NASCAR star Casey Mears was left impressed after visiting the Red Bull Global Rallycross season finale in Los Angeles.
The veteran of 596 races in NASCAR’s top two national touring series is considering a move to the series next season, possibly in a multi-discipline programme alongside Stadium Super Trucks outings and a part-time stock car deal.
Mears spent the weekend at the event at the Port of LA, and even had the chance to ride alongside three-time-champion Scott Speed during media rides (above).
“I thought it was awesome. I thought they did a really good job with the event,” he told The Checkered Flag. “The fact that they give media rides before the weekend I thought was a really clever idea – I got to ride with Scott Speed and got to feel what the cars were like and they accelerate unbelievably.”
“I like the short-course-style racing, it reminds me of a lot of the old short-course races we used to do in the off-road stuff – quick, short events, [and] action-packed. Real short races so I enjoyed checking that out for the first time.”
While the LA finale was the first time Mears had visited a Red Bull GRC in isolation, he was first made aware of the series in its early days when it formed part of the NASCAR bill.
“I think one of the first times I saw a GRC race was when they were really first starting to try and get going in the States, they did some races that were in conjunction with the NASCAR events – I think one was at Loudon, New Hampshire,” he said. “I believe they did another one at either Texas or Charlotte – that was the first time I’d really heard about what was going on regarding the series.”
Mears’ varied career has seen him race stock cars, single seaters, sports cars, and off-road trucks, and he likens rallycross as a combination of all he has experienced to date.
“Seeing how fast they accelerated from the start was really impressive. Obviously being four-wheel-drive is different to anything that I’ve really been a part of before, whether it be Indy cars or NASCAR, they’re all rear-wheel driven cars so the four-wheel drive adds a different aspect and I really feel like it’s a good combination of everything really,” he said. “It has some technology that the Indy cars would have, tight-quarters racing that we would have maybe at Martinsville, and at the same time you’re on dirt, pavement, all of those different elements so it kind of makes it a little bit of everything.”