Mears to get the axe?

UPDATE Richard Childress Racing hasn't picked up the option on Casey Mears' contract and likely won't unless a sponsor is found to keep four cars in the organization. And even that's not a given. "If we don't have the funding to do it, I don't want to hold him back from getting another ride," team owner Richard Childress said Friday at Dover International Speedway. Mears signed a one-year deal, with an option for a second, to drive the#07 with Jack Daniel's as the sponsor. Jack Daniel's announced earlier in the week it will not return in 2010. Childress said the goal is to remain a four-car organization, noting a personal responsibility for keeping as many RCR employees as possible under tough economic times. If potential suitors aren't interested in Mears, who is 20th in points, sources said the organization may be forced to turn to another driver. "It all depends on sponsorship," Childress said. "Casey has done a good job. It's just unfortunate circumstances around Jack Daniel's to have to leave the sport."

09/26/09 With the announcement this week that Jack Daniels will not continue as a sponsor for the #07 Chevy, Casey Mears finds himself in a predicament for 2010. "I don't know what we're doing yet," Mears said. "I do know that Richard (Childress, team owner) is working hard to secure sponsorship for the fourth team." According to team sources, several potential sponsors toured the Richard Childress Racing campus in Welcome, N.C. this week. Possible driver/sponsor combinations for the fourth team could include a deal with Hall of Fame Racing/ or Paul Menard with the Menards brand. Another name that continues to be mentioned is Bobby Labonte. Childress admitted on Friday that there has been interest from sponsors, but would not elaborate on specifics. Mears signed a three-year deal last August that locked him in for 2009. The final two seasons were contingent on performance and Mears said that he is "just short" on the stipulations. FoxSports

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