MEARS AND THE GECKO ESCAPE WINDY CITY WITH 26TH PLACE FINISH

Player Management International Media Release

Joliet, IL (September 14, 2014) – Chicago is a race that Casey Mears leaves circled on his calendar, and for good reason.  In 2006, the Bakersfield, CA, native scored his first NASCAR win in the Windy City before capturing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole there a year later in 2007.  Intermediate tracks have proved challenging for Germain Racing, but the team was hopeful that the trend would change.

While the opening practice saw Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS land 29th on the board, Saturday morning’s session found them bouncing back, jumping to 16th on the speed chart.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature got the best of the 1.5-mile speedway on Friday afternoon, as the track succumbed to heavy rain and left Sprint Cup Series qualifying canceled.  Consequently, Sunday’s starting field would be set according to the speeds in the weekend’s first practice session, relegating Mears to 29th on the starting grid.

When race day rolled around, inclement weather was an afterthought and only clear skies, bright sunshine and cool temperatures were present to welcome race fans.  Mears started 29th on Sunday and looked to make quick progress when the green flag turned the field loose for 267 laps of racing.  While the GEICO Chevy experienced some immediate movement that saw Mears jump three positions to 26th in the race’s first two laps, the car quickly betrayed him and the handling soon became a source of frustration.  He alerted crew chief Bootie Barker, “It worked real good for the first couple of laps, but then got tight in the center.”  Mears would hustle the No. 13 GEICO Chevy up to the 20th position before being forced down pit road for a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 46.  Just a single lap after departing pit road, Mears reported, “It’s really, really tight.”(complete release)


LONG NIGHT IN RICHMOND LEAVES MEARS AND GEICO TEAM FOCUSED ON CHICAGO

Player Management International Media Release

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.”(complete release)


UNDAUNTED MEARS REBOUNDS FROM EARLY SETBACK TO FINISH 22ND AT ATLANTA

Player Management International Media Release

Hampton, GA (August 31, 2014) – As the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season moves along, Casey Mears and the Germain Racing team arrived in a steaming hot Atlanta looking to turn in a solid performance and continue their strong season. 

Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS opened the weekend 28th on the board at the close of the first practice.  Despite residing on the bottom half of the chart, his position was not indicative of the speed of his racecar.  After a few laps, the GEICO Chevy was fast in race trim and solid in qualifying trim.  When qualifying got underway, Mears waited until late in the opening round to go out, looking for an ally in a cooler racetrack that would increase his chances of a fast lap.  It proved a wise move, as he ultimately advanced to the second round after a quick trip around the high-speed 1.54-mile paved oval.  When qualifying concluded, Mears was credited with the 24th starting position. (complete release)