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Rick Mears

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December 11, 1992 | From Associated Press
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears surprised the racing world Thursday night by announcing his retirement as a competitive driver at the age of 41. Mears, who had surgery on Aug. 19 to repair a broken wrist suffered in crashes before and during the Indianapolis 500 in May, drove his last race on Aug. 2, finishing 16th in the Marlboro 500 at Michigan International Speedway.
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May 27, 2010 | By Jim Peltz
Even by its legacy standards, the Indianapolis 500 this year is compelling because of intriguing questions surrounding drivers throughout the 33-car field. Atop the list is Helio Castroneves' quest to become only the fourth driver to win the storied race a record four times, joining Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser. No driver has won the race five times. Castroneves won his third Indy 500 last year and the effusive Brazilian is poised to defend his victory by starting Sunday's 200-lap race on the pole position after qualifying last weekend at 227.970 mph at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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September 14, 1985
Nissan's Rick Mears and Toyota's Ivan Stewart will race for the 1985 championship in the sport truck division at the National Orange Show Stadium in San Bernardino in tonight's finale of the five-race Off-Road Championship Gran Prix. After four races, they are tied with 182 points each. Mears has won twice, Stewart once. Another close battle is expected in the unlimited single-seater class, with Marty Tripes, Frank Arciero Jr. and Bob Gordon all having a shot at the championship.
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May 17, 2009 | Mike Harris, Harris writes for the Associated Press.
Roger Penske treats the Indianapolis 500 like his personal playground. Having earned an unprecedented 14 Indy wins, Penske and his team came to the speedway this month with only one thing in mind -- another victory. This race is Penske's Holy Grail and, with two-time winner Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe starting from the front row on May 24, it looks as if the Captain is right where he wants to be in the quest for win No. 15. Even so, the 72-year-old entrepreneur takes nothing for granted after years of running his racing team as a small part of a transportation services corporation that employs 40,000 people worldwide.
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May 11, 1988
Rick Mears turned the fastest lap in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history Tuesday, 220.048 m.p.h., leading a near sweep by the still-unproven Chevrolet V-8 engine for the top speeds in practice for the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. Mario Andretti, in a Lola-Chevrolet, also bettered the former unofficial track record with three laps at 219 or better. Mears' teammates, Al Unser and Danny Sullivan, also driving new Penske cars powered by the Chevy; Al Unser Jr.
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April 7, 1988 | Jim Murray
You never have to look very far down the track for Rick Mears. If the car keeps running, try first. If he's not there, you won't have to wait long. In the five Indy 500 races in which his car was still on the track at the end of 200 laps, he finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st and 3rd. If he were a pro golfer, he'd be shooting 70 every round. If he were a ballplayer, he'd be Wade Boggs, getting 200 hits every season.
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August 19, 1985 | From Times Wire Services
Rick Mears, who has been trying to find his way back to the top since a 1984 crash that almost ended his auto racing career, outran Al Unser Jr. on Sunday to win the Domino's Pizza Pocono 500 at Long Pond, Pa. "This did a lot for me therapy-wise," said Mears, still recuperating from severe foot and leg injuries suffered in a crash last September in St. Pie, Quebec. "There are no words for it," he said. "We've got to put it (the accident) behind us, and this will do a lot toward that goal.
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June 2, 1991 | JOE GERGEN, NEWSDAY
The star of automobile racing's biggest show was unavailable. He -- ships may be regarded as female but it's unthinkable to refer to a growling Indy car in anything but masculine terms -- was otherwise occupied, undergoing testing and tuning for his next performance in Milwaukee on Sunday. Fortunately for all those car buffs in New York, his chauffeur and spokesman made the trip.
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July 14, 1985 | United Press International
When Rick Mears woke up in a Montreal hospital, he gazed down the bed at his legs. "I saw that my feet were still attached," said Mears. "I started to go unconscious again, but I did say to myself, 'You're going to drive again."' It has been 10 months since the practice crash that broke both of Mears' feet but left his spirit intact. When Mears next awoke, he was in an Indianapolis hospital where microsurgery and skin grafts eventually repaired his feet.
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December 26, 1992 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It took Richard Petty, 55, an entire year to retire. A.J. Foyt, 57, hasn't figured out how to do it yet. Hershel McGriff, 64, doesn't think he ever will. Retiring is something with which race drivers, like many other sports personalities, have difficulty coping. Which is one reason Rick Mears' sudden announcement that he was retiring at 41--seemingly still in the prime of his driving career--so stunned the motor racing world, including his associates on Roger Penske's team.
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June 15, 2006 | Jim Peltz, Larry Stewart, Chris Foster, Eric Stephens, From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Casey Mears will move to Hendrick Motorsports next year to join other NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers in the Hendrick stable such as Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch, the team announced Wednesday. Mears, a 28-year-old member of the famed Mears racing family of Bakersfield, had said last week that he would not return to the Dodge team of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates after his contract expires this year. His move to Hendrick was not unexpected.
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June 9, 2006 | Jim Peltz, Times Staff Writer
Casey Mears, still winless on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit, will not return to the Dodge team of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2007, Ganassi said Thursday. Mears, 28, a Bakersfield native and member of the famed Mears racing family, is in his final year of a four-year contract that brought him to the Nextel Cup series in 2003. "Casey said he was going to go elsewhere and drive," Ganassi said. "Am I disappointed? Yes.
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February 23, 2006 | Jim Peltz, Times Staff Writer
Casey Mears would look forward to this Sunday's Nextel Cup race at California Speedway under any conditions, because it's a homecoming of sorts for the Bakersfield native. But after what happened last Sunday in the Daytona 500, Mears can't get to Fontana for the Auto Club 500 fast enough. Mears, who turns 28 on March 12, is the son of off-road racing champion Roger Mears and the nephew of Rick Mears, four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.
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August 8, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Casey Mears followed the path set by uncle Rick Mears, winning the pole position Saturday for today's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Brickyard 400. He took full advantage of an early draw in the qualifying order to post a fast lap of 186.293 mph. That broke the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's stock car qualifying record of 184.343, set last year by Kevin Harvick. "It feels great to be back here at Indy and holding up the Mears name proud," Casey said after driving his No.
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April 23, 2003 | Martin Henderson, Times Staff Writer
Rick Mears' legacy of triumph: three CART championships, four victories in the Indianapolis 500, 29 Indy car victories, more than $11 million in earnings. And so it is that Sunday, Mears will be honored again. In Rick's absence, his brother, Roger, a longtime off-road star, will accept the Eagle One Shav Glick Award before the Winston Cup stock car race at California Speedway.
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August 25, 2002 | Associated Press
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears was never scared in a race car. Alcohol is a different story. "I'm a guy who's always liked his beer," Mears said Saturday. "A while back, I just felt like it was catching up with me, that I was starting to drink too much." Mears, 50, revealed that he checked himself into a treatment program twice--in mid-April and in late May. Mears retired from driving after the 1992 season and currently is an advisor with Marlboro Team Penske.
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May 30, 1988 | SHAV GLICK, Times Staff Writer
The race that didn't want to end, the 72nd Indianapolis 500, finally ground to a merciful close Sunday in much the way it started--with a yellow Penske car out in front. Running under the yellow caution flag. Rick Mears, who had won the pole by averaging 219.198 m.p.h. and had laps of 207 during the race, won his third 500 while cruising along about 85 m.p.h., following pace-car driver Chuck Yeager.
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May 27, 1991 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rick Mears, drawing on lessons he learned 20 years ago racing in the desert, outdueled Michael Andretti down the stretch of a dramatic Indianapolis 500 before 400,000 fans Sunday to join A.J. Foyt and Al Unser in an elite group of four-time winners. Mears, after leading the first 12 laps from the pole in his Chevrolet-powered Penske, was content to drop back to fifth or sixth place during most of the first 300 miles and let Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi wage a stirring race up front.
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March 25, 2002 | J.A. Adande
It's like those Office Depot commercials, the ones where people such as Debbie Allen and Bill Parcells pop up to dispense advice in their fields of expertise. When Gil de Ferran drives around the track, he hears the voices of Roger Penske and Rick Mears in his headset. Penske's racing team has won the Indianapolis 500 11 times, four of them with Mears driving. Of all the guys driving around the California Speedway on Sunday, only de Ferran had two of the nine racing legends whose faces adorn an infield wall talking in his ear. Think these guys know what they're doing?
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May 28, 1997
MULTIPLE WINNERS FOUR VICTORIES * Rick Mears: 1979, 1984, 1988, 1991 * Al Unser Sr.: 1970, 1971, 1978, 1987 * A.J. Foyt: 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977 THREE VICTORIES * Bobby Unser: 1968, 1975, 1981 * Johnny Rutherford: 1974, 1976, 1980 * Mauri Rose: 1941, 1947, 1948 * Wilbur Shaw: 1937, 1939, 1940 * Louis Meyer: 1928, 1933, 1936 TWO VICTORIES * Arie Luyendyk: 1990, 1997 * Al Unser Jr.
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