Posted by: lori on Oct 28, 2013
Tagged in: Untagged
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STRONG 21ST PLACE FINISH FOR MEARS AT CAUTION-RIDDLED MARTINSVILLE
MARTINSVILLE, V.A. (October 27, 2013) - Every time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enters a short track event, beating and banging in close corners is the norm. While this is standard, classic racing at a track under a mile in length, each driver and team hopes they will be the one who keeps their car free from the expected madness. Casey Mears and the GEICO Racing crew set out to do just that – avoid being collateral damage, manage tires and pit strategy, and be in a good position in the final stages of the 500-lap event.
Shortly after the green flag flew under beautiful weather conditions on Sunday afternoon, Mears fell victim to front end damage as the field checked up in front of the No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion to avoid a spin on lap eight. Crew chief Bootie Barker called his driver to pit road prior to the pits opening in order to have additional time to make necessary repairs to the hood and top of the grill. Unfortunately, these damage repairs cost Mears a lap, as the leaders passed by while work was still being done to the Germain Racing entry. As the field returned to green flag conditions, Mears was scored in the 41st position, as one of the only cars one lap down.
Mears continued to lay down solid lap times, while trying to place himself in a position to receive the Lucky Dog Award and return to the lead lap. As the second caution came on lap 89 for a spin in turn four, the veteran driver had moved into the 37th position and brought his GEICO Ford to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. An excellent pit stop by the Germain Racing crew allowed Mears to gain five positions and restart from 32nd-place on lap 95.
Over the next 100 laps, Mears steadily gained ground on the racetrack to move into the top-25 and be the Lucky Dog recipient as the caution slowed the pace on lap 205. The pit crew changed four tires, fuel, and made minor adjustments to the GEICO Fusion before returning to green flag racing. Two quick cautions allowed the teams on pit road to play strategy, as some chose to stay out and others chose to come in for fresh rubber. Barker instructed his driver to stay out under both cautions, in order to save tires for the second half of the race. Despite moving into the 13th position on lap 235, Mears quickly radioed to Barker asking for "tires please" on the next opportunity, as the drivers who had new Goodyear’s were passing those with older tires.
Another caution came on lap 285, allowing Mears to once again receive the Lucky Dog Award as the GEICO machine had just been lapped prior to the yellow being displayed. The California native reported the No. 13 Fusion was "loose on entry and exit" and Mears brought his Ford to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments before returning to green on lap 291 from the 25th position. Seven caution flags were displayed between lap 299 and 386, slowing the pace every five to eight laps for on-track clean-up. Mears successfully maneuvered his way through numerous spins right in front of the GEICO Ford and was scored in 21st-place by lap 400.
The 17th and final caution flag was shown on lap 417 and Barker brought Mears to pit road for the last time. Equipped with four fresh tires, fuel and a minor adjustment, Mears took off from the 21st position. Hard-nosed racing ensued over the last 70 laps, but with the field separating with a green flag run, Mears crossed the finish line in 21st-place.
"It was a hard fought race for our GEICO Racing team," said Mears. "We got behind early with going a lap down on pit road but thankfully our damage wasn't too bad. There were a couple tough calls but I was able to avoid a few wrecks that happened right in front of me. Overall I'm proud of the effort the Germain Racing busy put in all weekend and we will head to Texas."
Next up for Mears and the No. 13 GEICO team is a trip to the Lonestar State for Sunday's event at Texas Motor Speedway. The green flag will wave shortly after 3 p.m. ET on November 3rd, 2013, with live television coverage on ESPN. The live radio broadcast can also be heard on the Performance Racing Network (PRN).
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
Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International