One man's trash is definitely another's treasure in the world of NASCAR and that will again prove to be true on Saturday when Richard Childress Racing names Casey Mears its fourth Sprint Cup driver for 2009.
RCR has a press conference set at Bristol Motor Speedway where the team will introduce Mears as the driver for its new fourth team. Mears was bounced out of Hendrick Motorsports earlier this year in favor of veteran Mark Martin taking over the team's No. 5 entry for one more title shot next season.
Mears will actually drive RCR's No. 07 next season with Jack Daniels sponsorship. RCR's newest sponsor General Mills, which will back the team's No. 33 entry, did not want to associate itself with Mears next year in the wake of his long-time connection to rival Kellogg's, which underwrites the Hendrick No. 5 Chevy.
Current No. 07 pilot Clint Bowyer will slide into the new seat at RCR in the swap.
The move makes veteran driver Scott Wimmer, who has driven well in the RCR Nationwide Series effort and as a spot Cup starter for the team over the years, the odd man out. Although reportedly high on team owner Richard Childress' list for the new ride, Wimmer's low key profile did not meet the approval of General Mills.
Mears has been one of the sport's underachievers since coming into stock car racing from an open wheel background. He showed a few flashes of success with Ganassi Racing in his early NASCAR career but has been a major disappointment since coming to Hendrick, where many thought he would shine. Mears does have one Sprint Cup win to his credit, which came at Charlotte in 2006 in a fuel mileage race, but has been near the bottom of the series standings this year.
Speculation is Mears will be released from his Hendrick contract early and allowed to join RCR for a few starts at the end of the season in order to prepare for a full assault in 2009.