RESILIENT MEARS BATTLES TO 23rd PLACE FINISH AT KENTUCKY; BREAKS INTO TOP-20 IN POINTS
Sparta, KY (July 11, 2015) - After a long rain delay that resulted in a 2:42 AM (ET) checkered flag in Daytona on Sunday, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams did not arrive home until the early morning hours on Monday. The Germain Racing team would need to quickly unpack and re-pack the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS before heading to Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday to test a new competition package that would take effect at the Quaker State 400 on Saturday night.
Unfortunately, the rain followed the series, causing the cancellation of Wednesday's sessions. While the series was afforded track time to acclimate to the new lower downforce package, time was limited and left everyone concerned heading into the weekend. Qualifying would be canceled for the second consecutive week and the field would be set according to the speeds from the opening practice session. Mears and his GEICO Chevy would start Saturday's event from the 21st position.
Clear skies and perfect weather conditions welcomed fans to Kentucky Speedway on Saturday evening. When the green flag set the field underway for 267-laps/400.5-miles of racing, Mears rolled off the grid from 21st and almost immediately found himself at odds with the racecar. On lap six, he reported that the GEICO Chevy was way too loose. Handling issues would plague the Germain Racing team for much of the evening, but with every pit stop, the car seemed to improve. Doing their part, the GEICO pit crew had four different pit stops of a head turning 11.6-seconds or less, which helped them gain positions on each stop and served the team well as they battled to regain track position.
As the race wore on, Mears and his GEICO Chevy made up ground and, after running as low as 37th, his effort was an exercise in resilience when he battled back to a 23rd place, lead lap finish when the checkered flag was displayed after 400.5-miles of racing. Crew chief Bootie Barker immediately complimented the team's effort on the radio: "Good job, great effort. That was a heck of a comeback." Mears went on to echo Barker's sentiments.
Mears' result accounts for Germain Racing's 12th top-25 finish of the 2015 season. More importantly, it bounced Mears into the top-20 in the point standings, where he now rests in the 20th position.
"I'm really proud of the guys tonight, they worked hard and did a nice job on pit road," Mears said. "We struggled there early, but we kept working on the car and we were able to get the GEICO Chevy back on the lead lap on lap 142. At that point, we were able to pick up a lot of positions, which was good and allowed us to be competitive for the remainder of the race. It's great to be in the top-20 in points, which shows the improvement in our program from a year ago."
This week will find Mears and the Germain Racing team traveling to the New England area in search of another strong run.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, July 17th, at 11:30 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:45 PM (ET) and will air live on NBC Sports.
The New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, July 19th, and it will be televised live on NBC Sports beginning at 7:30 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) 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 Germain Racing, please visit www.GermainRacing.com
- PMI -