Born in Bakersfield, Mears is a veteran of 489 races in his 15-year career in the NASCAR Cup Series, where he's posted one win - the 2007 Coca-Cola 600 - three poles, 13 top-5 finishes and 51 top-10 finishes, and he's raced in the Daytona 500 12 times. Mears' best finish in the Daytona 500 was second in 2006.
He's also had 107 races in 10 years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and he has also competed in the IndyCar Series and Champ Car Series.
He currently competes part-time in the Stadium Super Trucks and NASCAR Cup Series. Mears also works as a NASCAR analyst for Fox Sports 1.
In addition to the Coca-Cola 600 victory, Mears teamed up with two other drivers to win the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2006.
Mears, who graduated from Stockdale High School, grew up in Bakersfield. He began racing go-karts in 1991 then began competing in the SuperLites Off-Road Series in 1992. He switched to sprint cars in 1994 and placed third in the Jim Russell USAC Triple Crown Championship that year, then won the championship in 1995.
Mears made his Indy Lights debut in 1996 as a part-time driver, then drove full time in 1997 and placed second. He made his CART Series debut in 2001, placing a career-best fourth place in his inaugural race. He also made his NASCAR debut in 2001 in the Busch Series.
Mears is the third member of his family to enter the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame. His uncle, four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, was inducted in 1980 and his father, noted off-road racer Roger Mears, was inducted in 1986.