Coca-Cola 600 Pit Note #19
Casey Mears (Winner of the Coca-Cola 600, driver of the No. 25 GMAC/National Guard Chevrolet): "This win is huge. We had about a third- or fourth-place car all night long and the only way we were going to win was to conserve fuel. I tried to conserve as much fuel as I could when [crew chief] Darian [Grubb] told me the position we were in and the leaders were pitting. I want to say ‘thank you' to all the folks with the National Guard because this is a special weekend being Memorial Day and we had the American Heroes paint scheme on our car. A lot of people paid a lot and sacrificed their lives for our freedom."
On bad luck to date: "This is my fifth year in Cup and I had a lot of people who were eager to see me get to victory lane. I can't hardly talk right now because I'm so happy. I'm very appreciative for all the folks at Hendrick Motorsports for standing behind me like they have. It was just a great day for us all."
On the victory: "This is a huge night for us because this has been such a long time coming. This GMAC/National Guard team has made so much progress all year long. We got in a hole early in the season and it's been difficult because we came into this race 35th in the point standings. We've just had a lot of bad luck and most of it hasn't been our fault. To come out of here with a victory is just what we as a team needed, and the team deserves it because they've been working so hard. We're continuing to make progress every week. This victory speaks volumes in showing how hard this team has really worked. I just want to thank Hendrick Motorsports and all the guys on this team. Hopefully, this is the start of a lot of good things to come. It's no secret that Hendrick Motorsports is successful and I'm just glad to finally help be a part of that."
Did he ever doubt himself?: "I think that anytime things go bad you question a lot of things. At times I've questioned myself, even though that's something you really can't do as a driver. I've wondered if it was me and what I could do to be better. I always thought I was capable of winning races. I've learned a lot over the last four or five years. To answer the question as to whether I've ever questioned myself - yes, I did doubt myself at times. Fortunately, now that we've got a win we're going to have a lot of momentum on our side. I feel very confident that we're going to be strong the rest of the season."
Roger Mears (father of Coca-Cola 600 winner Casey Mears): "Oh my gosh, we are both so happy for Casey. This feels like it has been such a long time coming and I'm so happy for him. We're both so happy because we know how this makes him feel. This is just thrilling - I love it. I've been crying since they threw the checkered flag."
Carol Mears (mother of Coca-Cola 600 winner Casey Mears) "This is unbelievable - just awesome. I was worried to death that Casey was going to run out of gas. Roger and I did a lot of jumping and hugging."