FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EARLY INCIDENT NO MATCH FOR MEARS AND THE GECKO IN BRISTOL
GEICO team nets second Top 15 finish in four races
Bristol, TN (March 17, 2013) – After Lady Luck broke Casey Mears’ heart in Las Vegas, the GEICO driver quickly rebounded when he arrived at Bristol Motor Speedway a week later. The Fall 2012 Bristol race saw Mears and Germain Racing capture their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pole and lead the opening 26 laps of the race. Both parties hoped this weekend would be a continuation of their August effort.
Mears took his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion on a quick tour of Bristol Motor Speedway before landing 17th on the speed chart during Friday’s opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session. He later qualified 15th after flying around the World’s Fastest Half-Mile at a prompt 127.588-miles per hour.
With the color green already integrated into the standard paint scheme of the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion, Mears and his Germain Racing team were ready to do battle on St. Patrick’s Day. When the green flag turned the field loose for 500 laps of door-to-door racing action, Mears ran solidly in 15th before a lap nine caution slowed the field. Mears ran hard into the rear of David Gilliland’s #38 car, but was no worse for the wear. However, the next caution would take a toll on the Germain Racing entry. Mears was 15th when Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose stacked up on lap 54. Beginning to feel more like a pinball than racecar driver, Mears now found himself on the other end of Gilliland’s #38 car when it made contact with the rear of the #13 GEICO Fusion, causing heavy damage. After a visit to pit road for fresh tires, fuel and repairs, he was able to restart 18th due to quick work by the Germain Racing pit crew.
Just sixteen laps later, on lap 70, the event’s third caution flag of the day flew, allowing Mears the opportunity to bring his GEICO Fusion to the attention of his pit crew to continue repairs from the lap 54 incident. After visiting pit road twice under caution, Mears would drop all the way back to 34th where he would soon find himself a lap down while trying to make his way back to the front. While passing is hard to come by at Bristol, he quickly made his ascension through the field and by lap 226, the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion was back in the Top 20. Lap 353 found Mears in the Lucky Dog position, hoping for a caution flag that would return him to the lead lap. His patience would be a virtue because it would take 37 laps before the next yellow flag was displayed, but Mears held his position and was promptly returned to the lead lap on lap 390.
When the checkered flag closed 266.5-miles of racing, Casey Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion had hustled their way to a 15th place finish. After falling victim to an early incident and being relegated to the rear of the field, he was able to pick up 19 positions at a track where passing can sometimes be a rarity. His effort accounts for Germain Racing’s second Top 15 finish in four races.
“We definitely had to earn it today because we got caught up in that deal on lap 54 which caused a lot of rear-end damage to our GEICO Ford Fusion,” Mears said. “The guys on the pit crew did an excellent job and they were able to make repairs quickly and we had good stops all day. This was a true team effort and it paid off in the end. We were very competitive all weekend and it was fun to race. I’m glad we were able to fight back and get a good finish for GEICO, Ford and our associate sponsor Tradebank.”
Adding to the excitement, Mears jumps three spots in the driver point standings and now sits 22nd, just six points removed from the Top 20. Team owner Bob Germain makes a three-position jump of his own and rests 23rd in owner points, a mere seven points behind the 20th position.
The GEICO team will now head back out west for the third time in four weeks when they travel to California for race number five of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track in Fontana, CA, for the opening practice session on Friday, March 22nd, at 2:30 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 7:10 PM (EDT).
The 200-lap/400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, March 24th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 3:00 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.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
- PMI -
Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International