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NASCAR

Mears lands new Cup ride

Casey Mears has found a new home.

The NASCAR veteran will take over the No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet, starting this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.

The Sprint Cup entry will have an Earnhardt-Childress Racing engine.

"Casey was available," Baldwin said. He's very marketable and a proven talent. Hopefully, we can put great equipment underneath him and let him go."

Mears started the season with start-up Keyed-Up Motorsports and qualified for one of the first six races. He then stepped out of the ride and was available to serve as a relief driver for Joe Gibbs Racing after Denny Hamlin's ACL surgery, although Hamlin opted to continue driving.

"It's always a great opportunity to get back in a car again," Mears said. "I think Tommy is working really hard to build a team over there with potential for the future."

The eight-year Cup veteran won the 2007 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and has 12 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes in 253 career starts.