HARD-CHARGING MEARS DERAILED BY MECHANICAL ISSUE AT TEXAS

Player Management International Media Release

Fort Worth, TX (April 8, 2017) – When the NASCAR Xfinity Series descended upon Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, fans and drivers alike were interested to see what the newly paved racetrack would bring as cars took to the track.  Practice got underwayon Friday and while Biagi-DenBeste Racing would struggle early on, Casey Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military team were able to find speed when the race got underway on Saturday.

Mears was 22nd in the weekend’s opening practice session before later qualifying 26thfor Saturday’s My Bariatrics Solutions 300.  With full confidence in car and driver, Mears and his Biagi-DenBeste team were seemingly undeterred as the GEICO Military Ford lined up for 200-laps of racing.

When the green flag got things going in the Lone Star state on Saturday afternoon, Mears and his GEICO Military Ford Mustang got off to a quick start after starting 26th.  Within the first five laps, the Bakersfield, CA, native had gathered up four spots and picked up another before the first caution flag of the day slowed the field on lap 11.  He continued his trek through the field, closely eyeing the top-15 as the first stage of the day came to a close after 45-laps of racing.  The GEICO Military Ford was scored in the 19th position and Mears and crew chief Jon Hanson exchanged radio chatter about the newfound speed and how much the car had improved to that point.

During the break between stages, Mears brought his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford to the attention of the Biagi-DenBeste pit crew, who promptly outfitted him with four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments.  The car was fast and the team was excited about the day’s prospects as the field prepared to return to green.  As Mears exited pit road during his journey back out to the racing surface, something snapped and his car was soon spilling oil all over pit road and the racetrack.  When Mears got in the gas as he took off, the nuts that hold the gear on the housing stripped, causing a rearend seal issue.  He was done for the day.  After finding speed in what was certain to be a top-10 car, Mears was relegated to a 38th place finish.

“This is disappointing because I was having a lot of fun out there and the GEICO Military Ford was fast.  We were definitely going to be top-10 today,” Mears said in the garage.  “The Biagi-DenBeste team worked hard this weekend and we were able to find speed for the race today.  We were passing a lot of cars and having fun, so standing here right now is heartbreaking.  Thanks to Jon Hanson and the guys for their hard work this weekend.  We will be ready to get back to work at Richmond.”

Mears and the GEICO Military team will now shift focus to the next race on their schedule, which will take place in Richmond, VA.

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at Richmond International Raceway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, April 28th, at 1:00 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 10:05 AM (ET).

The ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, April 29th, and it will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 1:00 PM (ET).  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.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

To learn more about Biagi-DenBeste Racing, please visit:www.biagidenbesteracing.com

MEARS AND GEICO MILITARY TEAM HUSTLE TO 14TH AT FONTANA

Player Management International Media Release

Fontana, CA (March 25, 2017) – While the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season got underway at Daytona International Speedway in February, Casey Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Ford Mustang made their debut this weekend in southern California.  Just before the start of the season, Mears and GEICO announced a 12-race schedule with Biagi-DenBeste Racing that commenced in Fontana.  A native of Bakersfield, CA, Mears had many family members on-hand, including his legendary father Roger Mears, when he took to the track to turn his first laps in his new ride.

When practice got underway on Friday, Mears climbed into the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford looking to build the relationship with his new team.  This weekend would be Mears’ first opportunity to work with the Biagi-DenBeste Racing organization, but one couldn’t tell, as the group showed speed immediately and finished up the first practice session in the 15th position.  In qualifying, they continued to be quick and Mears toured the 2-mile oval in just 40.375-seconds, at a speed of 178.328-miles per hour, landing him 19th on Saturday afternoon’s starting grid.

When the green flag signaled the start of Saturday’s Service King 300, Mears made immediate progress.  Starting 19th, the GEICO driver quickly gained five spots and was in the 14th position by the close of lap five.  Mears continued his charge by breaking into the top-10 by the tenth lap of the 150-lap event.  Throughout the race, the Biagi-DenBeste pit crew worked efficiently, returning the GEICO Military Ford Mustang to the racing surface in prompt fashion after each stop, allowing Mears to remain in a competitive position as the race began to wind down.

When the race’s final caution flag waved with only eight laps to go, crew chief Jon Hanson gambled and ordered Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford to pit road for four fresh Goodyears, while a large of group of cars stayed out and opted to take their chances against a track that is especially hard on tires.  Mears would be relegated to starting 26th when the race returned to green, but Hanson’s gamble paid off.  Mears and his GEICO Military machine made an almost effortless assault on the field when they began charging to the front, collecting positions in bulk.  By the time the checkered flag closed out a busy day of racing just a few laps later, the Bakersfield native had gathered up 12 spots and crossed the finish line in 14th place.

“We had some fun out there today and the GEICO Military Ford was strong there at the end and we were able to get to the front pretty quick,” Mears said after the race.  “We have some work to do, but this was our first race together, so we’ll be stronger as the season goes on.  Jon (Hanson, crew chief) and the crew did a nice job on pit road today and made good adjustments as the race went on.  I’m looking forward to getting back in the car at Texas and continuing to build something here.”

Mears will drive the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang in at least 11 more NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season.  Below is the current 2017 schedule:

Texas               4/ 8

Richmond        4/29

Charlotte           5/27

Kentucky          7/7

Indianapolis    7/22

Watkins-Glen    8/5 (Road Course)

Mid-Ohio         8/12 (Road Course)

Road America  8/27 (Road Course)

Dover               9/30

Phoenix           11/11

Homestead       11/18

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, April 7th, at 2:30 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 10:35 AM (ET).

The My Bariatric Solutions 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, April 8th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:30 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.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

To learn more about Biagi-DenBeste Racing, please visit: www.biagidenbesteracing.com

MEARS RETURNS HOME FOR 2017 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES DEBUT

GEICO Military and Biagi-DenBeste Racing Announce 2017 Schedule

Player Management International Media Release

Fontana, CA (March 23, 2017) – After announcing in February that he would run 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang for Biagi-DenBeste Racing, the time has come for Casey Mears to hit the track.  His first race of the 2017 season is this weekend in Fontana, CA, and the Bakersfield native will make his first laps in his new ride when the first practice session gets underway at 3:30 PM (ET) on Friday.

Mears, a 14-year NASCAR veteran, last competed in the Xfinity Series in 2010.  He has one win, 16 top-5 and 32 top-10 finishes in just 93 starts in the series.  The GEICO driver also captured four pole awards, while leading 361-laps.

This weekend, Mears takes aim at the 2-mile southern California oval, piloting an entry fielded by the team that first delivered a GEICO car to Victory Lane when, on July 2, 2004, the Biagi-DenBeste group departed Daytona International Speedway with trophy in-hand.  The pair looks to continue their success as they again partner, this time with Mears as the wheelman of the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford, which will pay tribute to our nation’s military and its service members and families.

“I’m excited to get on-track this weekend and see what the GEICO Military Ford can do.  It will be fun getting behind the wheel and driving a racecar that honors our military for all they do for our country,” Mears said.  “These guys on the Biagi-DenBeste team work really hard and are a great group, so I feel like we’ll be successful this year.  It’s nice that I get to run the first race here in California, where a lot of my family resides.  We’ll have a big group of people at the track this weekend, so it’ll be special and I’ll do all I can to get the GEICO Military car up front.”  He continued, “I want to thank both Biagi-DenBeste Racing and GEICO for this opportunity.  I am proud to be associated with a sponsor and team that support our military service members and their families.  It says a lot about the character of both organizations.”

Mears will drive the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang in at least 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season.  Below is the current 2017 schedule:

Fontana           3/25

Texas               4/ 8

Richmond        4/29

Charlotte           5/27

Kentucky          7/7

Indianapolis    7/22

Watkins-Glen    8/5 (Road Course)

Mid-Ohio         8/12 (Road Course)

Road America   8/27 (Road Course)

Dover               9/30

Phoenix           11/11

Homestead       11/18

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track in Fontana, CA, for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, March 24th, at 3:30 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 12:30 PM (ET).

The Service King 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, March 25th, and it will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 4:00 PM (ET).  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.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

To learn more about Biagi-DenBeste Racing, please visit: www.biagidenbesteracing.com