Posted by: lori on Mar 25, 2013
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEARS AND GEICO TEAM SCORE THIRD TOP 15 IN FOUR WEEKS
Fontana, CA (March 24, 2013) –Casey Mears is coming off of a productive Bristol weekend where he finished 15th after recovering from crash damage that sent his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion all the way back to the 34th position. At a track where passing was at a premium, the Bakersfield, CA, native made it look easy. This week, Fontana offered Mears the opportunity to come back home and continue his strong run.
Mears quickly settled back into his California roots on Friday evening during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying when he zipped around the two-mile racetrack in Fontana in just 38.886-seconds. His fast lap put him 11th on the starting grid and accounted for Germain Racing’s best ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying effort at the SoCal racing facility.
Bright skies and perfect temperatures welcomed race fans on Sunday. Prior to assuming his racing duties, Mears spent extensive time with four Marines from Camp Pendleton who were guests of the Armed Forces Foundation. After taking photos with them during pre-race, he climbed aboard his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion and aimed to continue the team’s marked progress.
Rolling off of the starting grid 11th, Mears and his GEICO Fusion quickly fell victim to handling issues and suffered a loss of grip that heard him on the team radio frequency saying: “I’m way too loose; I’m sideways. I can’t do anything.” Crew chief Bootie Barker assured Mears that the situation would be rectified. Unfortunately, Mears began to free-fall through the field before landing all the way down in 27th.
Lap 28 offered relief as the first caution flag of the day was displayed for a David Stremme spin, affording Mears the opportunity to visit pit road. The Germain Racing pit crew worked efficiently and after supplying the #13 GEICO Fusion with four fresh tires and a full tank of Sunoco racing fuel, they returned Mears to the racing surface one position to the good in 26th. The pit crew worked feverishly throughout the entire race, gaining positions on nearly every pit stop. Mears openly complimented the crew often over the team radio and they collectively worked to put the GEICO Fusion in position to return to the front of the field.
As the race wore down, Mears made steady progress and ran solidly in the top 20. After a Clint Bowyer spin with just 15 laps remaining in the advertised distance, Mears brought his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion to the attention of his pit crew for the final visit of the afternoon. They quickly provided him with four tires and fuel and placed the outcome in his hands. The GEICO driver restarted 18th with just eleven laps to go and wasted little time in cutting through the field. When the checkered flag closed 400-miles of racing, Casey Mears and his GEICO team recorded a 15th place finish, marking their third top 15 effort in the previous four weeks.
“We have such a great group of guys and we fought hard all afternoon to get this #13 GEICO Ford Fusion where we needed it to be,” Mears said after climbing from his car. “We just never quit and we slowly were able to get this thing headed in the right direction. Also, the Germain pit crew did an exceptional job today and that helped a lot as we tried to gain positions. I can’t thank GEICO, Germain Racing and Ford enough for their great support of our program. Today was a true team effort that showed how resilient our guys are and how hard they work.”
With consistency as a virtue, Mears jumps one spot in the Driver Points to 21st and sits only three points removed from the top 20. Team owner Bob Germain remains 23rd in the Owner Point standings, but now rests just five points behind Rick Hendrick who owns the 20th position.
Next week, the Germain Racing team will get to enjoy their first weekend off in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. After enjoying a break, they will return to action in Martinsville, VA, on April 7th.
Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Martinsville Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, April 5th, at 12:00 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (EDT).
The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, April 7th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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
Please visit the Casey Mears Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/caseymearsracing
- PMI -
Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International