Tradition Continues to Grow: Germain Racing Unveils Smokey Yunick Black/Gold No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS for Darlington Raceway’s “Bojangles’ Southern 500”

(Mooresville, N.C. – May 10, 2016) Building on the efforts of Darlington Raceway to salute racing’s yesteryears, Germain Racing unveiled their “throwback” paint scheme for the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS tonight on “NASCAR America” on NBCSN. In the “Bojangles’ Southern 500” the black and gold colors made famous by car owner Smokey Yunick and bearing the logo of his Daytona Beach business, will race again with driver Casey Mears behind the wheel. Yunick, an Army Air Corps pilot in World War II, embodied the grit, ambition and creativity of the workers who founded and developed America, as well as NASCAR. The 367-lap Labor Day weekend event in Darlington, S.C., is the perfect setting for seeing Yunick’s black and gold No. 13 Chevy race “again.”13geico-throwback-pr

“My dad loved racing at Darlington, tire problems and gnats alike. It’s so special to us to have him remembered in this way. The Germain Racing car looks great. I look forward to seeing the black and gold 13 on the track again.  I am thrilled that Smokey’s legacy is getting a chance to be in front of the next generation of NASCAR fans and hope it encourages renewed interest in his story,” said Trish Yunick, daughter of Smokey Yunick.

“That paint scheme is memorable because it stood out. Nobody used number 13, it had no sponsors, and it was gold and black.  It was an attention-grabber,” said Mario Andretti, who raced the Chevrolet for Yunick in 1966. “That car, with Curtis Turner driving, was on pole in 1967 when I won the Daytona 500. It will be fun to see the No. 13 black and gold Chevrolet race again.  The stories behind that car, including stories about Smokey and Curtis Turner are worth revisiting.  Race fans will enjoy it for sure.  There will be a lot of reminiscing.  Very special for Darlington to have that car in the race.”

Germain Racing team owner Bob Germain Jr. is looking forward to seeing the car race, “The whole Darlington Raceway ‘Tradition Returns’ program is very fun and exciting. It’s great to have the chance to throw back to NASCAR’s roots, and certainly, NBC and NASCAR have embraced this campaign and it’s really becoming one of the season highlights. Smokey Yunick’s famous number 13 Chevrolets are part of those roots. He raced many car numbers, but it’s my understanding he enjoyed the mysterious or daring nature of the 13 number. Our fans have really spoken up on Twitter asking us, GEICO, Casey and Bootie to race this paint scheme. The GEICO logo looks great on the black and gold Chevy and I can’t wait to see it on the track at Darlington.”

“It’s a terrific opportunity for us to more deeply engage NASCAR fans and the heritage of the sport.  As GEICO celebrates 80-years as a company, the timing is good for us to participate in this popular throwback promotion on Labor Day weekend, especially as we honor NASCAR legend Smokey Yunick and his legendary paint scheme,” said Ted Ward, GEICO Vice President of Marketing.

“Obviously, it’s very exciting to be running a Smokey Yunick paint scheme on our GEICO Chevrolet SS,” said driver Mears. “Out of all the history of NASCAR I’d have to say he’s probably one of the top five most innovative people in the sport. We feel fortunate to be able to run a paint scheme that has so much meaning and cool history in NASCAR. Hopefully, we can go to Darlington and do a good job with that car in the ‘Bojangles’ Southern 500’ and Smokey’s family will be proud.”

Smokey Yunick is beloved by many that knew him as being a natural engineer. He seemed to see “problems” as opportunities and built his reputation on creating solutions. Yunick was a driver, crew chief and two-time NASCAR “Mechanic of the Year” whose first Southern 500 was Darlington Raceway’s second. Yunick built the race-winning Hudson for Herb Thomas.

“It’s going to be so exciting! I just think it’s a beautiful car and Daddy liked it, too,” said Margaret Sue Turner of the No. 13 Chevrolet that her father, Curtis Turner, raced for Yunick. “Daddy was not superstitious but he told me a lot of people were. He said some people don’t even think green should be on a race car but Daddy never minded driving the number 13.”

On regular race weekends, crew chief Bootie Barker makes the calls for the No. 13 GEICO Chevy which features both green striping and the number 13.

If you can’t wait until Darlington to get your chance to see the beautiful black and gold paint scheme honoring the No. 13 Smokey Yunick Chevrolet driven by 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Curtis Turner, get to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Take a moment to explore Glory Road. It features 18 historic cars that tell the story of NASCAR from its beginnings to present day. They have been driven and built by some of the sport’s most celebrated drivers, owners and mechanics. Visit nascarhall.com for more information.

Germain Racing is looking forward to playing its part in #TraditionContinues at Darlington Raceway (@TooToughtoTame) come Labor Day weekend. Keep the conversation going with us @GermainRacing or on Facebook.com/GermainRacing.

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 Duracell, please visit: www.duracell.com

MEARS TURNS TABLES ON KANSAS, DEPARTS WITH SOLID 21ST PLACE FINISH

Player Management International Media Release

KANSAS CITY, Kans. (May 7, 2016) – After a week of unpredictable restrictor plate action at Talladega, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to a mile-and-a half-track for racing under the lights at Kansas Speedway. The Germain Racing team brought a brand new No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS for driver Casey Mears to pilot during the GoBowling.com 400 on Saturday night. Despite starting at the rear of the field after changing a rear gear prior to the green flag, Mears gained a total of 19 positions to cross the finish line in 21st-place. This marked Mears’s sixth top-25 performance of 2016.

“I’m proud of the effort the entire GEICO Racing team put forth,” said Mears after the 267-lap race. “Our Chevrolet was just too tight at times, but I also had a lot of speed at different points of the race.  Tonight was a solid race and it’s what we need to do consistently every week and this is definitely a good start.”

After qualifying in the 31st position on Friday evening, the GEICO Racing team had to change a rear gear prior to the green flag, which forced Mears to start from the tail end of the field in 40th-place on Saturday night. Quickly the veteran driver reported the Chevrolet was “plowing tight;” but despite this ill-handling condition, Mears collected ten positions and broke into the top-30 just 17-laps into the event. After the first caution slowed the pace on lap 23, Mears brought his GEICO machine to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. A solid stop by the pit crew allowed Mears to gain positions and knock on the door of the top-25 by lap 35.

As the field began to separate during a long green flag run, Mears ran in the 23rd position. The caution flag waved on lap 103, allowing the Bakersfield, California native to return to pit road for fresh rubber, fuel, and no adjustments, as the GEICO Chevrolet had found a sweet spot for Mears. Another quick stop from the pit crew allowed Mears to restart from 19th-place on lap 109.

Mears continued to hold a spot inside the top-20 for the next 70 laps, before the tight handling condition returned to the GEICO Chevrolet. While another green flag run was underway, Mears completed his scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 217, getting four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. “The car is much better this run,” reported Mears, who was scored in the 26th-place with 37 laps to go. Over the final stretch, Mears began dicing through the field and passed five competitors to finish in the 21st position when the checkered flag concluded 400-miles of racing.

The Sprint Cup Series now heads to the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway for a date with the high-banked, one-mile concrete oval. Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track on Friday, May 13th for opening practice at 11:00AM ET. Qualifying will follow at 3:45PM ET.

The AAA Drive for Autism 400 will take place on Sunday, May 15th, with FS1 carrying live television coverage beginning at 1PM ET. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio channel 90 will also have the live radio broadcast.

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 Duracell, please visit: www.duracell.com

To learn more about Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com

MEARS ENDS UP COLLATERAL DAMAGE AFTER TOP-5 RUN AT TALLADEGA

Player Management International Media Release

Talladega, AL (May 1, 2016) – A restrictor-plate specialist of sorts, Casey Mears always eagerly anticipates the opportunity to race at Talladega Superspeedway.  This weekend’s GEICO 500 gave the Bakersfield, CA, native the opportunity to do just that.  Coupled with Germain Racing’s prowess at restrictor-plate facilities, Mears seemed poised for success when his sponsor’s marquee weekend got underway on Friday.

Mears wasted little time settling in at the legendary superspeedway and by the time the weekend’s first practice session came to a close, the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS was sitting seventh on the speed chart.  Qualifying followed suit, as Mears zipped around the high-banked tri-oval in just 50.196-seconds, at a speed of 190.772-miles per hour.  A heavy wind picked up on the backstretch during his qualifying run, thwarting an otherwise top-10 qualifying effort and placing him 20th on Sunday’s GEICO 500 starting grid.  Cars that immediately followed Mears during the qualifying session would also fall victim to the conditions and find themselves far below Mears in the starting lineup, serving as further evidence of the strength and speed of the No. 13 GEICO Chevy heading into Sunday’s event.

When the GEICO 500 went green at 12:02 PM local time on Sunday, Mears and his GEICO Chevy rolled off of the starting grid from the outside of row 10, in the 20th position.  Just four laps into the 188-lap event, he reported a heavy vibration to crew chief Bootie Barker and quickly dropped out of the draft, freefalling to the 33rd position.  He relayed to Barker that it felt like a driveline or motor issue.  However, just four laps later, Mears made a sudden charge to the front of the field, picking up 15 spots in a single lap and taking over the 18thposition.  While the vibration persisted, Mears did as well, making quick work of the field and landing in the 8th position by lap 15.

Mears ran solidly in the top-10 before lap 29 saw him break into the top-5 and take over the fourth position.  His ascent up the scoring tower continued, as he moved the GEICO Chevy into third on lap 37, inching closer to the lead.  Mears’ afternoon was going as planned until lap 59 when Michael Waltrip went down onto the apron and then shot back up onto the racetrack making contact with Mears and sending the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS into the outside wall.  The incident caused heavy damage and sent the Germain Racing team behind the wall for significant repairs.

Despite the carnage, the GEICO pit crew worked efficiently, made quick repairs and returned Mears to the race just 24 laps in arrears.  He was scored in the 38th position, but continued to hustle around the 2.66-mile tri-oval in an attempt to recover positions.  As the caution flags flew in what seemed like a demolition derby, Mears managed to recover three laps and five positions before crossing the finish line and recording a hard-fought 33rd place finish.

“We come out of this weekend with mixed emotions because the GEICO Chevy was solid and had a lot of speed and we were clearly running strong at the front of the field, but we got clipped by Michael (Waltrip) and ended up with a torn up racecar,” Mears said in the garage after the race.  “We were fast all weekend and definitely had a shot to win this thing, which is the silver lining, I guess.  I was pleased with the crew and how fast they got the car fixed and got me back in the race.  We hustled and were able to get some laps back and also pick up five positions.  The guys on this GEICO team never quit and I appreciate their commitment and hard work.”  He continued, “We appreciate GEICO and their support of our sport.  Few sponsors do as much as they do and they truly care about NASCAR and its fans.  I’m proud to represent them and appreciate the opportunity to drive the No. 13 GEICO Chevy.”

Germain Racing will now journey to the Sunflower State.

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Kansas Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, May 6th, at 11:30 AM (ET).  Qualifying will follow at 6:45 PM (ET).

The GoBowling 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, May 7th, and it will be televised live on FS1 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.

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 Duracell, please visit: www.duracell.com

To learn more about Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com