Mears Burton To Backups

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Practice Speeds: First | Final

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A pair of successful Daytona cars will be out of commission after an accident coming off Turn 4 resulted in Casey Mears, Jeff Burton and others moving to backup cars during Happy Hour practice for Saturday’s Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

The trouble began when Burton, who was driving a specially prepared downforce car, lost a left rear tire hit the Turn 4 wall. Mears, who was running just a few car lengths behind, could not avoid the No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet, hitting the car's rear end and causing extensive damage to both vehicles.

"I guess the 31 lost the left rear," said Mears, who finished second fastest in the first practice session. "It got him loose and shot him straight into the fence. We didn’t have anywhere to go."

While disappointed in losing his primary car, which he used to finish second in the Daytona 500 earlier this year, Mears’ replacement for the rest of the weekend is also successful as it was driven Jamie McMurray during his second place run in last year’s Pepsi 400.

"I just talked to Donnie (Wingo, Crew Chief), and he said our backup car is just as good. I’m going to take his word for it," said Mears.

For his part, Burton was equally disappointed. However, he also has a successful spare vehicle as he will now qualify and race his 2006 Daytona 500 pole winning car.

"We’ll do what we can do," said Burton. "This is a great race team and they bring good race cars. It’s an unfortunate break. We just cut a left rear tire. This is a great race team and we’ll overcome it."

J.J. Yeley, who was checking up to avoid the accident, got rear ended by the No. 22 Catepillar Dodge of Dave Blaney. As a result, both drivers were also forced to switch to their secondary cars.

Not everybody had a disappointing Happy Hour, as Joe Nemechek paced the field with a fast lap of 190.090 mph.

Dale Jarrett, Robby Gordon, Reed Sorenson and Kasey Kahne round out the top five fastest list in the final practice session.

Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 will take place Friday starting at 4:35 p.m. (ET).

Saturday's running of the Independence Day weekend tradition will get the green flag at approximately 7:55 p.m. (ET) from the "World Center of Racing."

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