TRIANGLE FULL OF TRICKS FOR MEARS AND GERMAIN RACING
Long Pond, PA (August 2, 2015) - When Germain Racing arrived in Pocono for practice on Friday, they aimed to continue their string of solid runs that saw them score five top-20 finishes in the previous seven races.
Casey Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS started off strong at the Tricky Triangle and posted a consistent 20th in all three practice sessions. In qualifying, he paced the 2.5-mile tri-oval in just 51.614-seconds, landing him 26th on Sunday's starting grid.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was pleased with the sunshine and 70-degree temperatures that were present as the green flag approached on Sunday. When things got underway at Pocono Raceway, Mears started 26th, but wasted little time in gaining ground, as he captured the 22nd position after collecting four positions on the opening lap. In a race that featured 8 caution flags for a total of 32 laps, Mears kept the GEICO Chevy solidly in the top-20 and top-15 for much of the day, while also logging laps in the top-10 and top-5. The Germain Racing crew would do their part and, during a pit stop under yellow on lap 91, Mears returned to the racing surface eight positions to the good after a quick service on pit road.
Mears' No. 13 GEICO Chevy was strong and he was poised for a top-15 finish before a questionable call by NASCAR left him penalized after a scheduled green flag pit stop with just 34 laps remaining in the event. A fireman positioned between pit stalls inadvertently made contact with a Germain Racing crew member and knocked him over the wall, resulting in a penalty for too many crew members over the wall during a pit stop. Mears' sentence would be a trip down pit road during green flag conditions, which would leave him a lap behind the field and all the way down in the 26th position with the checkered flag just 30 laps away. He would gain a spot and move into 25th, but with only two laps to go, Mears, along with a host of his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitors, would run out of fuel and be forced to visit pit road under green on the final lap. He rejoined the field and crossed the finish line a single lap down in 28th place.
Despite the strange happenings, Mears remains in the 21st position in the point standings, just 17 points removed from the top-20.
"Well, that was an interesting race. We had a good car today and had a solid run going until that penalty with 34 to go," Mears said. "Everyone on the GEICO team did a nice job and we obviously didn't get the finish we deserved. Days like this are frustrating because we were fast and were going to at least get a top-15 finish. The good news is that we were consistent all weekend and the GEICO Chevy was strong in the race. Things happen in racing that you can't control, so we have to put Pocono behind us and shift our focus to Watkins Glen next weekend."
Next up for the GEICO Racing team is the second road course race of the 2015 season.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Watkins Glen International for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, August 7th, at 11:30 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday, August 8th, at 1:15 PM (ET).
The Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, August 9th, and it will be televised live on NBC Sports beginning at 2:00 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.caseymearsracing.com
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
To learn more about Germain Racing, please visit www.GermainRacing.com
- PMI -