FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Las Vegas, NV (March 6, 2011) – A week ago, Casey Mears and the GEICO Racing team departed Phoenix with a sense of achievement. Aside of transforming a potentially disastrous day into an 18th place finish, they also bounced themselves into the Top 35 in the owner standings. A spot inside the Top 35 will lock the team into races beginning with Martinsville, should they maintain their status.
Las Vegas offered the opportunity to continue their effort to gain consistency and further solidify their Top 35 points position.
If one had watched the GEICO team in Phoenix last week, they would feel like Las Vegas was a mirror image of last week’s effort. Upon arriving at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ opening practice session, Mears and the Gecko once again out-hustled all other go or go home cars and sat well ahead of their next competitor on the speed chart.
The opening practice would serve as indication of how both qualifying, as well as the final practice session would go. In both, the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry sat atop the list of go or go home cars, leaving little doubt as to the ability of seasoned veteran, Mears, and his Germain Racing crew.
Starting 27th on Sunday, amid cool temperatures and sunny skies, Mears immediately began to battle a loose condition in the #13 GEICO Camry. Attempting to wheel his machine around the 1.5-mile tri-oval with very little rear grip, Mears quickly expressed his concerns to crew chief Bootie Barker.
By Lap 55, Mears had hustled up to the 23rd position when a scheduled green flag pit stop sent the #13 GEICO Camry down pit road for service. Aside from saddling Mears with four tires and fuel, the GEICO pit crew would also make a track bar adjustment in hopes of providing Mears with the necessary rear grip.
While the adjustments would make a difference initially, the racecar would fall off quickly. However, despite the lack of rear grip, Mears would be faster than the leader on Laps 69 and 70.
As the race began to wind down, the GEICO pit crew would continue tending to the car and making adjustments. In the end, the pit crew’s efforts, along with Mears’ skill and patience, would allow them to reap the rewards of their hard work and persistence. When the checkered flag waved over the Entertainment Capital of the World, Mears and the GEICO Racing team notched their second consecutive Top 25 finish. More significantly, they maintained their position in the Top 35 in the owner standings.
“Sure, it was a tough day, but once again this GEICO team never gave up. We all remained calm and just kept working hard trying to get the car right and get a decent finish,” Mears said. “We could’ve very easily quit and just took a 35th place finish, but that’s not in us. We have such a great group of guys and our sponsor GEICO offers unwavering support.” He continued, “We’re in the Top 35 and we didn’t even race in Daytona; that’s something to be proud of. We will enjoy a week off and then get to Bristol and look for another good finish.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes its first break of the 2011 season next week and the Germain Racing team will garner some much-needed rest. A week of rest only seems appropriate prior to racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the World’s Fastest Half-Mile for the opening practice session at 12:00 PM (EST) on Friday, March 18th. Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (EST).
The Jeff Byrd 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, March 20th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:00 PM (EST). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.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