Dover, DE (September 26, 2010) – Casey Mears arrived at Dover International Speedway looking to continue a roll that originated in Atlanta. After finishing 26th in the Emory Healthcare 500, he took the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry to Richmond and recorded a 21st place finish.
Mears’ effort is turning heads and among those heads are the executives at GEICO’s corporate office. Initially not on the 18-race GEICO NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, Dover was quickly added after Mears’ finish at Richmond International Raceway. Much like Richmond, Dover is just 90-miles from GEICO’s headquarters in Washington, DC, and provided yet another opportunity for the Gecko to play in his own backyard.
In typical Mears fashion, the #13 GEICO Camry was swift and decisive when it took to the Monster Mile in Dover. Mears was second fastest among the ‘go or go home’ cars when the opening practice session concluded. His encore performance in qualifying showed him one spot better, as he was the fastest ‘go or go home’ car and sat 27th overall, just head of Jeff Burton and one spot behind Tony Stewart.
While rain began to fall on Sunday morning, it quickly cleared allowing the Sprint Cup Series the opportunity to go racing for 400-miles. When the race went green under overcast skies, Casey Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry dropped to 29th during the opening laps.
From the outset, Mears would battle a loose racecar. The event’s first caution on Lap 39 would allow the Germain Racing pit crew to make adjustments on the #13 GEICO Camry. The adjustments would serve as little consolation to Mears, as he would continue to hold on and try to maintain control of the racecar.
The Germain Racing team received another opportunity to work on the GEICO Camry when Ryan Newman seemed to get the best of David Reutimann on Lap 52, drawing the second caution flag of the afternoon. After restarting 32nd on Lap 58, Mears seemed to pick up speed and move steadily through the field, reaching 24th by Lap 116. A few laps later, the #13 GEICO Camry dipped into the Top 10, when Mears took over the 9th position just prior to his scheduled green flag pit stop on Lap 118.
Crew chief Bootie Barker made the save of the day when he anticipated a caution on Lap 187. Mears, riding in the 23rd position, was preparing to guide the #13 GEICO Camry down pit road for a scheduled green flag pit stop when Barker yelled, “Stay out, stay out, there’s going to be a caution.” Barker’s words proved to be prophetic as just moments later the caution flag was displayed. His quick action saved the GEICO team from going down multiple laps on the pit stop.
Mears restarted the race in the 29th position on Lap 194 and settled in there for the balance of the afternoon.
Despite battling an ill-handling racecar for nearly the entire 400-miles of the race, Mears and the GEICO Racing team managed to hustle to a 29th place finish, falling just two spots shy of their qualifying position. Mears finished just behind Kasey Kahne and was outpaced by only one ‘go or go home’ car, the #09 of Bobby Labonte.
“We had a tough day out there today and I’m proud of my GEICO team because we never quit all afternoon, we kept fighting until the checkered flag,” Mears said. “The car was hard to handle and we really seemed to battle that all weekend, so it was nice to be able to salvage a 29th place finish today. We’re excited to get to Kansas next weekend and get back after these guys.”
Casey Mears and the GEICO Racing team will next head to the heart of America when they travel to Kansas City, Kansas, for the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods.
Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval of Kansas Speedway for the opening practice session at 1:00 PM (EDT) on Friday, October 1st. Qualifying will follow at 4:40 PM (EDT).
The Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, October 3rd, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT), while 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
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