FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LATE RACE ACCIDENT SOURS SOLID RUN FOR MEARS AT BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 24, 2013) - Heading into Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway, Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Racing team's goal was to leave Thunder Valley with a solid finish and a race car in one piece. Known as the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’, the track is known for hard side-by-side racing, ensuring fans would see plenty of action under the Saturday night lights in Tennessee.
After a loose-handling condition in qualifying placed Mears in the 30th starting position, the Germain crew faced a bigger obstacle, but the team was ready to tackle the challenge. Under clear skies, Mears took the green flag and quickly moved up a handful of positions within the first 25 laps. Shortly after, the veteran driver radioed to his team that the GEICO Ford Fusion was "plowing tight". Crew chief Bootie Barker made numerous adjustments with each opportunity that allowed Mears to visit pit road under caution. The track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments took some time to react but finally made their presence known just past the halfway mark of the race.
On lap 359, while Mears was running in the 27th position and on a lap on his own, a caution slowed the field, allowing the GEICO Ford to receive the Lucky Dog Award. Once the California native was back on the lead lap, Mears moved his way through his competition and was scored as high as 18th by lap 445. However, only a few laps later, trouble struck the GEICO machine. As fellow competitors began to make contact on the track, Mears was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffered significant front-end damage, leaving the nose caved in with tubing pushed through the radiator.
Within 40 laps, the GEICO crew changed the radiator, made all necessary repairs, and had Mears back on track for the final 20 laps. Because of the quick work by the team, Mears crossed the finish in the 33rd position.
"Even though the result wasn't what we deserved, I'm proud of the guys for never giving up," said Mears. "We kept working on the GEICO Ford throughout the entire race and finally had it hooked up where we could move forward. For once I thought we were going to leave this place with a solid finish but we just got caught up in someone else's mess. It's a shame but the team did a good job of getting me back out there for the final 20 laps."
The next event on the Sprint Cup Series schedule is the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, September 1st at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 PM ET, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at 6:30PM ET. Performance Racing Network (PRN) will also have 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: Samantha Jones, Player Management International