MEARS AND GEICO TEAM TRIUMPH AT ATLANTA WITH TOP-15 FINISH

Player Management International Media Release

HAMPTON, Ga. (February 28, 2016) – With a new low down force package on display for the first mile and a half race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Racing team knew the race would come down to tire management. But no one on pit road expected the opening 211 laps to be caution free, forcing numerous green flag pit stops. Mears took care of his fresh rubber, while the Germain Racing pit crew turned in a strong day on pit road, combining for a solid afternoon that saw the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS cross the finish line in the 14th position.

When the race weekend got underway, the Germain Racing team got off to a quick start at a track that previously caused them headaches. On Friday evening, Mears qualified his GEICO Chevrolet in the 15th starting position after advancing to the second round and zipping around the 1.54-mile oval in just 29.156-seconds, at a rate of speed of 190.150-miles per hour. He provided an encore performance on Saturday by posting the eighth fastest time during final practice.

As the sun heated the Georgia intermediate track, Mears saw the green flag wave and quickly collected a position and moved to 14th before reporting to his Germain Racing team that the car was plowing tight in the center of the corners. The veteran driver continued to complete laps while crew chief Bootie Barker encouraged his driver to give the GEICO machine time to come around. Barker’s advice rang true and Mears continued to run strong in his GEICO Chevy as the laps clicked off.

The first 211 laps were caution-free, forcing Mears to make five green flag pit stops before the first yellow flag was displayed for debris on the track. During this long stretch of racing, Barker never made any substantial handling adjustments to the GEICO Chevrolet, as Mears consistently clocked times faster than his competitors while running inside the top-20. As the field restarted on lap 218, only 11 cars remained on the lead lap, leaving Mears battling a handful of other cars for the lucky dog award.

With 40 laps remaining, Mears delivered the GEICO Chevy to his crew for the final pit stop of the afternoon and soon after reported to his team that he felt a vibration inside the cockpit. “You’re doing good man, just hang on to it until the end,” encouraged Barker. The veteran driver did just that as he ran solidly in the 16th position, but he collected two spots on the final lap to bring home a 14th place finish and record the team’s best-ever result at the fast, high-banked oval. This is also Mears’ best finish at Atlanta since 2008, when he piloted the No. 5 entry for Hendrick Motorsports.

“The GEICO Racing team worked hard all weekend and we were rewarded with a solid finish today,” said Mears after the race. “I didn’t think we would go caution-free for as long as we did in the beginning, but our car was actually pretty good during that stretch. The clean air during the stops helped our car stay loose with the air on the nose. Once we had to restart in the traffic, the car would get tight. But overall, this is a great way to start the season and hopefully we continue to build off this.”

After a tire came apart and ruined his day in Daytona and left him 31st in the point standings, Mears rebounded well in Atlanta and jumped eight spots to now rest in the 23rd position.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will now head to the west coast for three weeks of racing action, beginning with the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 6th.

Prior to the race weekend getting underway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be afforded a test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday from noon – 6 PM (ET).

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, March 4th, at 1:30 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 7:45 PM (ET).

The Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, March 6th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 3:30 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.

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

TIRE COMES APART AND DASHES MEARS’ DAYTONA 500 HOPES

Player Management International Media Release

Daytona Beach, FL (February 21, 2016) – The Daytona 500 is a race that stays circled on the Germain Racing calendar in their shop in Mooresville, NC.  The team takes great pride in its restrictor-plate program and for good reason; their driver, Casey Mears, sat second in the point standings in the last five Daytona races heading into 2016 Speedweeks.  The crafty veteran has morphed into a restrictor-plate specialist since taking over as the wheelman of the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS in August 2010.

On Thursday night in the Duel 150 qualifying races, Mears rolled off of the starting grid from the sixth position in race number two.  He quickly moved into fourth on lap two and held the position for the entire evening before dashing by Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth to take over second place in the final laps.  As he was on the bumper of leader Kyle Busch with just under two laps of racing to go, his fuel tank ran dry and left the GEICO Chevy in the 17th position in the finishing order.  Consequently, Mears would be relegated to a 32nd place staring spot in Sunday’s Daytona 500.

A sold out crowd was on hand to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field take the green flag for the 58th annual running of the Daytona 500.  Mears took off from the outside of row 16, but wasted little time in making progress, collecting seven spots and moving up to 25th in the opening lap.  He cracked the top-20 on lap 12 and by lap 42 he was running in the 13th position.  Seeming effortless in his journey to the front, lap 72 saw him move the No. 13 GEICO Chevy SS into the top-10.

All was well as Mears charged through the field and crew chief Bootie Barker provided the GEICO driver with affirmation of his deeds for the day, when on lap 92, he said, “You’ve got the speed, you’re doing good; you’re great.”  Barker was on point and Mears seemed like a man possessed as he pedaled his GEICO Chevy around the historic high-banked tri-oval gaining ground on the leaders.

The race had just cleared the halfway point when Mears radioed to Barker on lap 103 that he had a bad vibration and needed to get out of the draft.  He quickly maneuvered his way to pit road and brought his GEICO Chevy to the attention of the Germain Racing pit crew under green flag conditions.  He promptly received four fresh tires and returned to the racing surface one lap in arrears, in the 37th position.  Barker and company would soon learn that the right rear tire was coming apart, so Mears was wise to exit the racetrack and receive service.

Misfortune would strike the team a second time when Mears brought the GEICO Chevy to pit road for a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 159.  The crew serviced the car in expeditious fashion, but NASCAR would assess the team a drive-through penalty after they found Mears to be too fast as he was exiting pit road.  This setback would leave the team struggling to stay just a single lap down to the field.  In desperate need of a pair of cautions to assist them in returning to the lead lap, Mears hustled around the track patiently awaiting a chance to rejoin the leaders and make a run at the Daytona 500 trophy.  Unfortunately, they would not receive the break they needed and when the checkered flag halted the field after 200-laps of racing, Mears and his GEICO Chevy were credited with a 32nd place finish.

“It was a tough outcome, for sure.  We had a fast car and I was able to drive the GEICO Chevy up through the field and we were definitely going to be there at the end,” Mears said after the race.  “We just couldn’t get the cautions that we needed to get back on the lead lap and that really hurt us.  The guys on our GEICO team did a great job during Speedweeks and I’m proud of the speed we had and how well we performed in the Sprint Unlimited and then in the Duel 150’s.  We’re looking forward to getting to Atlanta next week.”

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, February 26th, at 11:00 AM (ET).  Qualifying will follow at 5:45 PM (ET).

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, February 28th, and it will be televised live on FOX 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

 

COMMAND PERFORMANCE BY MEARS IN THE DUEL 150’S DERAILED BY EMPTY FUEL TANK

Player Management International Media Release

Daytona Beach, FL (February 18, 2016) – Heading into the 2016 season, Casey Mears sits second in points in the last five Daytona races; a considerable achievement for any organization, especially a single-car team such as Germain Racing. The GEICO team has once again started off Daytona Speedweeks in quick fashion. After scoring a top-5 finish in the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night, Mears turned around on Sunday and outhustled the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field to end up 13th in Daytona 500 qualifying. Wednesday saw Mears’ trend of speed continue when the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS shot to the top of the board where it finished up practice in the fifth position.

The Can-Am Duel 150’s would offer the Bakersfield native the opportunity to keep his momentum rolling. Starting from the 6th position in Duel number two, Mears and his GEICO Chevy aimed to notch a strong starting position in Sunday’s Daytona 500. A year ago, Mears was relegated to a 41st place starting spot after an engine gave way early in the opening Duel 150. Despite starting at the rear of the field, the GEICO driver rallied to a 6th place finish in the Great American Race.

When Can-Am Duel number two got underway at the World Center of Racing on Thursday night, Mears and his GEICO Chevy started the event from the sixth position. From the moment he took the green flag, it all seemed elementary to Mears, as he quickly collected two spots and jumped to fourth on the second of 60 laps. The front cars began to break away in a single-file formation and the No. 13 GEICO Chevy would continue to run solidly in the fourth position, even through a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 38. When Mears brought his GEICO Chevy to the attention of the Germain Racing crew for a fuel-only stop, they promptly returned Mears to the racing surface, allowing him to retain his spot in the running order where he continued to hold the fourth position.

As the laps wound down, drivers became antsy and the ever alert Mears took full advantage when he rocketed by Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth to take over the second position behind Kyle Busch with just five laps remaining. Challenging for the lead, the GEICO driver seemed poised to collect a win on Thursday. Unfortunately, with just under two laps to go in the event, Mears fell off the pace when his fuel tank ran dry, leaving him 17th on the scoring tower, but also allowing him to avoid a massive last lap crash that sent a handful of drivers to back-up cars for the Daytona 500.

On Sunday, when the drivers take to the starting grid for the 58th annual running of the Daytona 500, Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will begin their 200-lap journey on the outside of row 16, in the 32nd position.

“The Daytona 500 will be good. The GEICO Chevy is fast; the car is right, so we will be strong, but I really wanted to win this thing tonight,” Mears said in the garage after the race. “These guys at Germain Racing have done a great job getting this car ready for the Daytona 500 and we have had a lot of speed since we got here. I’m proud of our team and all of the hard work they put in to make sure we were in a position to be able to win the race when we got to the track. It was fun to run up front all night and we definitely had a chance to win this thing. I guess the silver lining is that we avoided that big crash at the end and will be able to use our primary car, which has been a rocket this week. Our guys are resilient and we’re already thinking about Sunday. We are here to win the Daytona 500 and that’s what we are focused on right now.”

The Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, February 21st, and it will be televised live on FOX 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