Motorsports entry has won the 600-mile classic. J.J. Yeley recorded his best career finish in second with Kyle Petty, Reed Sorenson and Brian Vickers completing the top five.
Coca-Cola 600 Race Results.
Casey Mears (winner, No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports/National Guard Chevrolet, fifth driver to get his first-ever NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in the Coca-Cola 600): "We were a third- or fourth-place car at the time. Only way we could win was to gamble and that's what we did. It's unbelievable. I can't believe we're in victory lane. It's huge to happen right here at home. What a great call our crew chief made to keep us out!"
J.J. Yeley (runner-up, No. 18 Gibbs/Interstate Batteries Chevrolet): "We had a top-eight car all day long. Fuel pressure never faltered, even on the last lap. We [Gibbs] weren't the best cars there, but we weren't the worst, either. I do my best every time I go on the track. As far as being on the hot seat, I'll go back to driving sprint cars, if that's what it takes. We've had some good runs; we just haven't had the finishes to show for it."
Kyle Petty (third, No. 45 Petty Enterprises/Coke Zero Dodge Charger, first top-five in 10 years): "Billy [Wilburn, crew chief] made a heckuva call there near the end and that's what did for us. Our car was good. Our car was different when the sun was out. We kept working with it and didn't really get it right until I got the ‘lucky dog' there to get back on the lead lap. I couldn't be more excited for Casey Mears if he was Adam Petty. When you look at the top three or four tonight, it's all a total team effort. We all had top-car cars and everything worked our way. Six hundred miles is an awful long race."