MEARS RELEGATED TO A 31ST PLACE FINISH AT MARTINSVILLE

Player Management International Media Release

RIDGEWAY, Va. (April 3, 2016) – After a three-week stint on the west coast and a well-deserved weekend off, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to the east coast and short track racing action at the historic Martinsville Speedway. Casey Mears and Germain Racing had high hopes of building off their solid performance in California; however a late-race green flag pit stop for a loose wheel would leave the GEICO team with a 31st-place finish.

“Today was frustrating to say the least,” said Mears after the 500-lap race. “Our GEICO Chevrolet was strong most of the weekend and into the first run of the race. But once we got shuffled out of position and got back in the field, the car became way too loose and wouldn’t drive off the corner. This team battled hard all race long but we have a lot of work to do from pit road to handling. We will just learn from this one and move on Texas. The great part about this sport is there is always next week to turn it around.”

After advancing to the second round in qualifying on Friday, Mears was fast enough to nab the 18th starting position for Sunday’s STP 500.

When the race went green, Mears quickly had the GEICO Chevrolet inside the top-15 within the opening five laps on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately on lap 25, the Bakersfield, California native was shuffled to the outside lane and freight-trained by the bottom single-file line of competitors. Over the course of 20 laps, Mears fell from the 14th position to 33rd-place, while also fighting a loose handling condition with no drive off the corner, hindering his ability to gain maximum speed on the straightaway.

As the first caution flew on lap 92, crew chief Bootie Barker called his driver to pit road for fresh tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments. A loose right front wheel forced Mears back to pit road before returning to racing action.

Mears reassured his GEICO team each set of adjustments was improving the handling, but with uncharacteristically few cautions at the .526-mile paperclip shaped track, the veteran had to battle hard for a spot back inside the top-25, which he achieved by lap 312. With less than 50 laps remaining, what had been a turbulent outing looked to turn into a solid finish. However, on lap 480, another right-front loose wheel forced Mears to pit road under green flag conditions for right-side tires, relegating the team to a 31st-place finish.

The Sprint Cup Series now heads to the Lone Star State for night racing in Fort Worth, Texas. Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday, April 7th for opening practice at 5:30PM ET.  Qualifying will take place a day later at 2:45PM ET.

The Duck Commander 500 will take place on Saturday, April 9th, with FOX carrying live television coverage beginning at 6PM CT. The Performance Racing Network (PRN) 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 Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com

MEARS AND GEICO TEAM BACK ON TRACK WITH 17TH PLACE FINISH AT FONTANA

Player Management International Media Release

Fontana, CA (March 20, 2016) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series arrived in Fontana, CA, this weekend for their third and final installment of March’s west coast swing. It was a homecoming of sorts for Casey Mears, who hails from Bakersfield, CA, which sits approximately 150-miles away.

Racing in his backyard is a favorite of the GEICO driver and his effort in practice indicated so. Mears hustled the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS around the 2-mile D-shaped oval fast enough to end up 8th on the board when the weekend’s opening practice session came to a close. He later qualified 23rd after touring the facility in just 38.757-seconds, at a speed of 185.773-miles per hour. Saturday saw Mears and the GEICO Chevy in the top-10 in the morning practice session, where they finished up ninth quick.

On Sunday, Mears started the race from the 23rd position. After dropping to 27th on the third lap, he quickly rebounded and soon had the No. 13 GEICO Chevy back in the top-20. A frightening moment occurred during the lap 120 caution, when the crew found themselves face-to-face with fire after a hot lugnut made contact with gasoline, causing flames to erupt on the left rear of the racecar. It was extinguished quickly and no one was injured. Shortly after his dance with fire, Mears went on a tear with 56-laps to go in the 200-lap event that saw him charge up to 11th place before tires got the best of him as the race wound down. The race would extend into overtime after a yellow flag was displayed with just two laps remaining in the advertised distance. On the final restart of the day, Mears took off from 21st, but collected four positions in the final two laps of the overtime finish to take the checkered flag in the 17th position.

Atop Mears’ pit wagon during the race was the unified middleweight champion, and pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, Gennady Golovkin, a fighter whose spirit matches that of the Germain Racing team.

“The GEICO Chevy was fast today and it really took off there in the last 50 or so laps. It was fun to drive through the field and get to the front,” Mears said. “The tire fall-off was huge, so about 18-laps into a run I found myself sliding all over the place. My focus today was to keep the car off of the wall because a lot of guys were hitting the outside wall and I knew if I could avoid that, we would be competitive. The guys did a nice job on pit road today and it feels good to have a solid finish after a tough couple of weeks in Vegas and Phoenix.” He added, “It was great having Gennady (Golovkin) on the pit wagon and supporting us during the race today. Our team always fights really hard and it was nice having a guy there who is a champion and has that same type of toughness. He’s a great guy and we appreciate his support.”

After three weeks of touring the west coast, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will enjoy a week off before returning to action in Martinsville, VA.

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Martinsville Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, April 1st, at 11:00 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:15 PM (ET).

The STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, April 3rd, and it will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 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.

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 Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com

 

MEARS’ PHOENIX RUN TRIPPED UP BY MELTED MASTER SWITCH

Player Management International Media Release

Avondale, AZ (March 13, 2016) – As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continued its west coast swing, Casey Mears and Germain Racing entered Phoenix International Raceway looking to get back on-track after a challenging visit to Las Vegas.  Unfortunately, a faulty master switch would melt and leave Germain Racing with a 35th place finish in the valley of the sun.

“We had a tough weekend and this year has not gotten off to the start that we would’ve liked.  We’ve had a lot of speed, but just need to put a whole race together,” Mears said.  “Everyone on this GEICO team is working hard and I feel certain we will break through, but we need to keep pushing and working hard and we’ll be fine.  We can get it back in Fontana, it’s just hard to swallow right now.”

Mears qualified 25th on Friday and when the race went green on Sunday afternoon, he looked to move the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS forward through the field.  After celebrating his birthday a day earlier, the Bakersfield, CA, native stood hard on the gas, as he attempted to gain ground while battling a handling condition.  While Mears persevered initially, a faulty master switch would later betray him after he reported on lap 127 that his GEICO Chevy had lost power.  He was able to get the car re-fired, but just four laps later, he again lost power and found himself scrambling down pit road.

After an attempt to fix the issue in the pit stall, the team would be forced to pull behind the wall on lap 154.  The Germain pit crew worked feverishly to repair the car and even Mears would assist, as he held tools while car chief Billy Plourde climbed through the passenger-side window to install a new switch.  The team acted quickly and Mears rejoined the field on lap 169, where he was scored 37 laps in arrears, in the 37thposition.  The GEICO team continued to work hard and managed to gather two positions before the checkered flag closed out the racing action at Phoenix International Raceway.

NASCAR’s west coast tour continues and the No. 13 Germain Racing team will next pay a visit to southern California.  The 2-mile D-shaped oval in Fontana sits just 150-miles removed from Mears’ hometown of Bakersfield, CA.

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track in Fontana, CA, for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, March 18th, at 1:30 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow at 7:45 PM (ET).

The Fontana NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, March 20th, and it will be televised live on FOX 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.

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 Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com