FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEARS SURVIVES LONG DAY AT INDIANAPOLIS
Speedway, IN (July 29, 2012) – Few races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule evoke as much emotion as Indianapolis. It is the most celebrated racetrack in the sport of auto racing and bears special meaning for the Mears family. Rick has recorded four Indianapolis 500 wins, while Casey still owns the track record that he set when he took the pole at the 2004 Brickyard 400. Casey’s father, Roger, also competed in the Indianapolis 500 before moving onto a legendary career in off-road racing.
When Mears took to the historic speedway for the series’ opening practice, he paced the facility with striking familiarity and sat ninth on the speed chart when the session concluded. His #13 GEICO car was also the second fastest Ford. Qualifying saw the California native travel the 2.5-mile racetrack in just 50.134 seconds, at a rate of speed of 179.519 miles per hour. His effort was good enough for a 25th place starting position in Sunday’s race.
Sunny and warm weather blanketed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took the green flag for 160 laps of racing. Mears held the #13 GEICO Fusion strong in the top 25 before starting to fight a tight condition on the third lap of the race. He immediately notified crew chief Bootie Barker of his situation, indicating, “The car is plowin’. I’ve never been this tight.”
The crew would have their first shot of rectifying the problem during Mears’ first scheduled green flag stop of the day on lap 26. They refreshed the #13 GEICO Fusion with four tires, a tank of fuel and much needed adjustments. Once back on the track, Mears turned only a single lap before again finding himself in a battle with the racecar. “It’s way, way too tight; not even close,” Mears said over the team’s radio frequency.
A much-needed yellow flag waved on lap 41, giving Mears the opportunity to bring his GEICO Fusion to the attention of the Germain Racing pit crew. He received tires, fuel and major adjustments. Unfortunately, when the field received the ‘one to go’ signal, Mears reported a bad vibration and was forced to take a second trip to his pit stall to take on four new tires. He ultimately restarted in the 33rd position, one lap down. A sliver of good fortune would find Mears when the caution immediately manifested itself just two laps later, allowing him to receive the Lucky Dog award and rejoin the lead lap.
On lap 62, Mears began reporting brake problems to Barker. He managed to ride it out and even began working the #13 GEICO Fusion through the field and into the Top 10. Sadly, Mears’ day took a final turn for the worse on lap 86 when he radioed in: “It feels like the brakes are grinding.” Just seven laps later, his right front brake rotor gave way, cutting the right front tire and sending Mears careening into the outside wall. He sustained significant damage and was forced to head to the garage for repairs to his GEICO Fusion.
Mears returned to the race on lap 114, 23 laps down to the field, in the 36th position. When the checkered flag ended a long day for the Germain Racing team, Mears was relegated to a 34th place finish.
“It was a long, tough day, and we need to figure out what went wrong with the brakes,” Mears said. “When things like this happen, it makes for a long afternoon. The GEICO team did a great job of making repairs and getting me back out there so we could at least pick up some points. We also managed to pick up a couple of spots, which always helps. We started the weekend off fast in practice, so we will work hard to figure out what we did that caused us to head in the other direction.”
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