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Jun 24

Mears Sonoma Race Report

Posted by: lori

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GEICO driver’s 16th place finish accounts for team’s sixth top-20 effort of the 2013 season


Sonoma, CA (June 23, 2013) – The Sonoma Valley is known for great scenery, great wine and great racing.  This weekend marked the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ first road course race of the 2013 season and allowed the sport to enjoy all three.  Mears and his GEICO team have enjoyed a string of good runs and looked to Sonoma as another opportunity to solidify Germain Racing’s consistency.  They also received associate sponsorship from Caymus Vineyards, a prestigious California winery, which hosted a series of events for team personnel during the weekend.


Mears’ arrival at Sonoma Raceway was quickly evident when he unloaded off of the truck and ended up third fastest in the first practice session and 12th quickest in Happy Hour.  Qualifying found his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion a bit loose amid the hot temperatures and he landed 21st on Sunday’s starting grid.


When Mears slid behind the wheel of his GEICO Ford on Sunday afternoon, gray skies prevailed and raindrops soon followed.  The field would ultimately turn six laps prior to the green flag, which immediately called into question previously planned fuel strategies up and down pit road.  Mears rolled off 21st and remained there until the event’s first caution of the day on lap 24.  He visited pit road and took on tires and fuel and restarted the race in time for the next yellow flag to wave.  Given that he just visited pit road, crew chief Bootie Barker ordered Mears to stay out and instead gain much coveted track position.  Barker’s gamble paid off and, after restarting 9th on lap 33, Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion ran solidly in the top 10 for the next 15 laps.


On several occasion throughout the race, Barker advised Mears to save fuel, as the team found itself three laps short as the race began to wind down.  A late-race caution allowed the GEICO team to top off fuel and let Mears go hard until the end.  With just 20 laps remaining, he was faster than the leader and again turned a quicker time on lap 98.  Taking the white flag in the 17th position, a hard charging Mears managed to hustle to a 16th place finish on the final lap.  This is Germain Racing’s sixth top 20 finish of the 2013 season and helps to continue their streak of strong results.


“It was a good weekend for us and it was nice to get a decent finish for GEICO and Caymus Vineyards,” Mears said.  “We needed a little more rear grip in the high-speed corners, but we ran strong in the top ten for a lot of the day and were able to continue our run of solid finishes.  I’m proud of the guys on this Germain team and how hard they work each week.  You’re seeing more consistency because of their efforts.”


Mears and the Germain team next descend upon the Bluegrass State.                                                  


Casey Mears and the #13 Valvoline Ford Fusion will hit the track at Kentucky Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, June 28th, at 11:30 AM (EDT).  Qualifying will follow at 5:10 PM (EDT).


The Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, June 29th, and it will be televised live on TNT beginning at 7:30 PM (EDT).  The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.


To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit:


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Please visit the Casey Mears Facebook fan page:


- PMI -


Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International