Posted by lori in Untagged
LATE-RACE BACK-TO-BACK FLAT TIRES RUIN MEARS' TOP-20 RUN AT DOVER
Dover, DE (May 31, 2015) - After a solid run in Charlotte, the Germain Racing team traveled to Delaware looking to conquer the high-banked one-mile oval affectionately known as the Monster Mile. Dover is located just 100-miles from GEICO's corporate office and offered Casey Mears the opportunity to play in the Gecko's backyard.
Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS took to Dover International Speedway for practice on Friday, where he ended up 23rd on the speed chart. He later qualified 21st after touring the legendary oval in just 22.771-seconds, at a speed of 158.096-miles per hour.
On Sunday, the green flag set the field loose amid a hot, humid day that would provide slick track conditions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field. Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevy rolled off of the starting grid from the 21st position. He found himself at odds with his racecar, but the Germain Racing pit crew worked throughout the day to make adjustments and help Mears gain track position. As the race wore down, the GEICO Chevy was in the top-20 and eyeing a strong finish.
On lap 376, Kyle Busch and Brian Scott got together, which resulted in the event's fifth caution flag of the day. Mears would bring his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet to the attention of his pit crew, which returned him to the racing surface in a very prompt 11.2-seconds. In position to score a top-20 finish, Mears charged hard when the race returned to green with 17 laps remaining in the 400-mile race. As things heated up on the racetrack, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin found themselves at odds over real estate just three laps later, causing a crash that put Mears on the edge of his seat as a car spun and nearly made contact. Having just pitted, crew chief Bootie Barker ordered the GEICO Chevy to remain on the racetrack.
Mears was in the 20th position when the race returned to green with just 10 laps to go in the advertised distance. In turn three, Jamie McMurray made incidental contact with Mears, causing a tire rub that would soon send the No. 13 entry scrambling to pit road with a flat right-rear tire. After running in the 19th position, he was forced to pit under green, which would cost him valuable track position. The Germain Racing pit crew quickly provided Mears with two fresh right-side tires and sent him back into action with a short four laps to go. The untimely visit caused him to surrender three positions and he was scored in the 22nd position upon his return to the track.
Unfortunately, just three laps later, on lap 399, Mears' left front tire went down, which sent him spinning across the racetrack and bringing out the final caution flag of the day. The crew repaired the damage and put on four new Goodyear tires before sending him out for the final time. Despite the misfortune, Mears and his GEICO team were able to salvage a 27th place finish when the checkered flag closed out a hot afternoon in Dover.
"Days like today are frustrating because it was beyond our control; not much you can do about flat tires," Mears said following the race. "The Germain guys worked hard all day to make adjustments to our GEICO Chevy and there at the very end we were in position to get a top-20 finish, but we have two tires go down within a few laps of each other. We're excited to get to Pocono next week and put Dover behind us. All of the guys have worked really hard and we've had a lot of speed this year, so we always look forward to getting to the track each week."
The Germain Racing team will now pay a visit to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Pocono Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, June 5th, at noon (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:45 PM (ET).
The Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, June 7th, and it will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 1:00 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 -