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May 02
2011

RICHMOND TURNS ITS BACK ON MEARS; LOOKING FORWARD TO A DANCE WITH THE LADY IN BLACK

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Casey Mears , Bootie Barker

RICHMOND TURNS ITS BACK ON MEARS; LOOKING FORWARD TO A DANCE WITH THE LADY IN BLACK

Richmond, VA (April 30, 2011) – After a weekend off, an energetic Casey Mears was eager to arrive in Richmond, VA, to continue his assault on the Top 35.  First, however, he would make a pit stop at GEICO’s corporate office in Washington, DC, to visit with GEICO associates.  Aside from the normal autographs and photo opportunities, Mears took on GEICO’s best video game players in the NASCAR Wii game.  He prevailed, although it wasn’t without a challenge.

Fortunately, driving a real racecar comes easier for Mears, so he wasted little time in getting started when the team unloaded the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry on Friday at Richmond International Raceway.  While the first practice session saw Mears end up 39th on the speed chart, final practice showed vast improvement and the #13 GEICO Camry was 19th on the board when the session closed. 

When NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying got underway beneath the Richmond sunset on Friday evening, Mears was the 14th car to take to the track.  He immediately jumped to 5th after navigating the ¾-mile D-shaped oval in just 21.184 seconds, at a rate of speed of 127.455 miles per hour.  As cloud cover blanketed the raceway, times picked up and Mears would land 15th on Saturday night’s starting grid. 

Perfect weather welcomed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to the track for some Saturday night racing under the lights.  A big crowd was on-hand when the green flag turned the field loose for 400-laps of racing.

Starting 15th, Mears quickly moved the #13 GEICO Camry into the 12th position by the close of the event’s second lap.  He ran solidly in the Top 15 before Lap 14 heard him reporting to crew chief, Bootie Barker, that his GEICO Camry was “Tight in the center and loose off.”  Thus beginning an evening long battle that would slowly send Mears backwards through the field.

Mears continued to battle an ill-handling racecar until a scheduled green flag pit stop on Lap 84 allowed the #13 GEICO Camry to visit pit road.  Upon arrival in the GEICO pit stall, Mears was provided with four fresh tires, a tank of fuel and adjustments.  Although he entered pit road in the 33rd position, the Germain Racing pit crew completed their work quickly and returned Mears to the racing surface one position to the good, in 32nd.

The adjustments seemed to work and Mears’ lap times picked up until the caution flag was displayed on Lap 107 for debris on the racetrack.  Mears radioed to Barker: “I finally have some rear grip.  My entry and exit are way better.”  He would bring his #13 GEICO Camry down pit road during the caution and the Germain Racing pit crew would once again respond in a prompt manner.  After hitting pit road in the 32nd position, he exited in 30th, netting two positions during his visit.

Mears quickly moved into 29th and found himself flanked by Kurt Busch in 28th and Jimmie Johnson in 30th.  Unfortunately, he would once again find himself battling an ill-handling racecar.

While Mears was busy fighting his racecar, his evening took yet another turn when Bobby Labonte spun his tires on the Lap 265 re-start, causing the cars behind Mears to make contact with his #13 GEICO Camry.  The contact sent Mears into a spin between turns one and two, but he made an amazing save and sustained very little, if any, damage to his racecar.  The incident sent Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry back to the 36th position. 

Mears’ evening would not get any easier and after 300-miles of racing, the checkered flag waved over a very long night.  Despite the adversity presented him, Mears managed to hustle back and record a 28th place finish under the Richmond night sky. 

“We had a tough night, but rather than quit, we kept working on our #13 GEICO Camry and tried to make it better,” Mears said.  “The pit crew did a great job and helped me stay competitive.  Racing will humble you from time to time and tonight was one of those times.  We will put this race behind us quickly and get focused on Darlington.”

Next week will find the Germain Racing team traveling just a short distance to the legendary 1.366-mile oval of Darlington Raceway for the Sprint Cup Series’ 10th race of the 2011 season.

Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the track ‘Too Tough To Tame’ for the opening practice session at 11:30 AM (EDT) on Friday, May 6th.  Qualifying will follow at 5:10 PM (EDT).

The Showtime Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, May 7th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 7:30 PM (EDT).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) 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

Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com 

Apr 25
2011

Late Race Spin Pushes Max Papis Back to a 23rd-Place Finish at Nashville

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

Late Race Spin Pushes Max Papis Back to a 23rd-Place Finish at Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 22, 2011) – In 2008, Max Papis made his first career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, but since that day three short years ago, the Como, Italy native hasn’t competed in more than nine Truck Series events in one season. So even though Papis isn’t running for the Rookie of the Year title, the GEICO Racing driver entered Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway with a yellow stripe on the rear of his No. 9 Toyota Tundra for the fifth race of the 2011 season on Friday night.

After a brief rain shower delayed the start of the two practice sessions Friday morning, Papis took to the concrete track and quickly adjusted to the new racing surface. At the conclusion of both practices, the No. 9 GEICO Toyota was scored in the fifth position. Papis then laid down two solid laps in qualifying to place his Germain Racing entry in 11th-place to start the 150-lap race under the lights.

Once the green flag waved in Music City, Papis was ready to vie for the coveted Gibson guitar trophy. The first 40 laps of action saw Papis in the 13th position, gaining additional seat time at the unique one-of-a-kind circuit, as the driver reported to his GEICO crew that his Tundra was fighting a tight handling condition. Green flag pit stops began on lap 50 and Papis made his way to the attention of his crew for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. However through the sequence, the No. 9 GEICO Toyota fell one lap down to the leaders. On lap 59, the opening caution slowed the field for debris after the field had completed green flag pit stops. Papis placed himself in position to receive the Lucky Dog Award, which put him back on the lead lap.

The field restarted on lap 64, with Papis in the 17th position. Papis continued to battle with his competitors but remained in the same running order as the second caution was displayed 12 laps later on lap 76 for oil on the racetrack. A few leaders in front of the GEICO Toyota came to pit road for service, while Papis stayed out, allowing him to take the green flag restart on lap 80 from 14th-place.

On lap 83, Papis was on the topside of a three-wide battle and contact was made between Papis and David Starr. The GEICO Toyota received damage in the left rear and lost a handful of positions, pushing Papis back to 18th-place. The third caution was brought out on lap 103 for debris, giving Papis the opportunity to return to pit road for four tires, fuel, and additional adjustments.

Restarting on lap 107, Papis took off from the 15th position, as the GEICO crew gained three spots on pit road. Two short circuits later, the fourth caution came out on lap 109 for a spin by Austin Dillon in turn two. After track cleanup concluded, Papis took the green flag restart on lap 113 from 16th-place.

For the next 20 laps, Papis still felt uneasy handling effects from the contact that took place earlier in the event. Another caution closed in the field on lap 138 for an accident in turn four, as Papis was in the 18th position. With less than 10 laps remaining, Papis looked to make a late race push on the lap 142 restart. Unfortunately three laps later, Papis received contact from Brad Sweet, spinning the No. 9 GEICO Toyota in turn two. No damage was sustained as Papis did a great job of keeping his truck off the wall.

Papis took the green flag on lap 148 from the 24th position and over the final three laps, the Italian gained one spot to cross the finish line in the 23rd-place.

As the GEICO Racing team never gave up, Papis unofficially remains in the ninth position in the NCWTS driver championship point standings, only two points behind eighth-place Clay Rogers. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will have a break in action before heading to Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Friday, May 13th.

 

 -PMI-

 

Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International

Email: sjones@pmifirm.com   Web Site:  www.pmifirm.com 

Apr 20
2011

Bodine Preview: Nashville #1

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO

 

From Eighth in Points, Bodine Likes His Germain.com Tundra Team’s Chances at Climbing Higher in the Standings at Nashville on Friday Night 

- Bodine is the Reigning Truck Series Champion after earning his 2nd title in 201-
- Bodine is Third Driver in Truck Series History to Win Multiple Titles & Clinch Early
- Bodine Owns 21 Truck Series wins with Germain Racing and 36 NASCAR career wins
- He earned his first Nashville victory last year

April 19, 2011 (Mooresville, N.C.) - Nashville Superspeedway is a track where Todd Bodine and Germain Racing have always managed to be contenders. Until last year, they’d remained shut out of victory lane. With their guitar trophy on display at the team headquarters, the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra has nothing more to do this weekend...than try to win again at the concrete oval in Tennessee.

“Nashville is a fun track and, yes, mile and a half tracks are definitely our forte even though we still like short tracks. We know we can go to a mile and a half and win the race.  We need to get going and get caught up in points, so Nashville should be a great place for us to do that with the Germain.com Tundra,” explained Bodine.

The two-time Truck Series champion said that after the years of waiting for a Nashville victory, the return to the track after earning the coveted guitar trophy is still all about the business of winning again.

“I’ve always run well at Nashville and always loved going there, so it’s no different. I still want to win, that’s the reason we go to any race track,” said Bodine.

Winning might also be the reason he signs autographs at hockey games? During the off-weeks between Martinsville and Nashville, Bodine signed autographs at a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey game. At half time, he raced NASCAR driver Eddie MacDonald on beer coolers, and he won!

“I didn’t cheat! I just bump-drafted him and passed him,” smiled Bodine, who also installed a vinyl fence for his nephew in Florida during his downtime.

Bodine has competed in seven Truck Series events at Nashville and has scored six top-ten finishes, five top-five’s, two pole awards and one win. This Friday he’ll compete in his 170th Truck Series race when he fires up the Germain.com Tundra for the fourth race of the 2011 season. Bodine has 733 NASCAR career starts to date. After four races, Bodine ranks 8th in Truck Series standings, 28 points out of first place.

Watch Bodine in the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra on Friday, April 22nd, at Nashville Superspeedway. The action starts on SPEED with qualifying airing at 5:00 PM ET followed by racing at 8:00 PM—all on SPEED. Can’t get to a television? Tune your radio to your local MRN affiliate.

Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a fan on Facebook: Facebook.com/pages/Germain-Racing/198863890135.

When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

 

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Apr 18
2011

MEARS MAKES BIG MOVES AT NASCAR’S BIGGEST TRACK

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Casey Mears , Bootie Barker

 

MEARS MAKES BIG MOVES AT NASCAR’S BIGGEST TRACK

Talladega, AL (April 17, 2011) – A week ago, the Lone Star state saw Casey Mears record a 26th place finish and put his GEICO team back in the Top 35, ensuring he would be locked into the Talladega race.  Mears and the Germain Racing team arrived in Alabama looking to extend their run of positive happenings.

 

After sitting 24th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ opening practice session, Mears experienced a setback when qualifying saw him place the #13 GEICO Camry 40th on the starting grid.  Patience is a virtue for the California native and race day would find it on full display. 

On Sunday, the green flag turned the field loose for 188 laps of racing amid bright sunshine, cool temperatures and a slight breeze.  Rolling off the starting grid from the 40th starting position, Mears wasted little time in making his presence felt.  By the close of Lap 1, he had the #13 GEICO Camry in 34th, while Lap 5 saw him in 27th, quickly approaching the Top 25. 

Pacing the high-banks of Talladega Superspeedway’s 2.66-mile tri-oval is a task better tackled by two, so Mears quickly connected with Robby Gordon.  Gordon would end up being Mears’ drafting partner for the balance of the afternoon and they would spend their day slicing through the field picking up position after position.  Things would later go awry, but for most of the race it was a mutually beneficial relationship that saw the pair reach the front of the field on multiple occasions.

On Lap 27, Brian Vickers found the wall and brought out the event’s first caution flag of the day, allowing Mears to bring his #13 GEICO Camry to the attention of the Germain Racing pit crew.  After outfitting Mears with four fresh tires and a tank of Sunoco racing fuel, they returned Mears to the racing surface where he restarted in the 17th position on Lap 32.

The dynamic duo of Mears and Gordon continued to collect positions and after cracking the Top 15 on Lap 103, Mears made his appearance in the Top 5 on Lap 107.  As restrictor-plate racing goes, the #13 GEICO Camry would vacillate up and down the scoring monitor until Lap 130 saw Mears put the Gecko at the front of the field, taking the lead and collecting much needed bonus points.

The Mears-Gordon partnership proved to be productive and the pair were inside the Top 10 with just eight laps remaining in the race.  It was then that Gordon made a decision to go it alone and pulled out of line and passed Mears, causing both cars to free-fall to 23rd position with just five laps left on the docket.  Mears would re-engage Gordon and attempt to make up positions lost, but it was too late.  Despite the setback, Mears still managed to hustle the #13 GEICO Camry to a 22nd place finish at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ second restrictor-plate race of the season.  Most importantly, Mears’ finish keeps the Germain Racing team in the Top 35 in the owner point standings.

“22nd is a decent finish, but it’s frustrating knowing that we should’ve been in the Top 5,” a visibly frustrated Mears exclaimed after climbing from the #13 GEICO Camry.  “We weren’t out there just racing today, we were out there competing for the win.  We had a great car and I’m proud of this GEICO team for all of their hard work.  The pit crew did a great job today and we did all we could to make it happen.  Unfortunately, you just can’t control what other people are going to do.  But we had a really good day and it was nice to be able to take GEICO to the front of the field.”

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take a weekend off before traveling to Richmond, VA, the weekend of April 30th. 

Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the 3/4-mile D-shaped oval of Richmond International Raceway for the opening practice session at 12:00 PM (EDT) on Friday, April 29th. Qualifying will follow at 5:35 PM (EDT).

The Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, April 30th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 7:30 PM (EDT).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) 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

 

Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com

 

 

Apr 11
2011

PERSISTENT MEARS BOUNCES GEICO BACK INTO THE TOP 35

Posted by in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Casey Mears , Bootie Barker

PERSISTENT MEARS BOUNCES GEICO BACK INTO THE TOP 35

Fort Worth, TX (April 9, 2011) – After a heartbreaking week in Martinsville, Casey Mears and the GEICO team eagerly anticipated their weekend in Texas.  A week ago, Mears drove the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry to the front of the field before a tire issue, followed by a transmission problem, dashed the hopes of the Germain Racing team.   

In the interest of moving forward, Mears climbed into the #13 GEICO Camry in Texas on Thursday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ opening practice session and promptly took control of the ‘go or go home’ field.  The Gecko sat 28th on the speed chart and was the fastest ‘go or go home’ car, giving the GEICO team hope as they prepared for Friday’s qualifying session.

Mears would not fail to impress and would navigate the 1.5-mile quad-oval of Texas Motor Speedway in just 28.933 seconds, at a rate of speed of 186.638 miles per hour.  Mears’ effort landed the #13 GEICO Camry 22nd on Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 starting grid.

Amid heavy winds and 80-degree temperatures, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field took the green flag for 334 laps of racing.  Rolling off the starting grid from the 22nd position, Mears fell backwards as he began to immediately battle a loose condition. 

Mears would free-fall to 31st before the event’s first caution flag of the day was displayed on Lap 9.  After bringing the #13 GEICO Camry down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment, Mears started to head north on the scoring chart.  By Lap 57, he was riding in 26th and on the rear bumpers of Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne.  Eight laps later, Mears would pilot the #13 GEICO Camry around Kahne and Brian Vickers and move into the 24th position.

Following a scheduled green flag pit stop on Lap 95, Mears began to report a loose condition in the #13 GEICO Camry.  Casey radioed to crew chief Bootie Barker: “I’m way loose.  I’m sideways out here.  The back end is terrible.”  Barker assured his driver that the necessary adjustments would be made during the next pit stop.

The caution Mears so badly needed came out on Lap 113 when Ken Schrader cut down a tire.  Running in the 30th position, Mears brought his #13 GEICO Camry to the attention of his Germain Racing pit crew, who outfitted Mears with four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel and adjustments.  

Mears had moved into 29th when he found himself narrowly avoiding peril when a Lap 215 crash involving Martin Truex, Jr., Mark Martin and Regan Smith occurred just in front of the #13 GEICO Camry.  Mears carefully maneuvered through the carnage and began his march to the Top 25. 

When the checkered flag waved under a Texas night sky, Mears had hustled to a 26th place finish.  His effort returned GEICO and the Germain Racing team to the Top 35, ensuring they will be in the field next week in Talladega.

“Of course we want to be better, but we were able to work hard tonight, get a 26th place finish and get back in the Top 35,” Mears said after climbing from his #13 GEICO Camry.  “It certainly makes a difference when you can show up each week and be guaranteed a starting spot, so obviously our top priority is being in the Top 35 and we were able to make that happen tonight.  The crew worked hard during our pit stops and we were able to be persistent and achieve our goal.”

While Mears’ weekend ended on a good note, getting back in the Top 35 was not the only exciting thing that happened.  Mears’ new GEICO commercial began airing this weekend.  The commercial features the GEICO driver as a ‘golfer’ and he appears to be ‘driving’ a golf ball during the spot. 

Mears and the GEICO team will next travel to Talladega, Alabama, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ second restrictor-plate race of the 2011 season.

Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the 2.66-mile tri-oval of Talladega Superspeedway for the opening practice session at 2:00 PM (EDT) on Friday, April 15th.  Qualifying will follow on Saturday, April 16th at 11:35 AM (EDT).

The Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, April 17th and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) 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
Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com

 

 

 

 

Apr 04
2011

Mears’ Top-20 Run Plagued by Tire and Transmission Issues at Martinsville

Posted by lori in Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Casey Mears

Mears’ Top-20 Run Plagued by Tire and Transmission Issues at Martinsville

 

Date: April 3, 2011

Event: Goody’s Fast Relief 500 (Round 6 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)

Start/Finish: 30th/ 36th (Running, completed 457 of 500 laps)

 

Drivers love and love to hate short tracks. Early in his career, Casey Mears enjoyed racing on the intermediate circuits more than the short ones but as the years progressed, those less than a mile in length have provided numerous highlights for the veteran driver. Entering Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Mears looked to insert another positive run in the history books.

 

For the first 296 laps, all went as planned for the GEICO Racing team as Mears successfully competed inside the top-25. Then, one short lap later, the bad luck struck the No. 13 Toyota Camry as Mears’ right-front tire blew forcing the team to pit under green and lose four laps to the leader. Misfortune plagued Mears once again with less than 150 laps until the checkered flag, when the transmission blew. Once changed in the garage area, the Gecko returned to the track and brought home a 36th-place finish at the .526-mile paperclip-shaped oval.

 

“It was a frustrating day,” said Mears. “Every time myself, (crew chief) Bootie (Barker), and the guys get the No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry handling well and in position to have a solid finish, something happens. First, we had the bead melt on the tire and then fourth gear blew out of the transmission. Bad luck seems to be following us but we will just keep moving forward, try to fix the issues, and head to Texas.”

 

Mears qualified his GEICO Racing Toyota Camry in the 30th position on Saturday afternoon, as the Germain Racing team was locked in the top-35 in owner point standings for the first time this season. As soon as the green flag waved on Sunday, Mears didn’t waste any time before making moves through the field. In the first 50 laps of green flag competition, Mears picked up 12 positions to 18th-place.

 

Solid pit stops by the GEICO crew, paired with Mears’ patience behind the wheel, set the stage for a top-20 finish as the race passed the halfway mark. On lap 297, Mears radioed to his team that his right-front tire had blew. The field stayed under green flag conditions while Mears brought his car to pit road, putting the team four laps down and running in 28th-place.

 

As Mears was clocking laps to complete the race and gain as many points as possible, the transmission blew on lap 359, causing the GEICO Toyota to come to the garage for repairs. In a short 37 laps, the team rapidly changed the transmission and had Mears back on the track for the final 100 circuits. Despite the Camry handling decent in final stretch, Mears crossed the finish line in the 36th position, completing 457 of 500 laps.

 

With the sixth of 36 races complete, Mears dropped two positions to 37th-place in the owner championship standings. He currently sits two points behind the locked-in top-35 marker.

 

Next Saturday, April 9, the Sprint Cup Series will head to Texas Motor Speedway for the Samsung Mobile 500 in Fort Worth. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. ET with live coverage on FOX.

 

To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com <http://www.geicogarage.com/>

 

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing <http://www.twitter.com/geicoracing>

 

Please visit the Casey Mears Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/caseymearsracing <http://www.facebook.com/caseymearsracing>

 

-PMI-

 

Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International

Email: sjones@pmifirm.com     Web Site:  www.pmifirm.com

 

Apr 03
2011

Lofton's Competitive Run Ends Early in Martinsville

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO

Lofton's Competitive Run Ends Early in Martinsville

 

Justin Lofton and the No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra team knew that they had an extremely competitive truck entering the Kroger 250 event weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Unfortunately, the tight racing quarters on the half-mile short track won out, after contact from a lapped truck ended their charge less than 20 laps into the race.

 

"It is disappointing for me and all of the guys on this No. 77 Germain Racing team. They built a strong truck. We knew after testing we were going to be a contender this weekend, and we proved that every time we got on track. I can only control how I race people, and it's unfortunate that some lapped trucks don't show a little more respect with the guys that are racing for the top-10," Lofton said.

 

There were two practice sessions at Martinsville on Friday and at the conclusion of each run, crew chief Ryan "Rudy" Fugle and Lofton proved their pairing was a fast one, with the No. 77 showing in the fourth position both times. The trend continued with qualifying on Saturday after Lofton wheeled his Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra into the eighth starting spot.

 

Once under the green flag for the 250-lap race, Lofton maintained the fast pace, racing near the front of the field. On lap 18 however, contact from a lapped truck sent Lofton hard into the turn 3 wall, causing heavy damage to his race truck. The team was forced to make prolonged repairs to the rear end of the No. 77 in the garage area, before sending Lofton back on track on lap 103, over 80 laps down.

 

Seven laps later, the yellow flag waved with Lofton reporting that the speed was still in the truck, and it was handling okay, despite the damage. At that time, Fugle informed the team that when it was time, they would have to take the truck to the garage area in order to change tires and add fuel, because of the damage to the fuel cell area on the truck.

 

On lap 137, the yellow, followed by a red flag, waved after a multi-truck wreck. Once the red was lifted, Lofton pulled into the garage for the inevitable fresh tires and fuel.

 

The second half of the race was uneventful for Lofton. Through the final stretch of the race, his only complaint was that a slight vibration had developed in the front end due to the rubber build-up from the tires. The checkered flag waved on lap 250 with the 25-year-old crossing the stripe in the 32nd position.

 

"The last half of that race was tough because we still had an extremely fast and competitive truck. I wanted to race with the leaders but the most important thing was to show them respect and finish out the race," Lofton added.

 

Lofton and the No. 77 team will next hit the track on April 22nd at the Nashville Superspeedway.

 

###

________________________________

Amanda Brahler

Justin Lofton Media Relations

Email: mandy@justinloftoninc.com

LoftonRacing.com - twitter.com/jlracing

 

Apr 03
2011

Max Papis Claims First Top-10 Finish of 2011 Season at Martinsville

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

Max Papis Claims First Top-10 Finish of 2011 Season at Martinsville

 

 

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 3, 2011) – Every driver has certain tracks that he circles on the schedule, knowing that with his past experience, the race can be a highlight reel of good runs. For Max Papis, one of those tracks circled in red is Martinsville Speedway. The Como, Italy native has raced at the Virginia short track four times prior to Saturday’s Kroger 250 – three times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and once in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – recording his second career Truck Series top-10 finish the last time Papis visited Martinsville.

 

After two successful practice sessions on Friday afternoon, Papis took to the track for his qualifying run under sunny skies on Saturday morning. Papis clocked a lap of 20.212 seconds, placing the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra in the 11th starting position. As the winds picked up, the green flag waved on the 250-lap race and the bumpin’ and bangin’ started early. Papis quickly reported to Crew Chief Randy Goss that his Toyota was tight in the center of the corners. When the first caution was displayed on lap 19, Papis came to the attention of his pit crew for a track bar adjustment and for the rear bumper bar to be cut off as it was flapping from contact in the beginning laps.

 

Because of the varying pit strategies that each team used throughout the race, Papis was forced to restart on lap 23 from the 31st position. Patience became the name of the game for the GEICO Racing driver as Papis carefully made his way back towards the front. In just six laps, the No. 9 Germain Racing entry was inside the top-25 and by lap 40, Papis had driven his way into 20th-place. The third caution slowed the pace on lap 57 as Papis radioed to Goss that his truck was free on entry and continued to be tight in the center of the corner. The Italian driver came down pit road once again for four fresh tires, Sunoco fuel, and one round down on the track bar.

 

Due to the changing strategies that continued up and down pit road, Papis restarted on lap 62 from the 22nd position and began his trek to the front once again. In a handful of laps, Papis had returned to the top-15 and wasn’t looking back. A wreck occurred directly in front of Papis on lap 73 and he did a phenomenal job of dodging the spinning trucks, while moving into 13th-place. With help from Spotter Jason Jarrett, Goss made the decision to stay out on the track as no damage occurred. As the majority of the leaders made their pit stop, Papis restarted on lap 78 from the fourth position.

 

Ten laps passed and Papis battled with defending Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday, while continuing to run in the top-four. As the next yellow flag waved on lap 89, Papis was then stuck on the outside lane for the restart at a track where the inside lane is the preferred groove. The GEICO Toyota lost a few positions on the restart but Mad Max was on a mission and regained the spots and found himself in the sixth position by lap 137. Goss brought Papis to the attention of his pit crew for the final time of the event for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment.

 

Restarting on lap 144, Papis was ready to attack and move back inside the top-10, where he had run the greater part of the race. In a short 30 laps, the GEICO Toyota Tundra had moved into the top-five and was in position to pounce on an opportunity. That chance presented itself on lap 176 as another caution flew and the trucks in front of Papis came to pit road, placing the No. 9 in second-place. Papis challenged Austin Dillon for the lead over a 10-lap period before another caution flag waved, forcing the driver to restart on the outside lane once again. The final three cautions in the last 50 laps dealt Papis with restarting on the outside each time as the intensity picked up. On lap 250, Papis crossed the finish line and took the checkered flag in the 10th position. This was Papis’ second top-10 finish at Martinsville Speedway and third overall in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

 

“I feel today was one of my best NASCAR races since I started,” said Papis after the race. “My GEICO Racing team and I fought hard on the track and in the pits all race long and I am very proud of the effort. I got caught on the outside lane a lot of times. It killed our momentum and hurt us with the marbles up on the top of the track, but we never gave up and kept fighting. We, as a team, are getting better and it feels great to get a top-10 finish.”

 

After this strong performance by Papis and the entire GEICO Racing team, Papis remains in the ninth position in the point standings, only one point behind eighth-place Todd Bodine. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take a two-week break before returning to action at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on Friday, April 22nd.

 

-PMI-

 

Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International

Email: sjones@pmifirm.com     Web Site:  www.pmifirm.com

Mar 30
2011

Climbing in the Truck Series Standings, Bodine and Crew Look Forward to Martinsville with Germain.com Tundra

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

 

Climbing in the Truck Series Standings, Bodine and Crew Look Forward to Martinsville with Germain.com Tundra

  • Bodine is Third Driver in Truck Series History to Win Multiple Titles, and Clinch Early
  • Bodine Owns 21 Truck Series wins with Germain Racing and 36 NASCAR career wins
  • His career-best finish at Martinsville is 2nd (2007, 2009)

March 30, 2011 (Mooresville, N.C.) - As Martinsville Speedway gets its turn on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule this weekend, Todd Bodine and the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team are looking forward to continuing to build on what they had at the Virginia short-track last fall when the Chemung, NY, native led 83 laps en route to a third-place finish.

“We finished third but we had a really good truck. I got out run on tires at the end—we had like 50 laps more on our tires than anybody. We understood that. It’s what we did to get track position and take a chance. We ran really well. It definitely helps this Germain.com Tundra team going back to Martinsville,” said Bodine.

The team seems to have the pieces put together. Bodine hopes this weekend could signal the end of Germain Racing’s nil in the win column in the short-track category.

“We’ve run well at Martinsville, just never got it done. The guys have done a great job putting a truck together that’s specific for Martinsville. Hopefully we can use it the best we can and finally get it done,” explained Bodine.

Bodine will race chassis GR-016. The truck is new to Germain Racing this year. It debuted in race number three as a No. 62 Tundra for teammate Gaughan.

“This week the guys have prepared GR-016 as the chassis for the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra. It will be our first time using the truck as a 30, but, we are confident it’s the best choice for the Martinsville race weekend. We learned a lot about Martinsville last fall, and certainly we hope to build on that this weekend,” said Hillman Jr.

Bodine has competed in 14 Truck Series events at Martinsville—he is one of many NASCAR drivers to have made their first career start at the track. This Saturday he’ll compete in his 169th Truck Series race when he fires up the Germain.com Tundra for the fourth race of the 2011 season. Bodine has 732 NASCAR career starts to date.

Watch Bodine in the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra on on Saturday, April 2nd, at Martinsville Speedway. The action starts on SPEED with practice airing at 2:00 PM ET on Friday. Qualifying is on air at 10:30 AM Saturday followed by racing at 2:00 PM—all on SPEED. Can’t get to a television? Tune your radio to your local MRN affiliate.

Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a fan on Facebook: Facebook.com/pages/Germain-Racing/198863890135.

When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

 

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Mar 28
2011

MEARS’ FONTANA FINISH LOCKS GEICO IN THE TOP 35

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Casey Mears , Bootie Barker

MEARS’ FONTANA FINISH LOCKS GEICO IN THE TOP 35


Fontana, CA (March 27, 2011) – Casey Mears and the GEICO Racing team arrived in Southern California with Top 35 visions in their minds.  For the first time in the three-year history of the GEICO NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program, both GEICO and Germain Racing have ventured into unchartered territory where they now find themselves sitting in the Top 35 in the Owner Point standings.  Top 35 status guarantees the Germain Racing team a position in each race, providing they maintain their position. 

They would need to record a decent finish in Fontana to maintain their current status and allow the GEICO team to be locked in at Martinsville next week. 

Friday’s opening practice session in Fontana proved unspectacular, as Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry sat 37th at the close of practice.  Undaunted, Mears took to the two-mile oval for qualifying on Friday afternoon and turned heads when he paced the two-mile facility in just 39.592-seconds, at a rate of speed of 181.855 miles per hour.  Aside from securing the 25th starting position in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Mears was the fastest ‘go or go home car’ in the qualifying session. 

Mears then tore into Fontana for final practice on Saturday and shot the #13 GEICO Camry to the top of the chart and sat 19th when the session concluded. 

Rain threatened the Fontana area on Sunday morning and drizzle plagued the area until around 10:00 AM (PT) when it finally dissipated and allowed for track drying to begin.  The racing gods would smile upon Southern California and allow for an on-time green flag at 12:16 PM (PT). 

Mears started 25th, but quickly began to battle the racecar.  By Lap 3, Mears had dropped to 27th and reported to crew chief Bootie Barker that his GEICO Camry was tight and would not turn.  He fell as low as 35th before scheduled green flag pit stops got underway and forced the #13 GEICO Camry down pit road for service on Lap 34.  The Germain Racing pit crew quickly outfitted Mears with four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel and adjustments before returning him to the racing surface in the 32nd position. 

The adjustments would serve as little assistance to Mears, as just two laps later he once again radioed to Barker: “The front end just doesn’t want to work.”

Mears and Barker would win the occasional battle, but the war continued and Lap 163 found Mears still at odds with an ill-handling racecar while running in the 30th position.  As the laps wound down, Barker ordered Mears to pit road for the final pit stop of the day on Lap 185 after a caution came out for a Bobby Labonte crash.  Barker instructed the GEICO pit crew to make the necessary adjustments to give Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry a shot at a better finish.

Barker’s orders did not go unheeded and Mears restarted P32 with just nine laps remaining in the 200-lap race.  Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry made quick work of the cars of David Gilliland and Trevor Bayne in the final laps en route to a 29th place finish under gray skies and cool temperatures. 

Shortly after the checkered flag waved, Barker announced to the GEICO team that they were in the Top 35 in the 2011 Owner Standings, which means they will be locked into the race next week in Martinsville.  Barker also noted that this is the first time in GEICO’s three-year Sprint Cup Series involvement that the team would officially be ‘locked in’, a big stride for a team that three years ago did not even have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. 

“Today was frustrating, but we kept fighting and salvaged a decent finish,” Mears said after climbing from his #13 GEICO Camry.  “The nice thing is that we were able to give GEICO the opportunity to be locked into the race next week because we have worked really hard this year and put ourselves in the Top 35.  I am proud of all of these guys on this GEICO team because regardless of what happens we keep our heads and stay focused.”

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will go short-track racing for the second time in three weeks when they travel to Martinsville, VA, next weekend.

Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the half-mile paper-clipped shaped oval for the opening practice session at 12:30 PM (EDT) on Friday, April 1st.  Qualifying will follow on Saturday, April 2nd, at 12:10 PM (EDT).

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, April 3rd, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) 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

Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com