CASEY MEARS SCORES NINTH PLACE FINISH IN THE GECKO’S BACKYARD

Player Management International Media Release 

RICHMOND, Va. (April 29, 2017) – As the NASCAR Xfinity Series entered Richmond International Raceway, Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team looked to continue building a strong foundation, as Saturday’s 250-lap race would mark only their third race together this season.  With Richmond, Virginia sitting less than 100-miles from GEICO’s corporate headquarters, Mears and company aimed to have a solid day. After qualifying in the 21st position, Mears battled back from one lap down, avoided close wrecks and crossed the finish line in ninth-place. This marks the No. 98 team’s first top-10 result of the 2017 season.

After taking off from the 21st starting position, Mears quickly picked up three spots to solidly place the GEICO Military Ford inside the top-20. Due to a combination of Mears needing more “rear grip” in the No. 98 Ford Mustang and the leader setting a blistering pace, the Bakersfield, California native would go one lap down in the opening, caution-free stage. When the yellow flag waved on lap 75 to slow the field at the conclusion of Stage 1, the Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew quickly serviced the GEICO Military machine with four fresh tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments.

Restarting from the 19th position on lap 87, Mears hastily passed his competitor within one lap to not only take over 18th-place but insert himself into the free pass position should another caution be displayed. On lap 115, the timely yellow allowed Mears to receive the Lucky Dog Award and return to the lead lap. With limited sets of tires in the pits, Mears took care of his Goodyear rubber and held his spot in the 18th position at the conclusion of Stage 2.

Over the final 100 laps, the GEICO Military Ford began to come to life as the adjustments made the machine the “best the car has taken off yet.” The over-the-wall crew picked up four positions on pit road, allowing Mears to restart from the 15th position with five laps remaining. A wreck would take place directly in front of Mears the next lap, forcing the caution once again and placing the No. 98 Mustang in the 11th position for overtime. Once the leaders passed the overtime line deeming the race official, another spin would bring the yellow flag. Mears picked up two spots on that final half lap, recording a ninth-place finish.

“The guys worked really hard to make good adjustments to the GEICO Military Ford as the race wore on today,” Mears said after the race. “It paid off and I was able to pass some cars and put us in position to have a solid day. The Biagi-DenBeste pit crew did a nice job of getting me on and off of pit road and we were able to pick up some positions during pit stops.  We beat some good cars today and I appreciate the work this team has put in to make sure we’re competitive. It’s great to get a top-10 finish, especially since we’re just down the road from GEICO’s corporate office.”  

Mears and the GEICO Military crew will now shift their attention to Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series will stay in North Carolina in two short weeks. The Biagi-DenBeste team will hit the track in Concord, N.C. on Thursday, May 25 for opening practice at 4:00PM Eastern. Qualifying will take place on Saturday, May 27 at 10:05AM Eastern.

The green flag will fly for the Hisense 4K TV 300 on Saturday, May 27 at 1:00 pm ET. FOX Sports 1 will carry the live television broadcast, with the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

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

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

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