MEARS TAMES THE TRIANGLE AND FINISHES TOP-16 AT POCONO
Long Pond, PA (June 7, 2015) - Dover's Monster Mile left Casey Mears and Germain Racing heartbroken after snatching a top-20 finish from their grasp after two flat tires in the final eight laps dashed their hopes. Armed with a short-term memory, the GEICO team arrived in Long Pond, PA, looking for redemption at the track dubbed the Tricky Triangle.
Mears wasted little time getting comfortable when practice got underway on Friday. Despite having to battle the much discussed heavy bumps in the tunnel turn, he posted the 14th quickest practice time and then aimed to top his 2014 qualifying result of 25th. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying saw the Bakersfield, CA, native advance to the second round before pedaling the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a prompt 51.232-seconds, at a speed of 175.671 miles per hour. His hustle landed him 18th on Sunday's starting grid and topped his June 2014 effort by five positions.
When the Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 went green on Sunday, Mears and his GEICO Chevy held strong in the top-20 and by lap 26 were riding in the 13th position. Despite facing a loss of front grip and a car that would not turn, he continued to forge ahead and only surrendered a minimal amount of real estate before his pit crew was able to get to work on the Germain entry. Mears ran solidly in the top-20 for the bulk of the afternoon and was in a position to finish strong as the race wore down.
Crew chief Bootie Barker would order the GEICO Chevy to pit road for a scheduled green flag fuel stop with just 32 laps to go and soon after Mears returned to the racing surface, the yellow flag was displayed. The perfect timing left Mears and his No. 13 car with a sufficient amount of fuel to complete the race and also mitigated any potential lost ground on the track. Mears restarted 18th with just 27 laps left in the advertised distance and managed to collect two spots and finish 16thwhen the checkered flag was displayed on Sunday afternoon in the Pocono mountains. His effort accounts for Germain Racing's sixth top-20 of the 2015 season.
"We had a good run today and it was nice to be able to come here and put together a strong weekend and get a good finish," Mears said. "We ran in the top-20 most of the day and Bootie (Barker, crew chief) made a good call there at the end and we were able to keep the GEICO Chevy up front. Everyone on this Germain team works so hard and I appreciate all of their effort and have been pleased with the improvement this year."
Next up for the GEICO Racing team is a trip to the Irish Hills of Michigan.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Michigan International Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, June 12th, at 11:30 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:15 PM (ET).
The Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, June 14th, 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 -