Posted by lori in Untagged
UNDAUNTED MEARS REBOUNDS FROM EARLY SETBACK TO FINISH 22ND AT ATLANTA
Hampton, GA (August 31, 2014) - As the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season moves along, Casey Mears and the Germain Racing team arrived in a steaming hot Atlanta looking to turn in a solid performance and continue their strong season.
Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS opened the weekend 28th on the board at the close of the first practice. Despite residing on the bottom half of the chart, his position was not indicative of the speed of his racecar. After a few laps, the GEICO Chevy was fast in race trim and solid in qualifying trim. When qualifying got underway, Mears waited until late in the opening round to go out, looking for an ally in a cooler racetrack that would increase his chances of a fast lap. It proved a wise move, as he ultimately advanced to the second round after a quick trip around the high-speed 1.54-mile paved oval. When qualifying concluded, Mears was credited with the 24th starting position.
The Oral-B USA 500 rounded out a busy Labor Day weekend when hot temperatures welcomed an anxious Sprint Cup Series field for 325 laps of racing. Armed with a strong racecar, Mears took the green flag with his sights set on chasing down the leaders. Aside from some minor handling issues, all seemed to be going well until lap 38. Crew chief Bootie Barker radioed to Mears that they would be pitting in five laps, but almost immediately Mears reported that he had a tire coming apart. He made a quick dive down pit road, doing a masterful job of collecting his racecar as it started to spin. Unfortunately, no sooner than the No. 13 GEICO Chevy hit pit road, the caution flag flew. While Barker aggressively petitioned NASCAR for the opportunity to take the wave-around, they declined his request and sent Mears to the rear of the field, leaving him two laps down to the leaders. He would restart 40th and Barker would begin using strategy to help his driver begin a trek to the front.
As the race wore on, Mears' GEICO Chevy seemed to improve with each pit stop. In particular, the wedge adjustments were helpful, but at times still left him too loose to throttle off of the corners. He slowly made headway and as the race began to wind down, the GEICO Chevy was in the top-25 and moving forward. After two attempts at a green-white-checker finish, the field calmed long enough to complete the final laps. After the lap 36 setback, a hard-charging Mears collected 18-positions after restarting 40th and recorded a 22nd place finish. More significantly, Mears now stands among just four drivers (Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard and Austin Dillon) that have completed every race this season, a feat not easily accomplished in NASCAR racing.
"We had a pretty good car throughout the weekend and I thought we'd be able to put the No. 13 GEICO Chevy up front, but that tire that came apart on us put us behind early in the race," Mears said. "We worked hard all night to regain ground and Bootie (Barker, crew chief) made some good calls that helped get us in position to get back up front. We were fortunate to be able to squeeze out a 22nd place finish. We're looking forward to getting back to Richmond. We were strong there in the spring, so we hope to do well next weekend."
Mears and his GEICO team will now head to Richmond, VA, to do some racing under the lights just 100-miles removed from the Gecko's stomping grounds.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Richmond International Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, September 5th, at 9:00 AM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 5:40 PM (EDT) and will air live on ESPN2.
The Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, September 6th, and it will be televised live on ABC beginning at 7:30 PM (EDT). 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 KMC Wheels, please visit: www.KMCwheels.com
- PMI -
Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International