Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NASCAR NOTEBOOK; Rivals Busch, Mears Become Teammates

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NASCAR NOTEBOOK; Rivals Busch, Mears Become Teammates

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Kyle Busch and Casey Mears have a troubled past with each other. Now they're going to be teammates.

Less than three weeks after Busch was fined $50,000, stripped of 25 points in the standings and placed on probation until the end of the year for throwing a piece of his safety collar at Mears, car owner Rick Hendrick said he's hired Mears to drive the No. 25 Chevrolet next year.

Mears said Friday he talked to his teammate-to-be this week. He doesn't expect any new problems.

"At the end of the day, whether or not we're in the same shop, it's four cars on the same team and we'll have to all get along," he said. "There really isn't much of an issue there if you think about it. We had never really talked, to be honest. Any talking we did was [when] he heard what I said in the media and I heard what he said in the media. We actually sat down and talked the other day and it went well. I mean, we really don't even know each other. ... Do I agree with the way a lot of stuff went down? No. At the same time can we get along and be teammates? Absolutely."

LESTER QUALIFIES, KAHNE ON POLE AT MICHIGAN

Bill Lester, the first black driver to race in NASCAR's top stock car series in 20 years, backed up his solid qualifying run in March at Atlanta with another strong performance Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

At Atlanta Motor Speedway, amid much ballyhoo, Lester's race day was far from impressive when he finished 38th, six laps behind winner Kasey Kahne, who also showed the way Friday by winning the pole at Michigan.

"The first thing [at Atlanta] was just making the show and getting some experience," Lester said after qualifying 34th in the 43-car Michigan field. "We came up a little short that time. This time, our objective is to race the distance, to go all 400 miles. We want to be on the lead lap. …

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