MEARS AND THE GECKO NOTCH NINTH PLACE FINISH AT ROAD AMERICA

Player Management International Media Release

Elkhart Lake, WI (August 27, 2017) – While the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series enjoyed its final off-weekend of the 2017 season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series visited the beautiful Elkhart Lake area of Wisconsin for their final road-course race of the year.  Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team were impressive when they hit the track with the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang.  While it was Mears’ first-ever race at the famed road-course, he quickly made himself at home.

Mears opened up the weekend 16th in the first practice session before picking up speed in final practice, where he finished up as the ninth fastest racecar on the board.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature would prevail when qualifying rolled around and Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford would be relegated to a 28th place starting position after weather forced the cancellation of qualifying.

Despite starting from the 28th position, Mears immediately began charging forward when the green flag signaled the start of the Johnsonville 180 on Sunday.  The GEICO driver made quick work of the field, as he hustled around the 4.048-miles that make up the scenic Road America racing circuit.  By the conclusion of stage one, Mears had the GEICO Military Ford up to 12th place.  After pitting for four tires and fuel during the stage break, he returned to the racing surface, where he continued his trend of passing cars.  His efforts were rewarded and when stage two came to a close, the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford was up to the ninth position, marking a 19-position march from Mears’ starting position.

On lap 27, just four laps after the final stage of the race got underway, Mears indicated that he received heavy right-side contact from a fellow competitor while running in the seventh position.  Undeterred, the Bakersfield, CA native stayed on the gas and just six laps later the GEICO Military Ford posted the fastest lap on the track.  As the race wound down, Mears never departed the top-10 and remained focused on securing a solid finish for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

When the checkered flag closed out 182.2-miles of racing, Mears and his No. 98 Ford Mustang crossed the finish line in the ninth position, posting a strong run for the GEICO Military team.

“I had a lot of fun out there today; Road America is a blast,” a smiling Mears said after the race.  “We needed a solid weekend and I’m glad we were able to make it happen and get a top-10 finish.  The GEICO Military Ford was strong today and the Biagi-DenBeste guys did a good job on pit road.  We are looking forward to getting to Richmond, which is just down the road from the GEICO corporate office, making it a special race for us.”

Mears’ next start in the Gecko adorned No. 98 Ford will come when the NASCAR Xfinity Series visits 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, September 8th, at 8:00 AM (ET).  Qualifying will follow at 4:15 PM (ET).

The Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Friday, September 8th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 7:30 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’ RUN IN THE FAST LANE AT THE GLEN DERAILED BY WHEEL AND FUEL ISSUE

Player Management International Media Release

Watkins Glen, NY (August 5, 2017) – Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team headed to the Finger Lakes Region of New York this weekend for the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ first road course race of the season.  Mears has always experienced success at road course events and he eagerly anticipated the opportunity to get on the track at Watkins Glen International.

Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang were 16th in the opening practice session on Friday.  On Saturday, the Bakersfield, CA, native wheeled around The Glen in a prompt 72.753-seconds at a speed of 121.232-miles per hour, landing him 17th on Saturday’s starting grid.

When the green flag turned the field loose for 82-laps of racing on Saturday, Mears took off from the 17th starting position, but immediately charged forward.  He broke into the top-15 by lap two and continued hustling the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford to the front.  Mears was up to eighth by lap 24 and feeling optimistic, but it would be just after the mid-way point of the race when things took a challenging turn.

On lap 45, Mears reported that the No. 98 GEICO Military car had a loose wheel, sending him scrambling to pit road under green to rectify the issue, surrendering precious track position.  After receiving four fresh tires, he returned to the racing surface and quickly gathered up lost real estate.  Pitting during green flag conditions meant that Mears would rejoin the race in the 30th position.  Despite the setback, the speedy veteran made quick work of the field and found himself back in the top-20, running in the 19th position, on lap 60.

Mears had wheeled the GEICO Military Ford up to 17th with just 10 laps remaining and appeared poised for a top-15 finish after overcoming the loose wheel issue.  Unfortunately, just four laps later, a surprised Mears radioed that he was out of gas.  This would prove insurmountable, as the race was approaching the closing laps.  Mears received a push to pit road where the Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew refueled the GEICO Military Ford and sent him back out for the race’s final restart of the day.  While he restarted 27th with just three laps to go in the race, Mears managed to hustle the GEICO Military Ford up to 25th in the final two laps and score a top-25 finish.

“That was a tough one to take because the GEICO Military Ford was fast and we really had a top-8 or top-10 car,” Mears said after the race.  “The Biagi-DenBeste guys gave me a good car and we definitely should’ve been there at the end, so it’s heartbreaking.  I’m looking forward to getting on the track at Mid-Ohio next weekend and having some more fun on a road course.”

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, August 11th, at 2:00 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow on Saturday at noon (ET).

The Mid-Ohio Challenge NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, August 12th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 3:30 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 MARCH TO TOP-15 FINISH AT KENTUCKY

Player Management International Media Release 

SPARTA, Ky. (July 8, 2017) – Each and every race weekend, drivers and teams are in control of many variables that will impact their performance, but there is always one element that is out of any person’s control – the weather. And Mother Nature decided to roar her ugly head on Friday evening for the second consecutive week, only an hour before the scheduled start of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Due to the magnitude of the severe storms in the Sparta region, NASCAR was forced to postpone the 200-lap event until Saturday afternoon.

Under clear and sunny skies, Casey Mears and his Biagi-DenBeste Racing team were ready for battle on Saturday. Rolling from the 25th position, Mears quickly used his veteran skills to miss a multi-car crash on the initial green flag start. With cars spinning directly in front of the nose of the GEICO Military Ford, Mears dodged the accident and only received minor damage to his grill. After pitting for repairs, the seasoned driver restarted from 33rd-place. Within one lap, Mears gained five spots and in just five laps later, the No. 98 machine held the 24th position.

When the scheduled competition caution slowed the pace on lap 26, Mears ran in the 22nd position – a gain of 11 spots in as many circuits. The California-native reported his GEICO Military Ford was “way too loose” as Stage 1 was coming to close, but despite this handling condition, Mears ran in 18th-place on lap 45. During the stage break, crew chief Jon Hanson called Mears to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help the loose feeling. Once back under green, Mears continued to run inside the top-15 and by lap 100, the No. 98 Mustang took over the 13th position.

Over the final 100 laps, the GEICO Military Ford continued to be troubled by the loose handling ailment, even though the No. 98 team took every opportunity to make adjustments. “Loose everywhere” was the common chatter on the radio and with 30 laps to go, Mears found himself in 18th-place. In the closing laps, Mears drove the GEICO Military Ford back into the top-15 and crossed the finish line in the 15th position. This is the pairing’s third top-15 effort of their limited 2017 Xfinity Series schedule.

“It was nice to get out of there with a top-15 finish today,” Mears said.  “The Biagi-DenBeste crew worked hard on the car all day and I was able to gradually get to the front.  I was fortunate to miss that first crash at the green flag, which was a little scary since it happened right at the start/finish line.  We’ve been able to rack up some top-15 finishes with the GEICO Military team and we will keep making progress as the season moves along.”

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