Casey Mears Left Without Ride, RCR Drops No. 07

Mark RudiCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2010

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Casey Mears, driver of the #07 Choctaw Casino Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
John Harrelson/Getty Images

With the economy in shambles, and NASCAR teams struggling to find sponsorship, Richard Childress Racing and driver Casey Mears have not been affected.

Childress announced Thursday the No. 07 will be dropped from RCR's lineup for 2010 and the team will move forward with Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, and Clint Bowyer.

"Right now we're going to run three Cup teams out of our shop," Childress said to the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, "and possibly a rookie somewhere along the line but, right now, it's three teams."

"Casey, I'm hoping to try to find him something (at another team). He hasn't landed anything yet. He's a great guy and did a great job for us at the end of the year and I just wish there was something we could do with him but right now, I don't want to do anything with a fourth team that's going to take away from our other three teams."

The car's primary sponsor, Jack Daniel's, announced at the end of the 2009 season that they would not be renewing its contract with RCR for the 2010 season.

Mears has found little success since coming to NASCAR in 2003. Casey, Rick Mears' nephew, has only one Cup victory, his best finish in the standings was 14th, in 2006 as a member for Chip Ganassi Racing.

The Bakersfield, Calif.-native only had four top 10s in 2009, for an average finish of 19.8 and finished 21st in the standings in his first—and only—year with RCR.