FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEARS AND THE GECKO ESCAPE WILD KANSAS RACE WITH 21ST PLACE FINISH
Kansas City, KS (October 6, 2013) – Casey Mears and his GEICO team rolled into Kansas hoping to continue their string of solid finishes. While the weekend started off in challenging fashion, they were able to turn in a solid day and, after leading the race, running solidly in the top 20 and overcoming crash damage, they turned in a strong 21st place finish.
Friday found the Germain Racing team scratching their heads after the opening practice session saw Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion land 33rd on the speed chart. After later qualifying 37th, crew chief Bootie Barker and his engineers hunkered down in a Kansas City hotel lobby and put their heads together.
When race day rolled around, Mears and company felt confident in their bid to move forward. Armed with new information and ideas for adjusting the car, any nerves had subsided when the team took to the starting grid for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400. The green flag waved amid bright skies and cool temperatures. While he qualified 37th, Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion began to make quick work of the field before the caution flag flew just moments after the race got underway. Danica Patrick hit the wall bringing out the event’s first yellow of the day, but Mears made the most of his time under green, moving up seven spots to 30th. Given the tire issues prevalent at Kansas Speedway, Mears took the opportunity to visit pit road and take on four fresh tires, leaving the previous set to be used as scuffs later in the race.
The race would turn into a caution-riddled event that kept the Germain Racing pit crew busy throughout the afternoon. They never faltered in their work and Mears’ #13 GEICO Ford Fusion continued to improve as the race wore on. He ran solidly in the top 20 for much of the day while also making appearances in the top 15 and was the race leader on lap 45. While cautions flew repeatedly, Mears continued his trek to the front being interrupted only by a caution that was brought out as his GEICO bumper lay across the racetrack. On lap 179, Mears radioed to Bootie Barker that he was “really loose coming out of turn two”. A lap later, he found himself against the outside wall in the aforementioned turn, leaving his rear bumper as victim. The GEICO crew made repairs to his racecar and quickly returned him to the event without the loss of even a single lap. And their work was true, as Mears said to Barker on lap 187, “The car’s driving fine. It doesn't really feel any different.” Even with damage, Mears continued to get faster and lap 210 saw him turn his quickest lap of the day.
After a record setting 15 caution flags caused a ruckus, one of which was triggered by a burning bush in the grandstand area, Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion notched a 21st place finish, a 16 position ascension from where his journey began 400-miles earlier. This is Mears’ 19th top 25 finish of the 2013 season.
“The weekend started out rough, but the GEICO crew worked hard to get things turned around and it paid off today. I’m really proud of these guys and the effort they’re putting in each week,” Mears said. “The season is beginning to wind down and it’s been great to close it out with solid finishes. We’re looking forward to continuing the run this weekend in Charlotte. Charlotte is special to me because I won a race there and the memory is still fresh in my mind.” He joked, “I’m glad we got out of Kansas with a 21st place finish. I mean when you have 15 caution flags and a burning bush, it’s time to go home.”
Next weekend will feature Mears returning to the place where he visited victory lane in 2007 when he won the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend.
Casey Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Thursday, October 10th, at 3:30 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 7:10 PM (EDT).
The Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, October 12th, and it will be televised live on ABC beginning at 6:30 PM (EDT). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) 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
Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International