Mears flying under the radar at star-studded Hendrick Motorsports

When your teammates are Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., it's easy to understand why Casey Mears might feel a little neglected when the media circus comes to town. But a breakout year could change all that, writes David Newton.

Updated: January 17, 2008, 11:48 AM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Casey Mears had enough of an identity crisis when his Hendrick Motorsports teammates were Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.

Now he gets Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the circus that comes with him.

From family members to friends to perfect strangers, Mears can't go anywhere without being asked what it's like to work under the same roof as NASCAR's most popular driver.

"That is the question," Mears said last week during ...

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