LONG NIGHT IN RICHMOND LEAVES MEARS AND GEICO TEAM FOCUSED ON CHICAGO
Richmond, VA (September 6, 2014) - Casey Mears and Germain Racing had a strong showing at Richmond in April, leaving the GEICO team eager to return to the track this weekend. With a new tire on the table, the weekend would prove interesting for Mears and his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series counterparts.
When he hit the track on Friday, Mears immediately found himself at odds with his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS, ending up 34th and 31st in the day's two practice sessions. Crew chief Bootie Barker and his engineering staff went to work and by the time qualifying rolled around a couple of hours later, they had a viable plan that would provide Mears with the necessary speed. When qualifying got underway, the sun beamed down on the ¾-mile facility, causing track temperatures to rise and sending cars slipping and sliding around the paved oval. Mears waited to go out until late in the session hoping to encounter a cooler track. His strategy paid off when he laid down a fast lap of 21.720, placing him 22nd on Saturday night's starting grid.
Rain threatened, but never caused disruption of the Federated Auto Parts 400. Mears started the race from the 22nd position, but by lap 35 he was 28th and said to Barker: "I can't throttle off of the corner at all. It's good through the center, but the rear grip is really bad." The competition caution at lap 50 was a welcomed break for Mears and the GEICO team, who were now running in the 31st position. He reported that he was "loose in and off" and pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. The Germain Racing pit crew made quick work of Mears' GEICO Chevy and returned him one spot to the good, in the 30th position, for the impending restart. The adjustments served as little effect, as lap 102 found Mears running 33rd and reporting: "No drive off and it still won't turn."
Mears' battle with an angry racecar continued throughout the evening. Despite several pit stops and wholesale changes, the No. 13 GEICO Chevy remained at odds with Mears. When the checkered flag waved late in the night, he crossed the finish line in the 31st position. Despite a challenging night in Richmond, Mears remains 24th in the driver point standings.
"It was a long night and I think we're all frustrated that we couldn't make the car better. The guys worked really hard and I wish we could've had a better result for them," Mears said. "One thing I've learned is that everyone on this GEICO team is resilient, so we'll bounce back. Right now, we're focused on Chicago and having a good run."
The Windy City marks the next stop for Mears and the Germain Racing team.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Chicagoland Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, September 12th, at 1:00 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 6:40 PM (EDT).
The myAFIBstory.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, September 14th, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.
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
To learn more about KMC Wheels, please visit: www.KMCwheels.com
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