Mears unsure of future at Richard Childress Racing
Casey Mears doesn't know what next season holds for him — yet.
With the announcement this week that Jack Daniels will not continue as a sponsor for the No. 07 Chevrolet, Mears, who is 20th in the point standings, finds himself in a predicament for 2010.
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"I don't know what we're doing yet," Mears said. "I do know that Richard (Childress, team owner) is working hard to secure sponsorship for the fourth team."
According to team sources, several potential sponsors toured the Richard Childress Racing campus in Welcome, N.C. this week. Possible driver/sponsor combinations for the fourth team could include a deal with Hall of Fame Racing/Ask.com or Paul Menard with the Menards brand. Another name name that continues to be mentioned is Bobby Labonte.
Childress admitted on Friday that there has been interest from sponsors, but would not elaborate on specifics.
"We're planning on running four teams," Childress said. "We're aggressively looking for sponsors. We'll just have to see how it goes."
Is Mears willing to do his own sponsorship search in order to hold on to the ride?
"I haven't thought that far ahead," Mears said. "We just found out this week that Jack Daniels will not be back next year. With any team, if a driver can bring a sponsor to the table, for sure it makes a driver more attractive if he can bring money with him."
"There just isn't a lot (of sponsorship) available right now. So we'll have to wait and see what happens."
Mears signed a three-year deal last August that locked him in for 2009. The final two seasons were contingent on performance and Mears said that he is "just short" on the stipulations. Still, Mears has posted four top-15 finishes in the last six races and feels the team is becoming more consistent. He is confident that as the team returns to tracks for the second time this season he'll be able to demonstrate improvement.