Player Management International Media Release
Long Pond, PA (June 9, 2013) – After a few tough weeks, Casey Mears and his Germain Racing counterparts rallied in Dover to right the course when they recorded a 16th place finish at one of NASCAR’s toughest tracks. While Dover saw them battle the Monster Mile, this week in Pocono would find them nose-to-nose with Mother Nature.
All track activities, including qualifying, were washed out on Friday, resulting in the starting field being set according to Owner Points. Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion would roll off 27th in Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400. On Saturday, Mears and crew chief Bootie Barker were featured on SPEED’s Trackside Live where laughter prevailed when they participated in a fun version of the ‘Newlywed Game’. Barker triumphed, scoring three points to Mears’ two.
When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series arrived at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, the inclement weather had cleared and bright sunshine and blue skies overlooked a full house. Mears started from the 27th position, but quickly began having handling issues and dropped to 29th. He made a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 28, but lap 30 heard Mears on the team’s radio frequency: “This thing won’t turn at all. It’s really tight into turn one.” Regardless, he still managed to navigate the GEICO Ford through the field and arrive in 18th before making a second scheduled green flag stop on lap 56. He received a minor scare when on lap 93 he began to experience a heavy vibration, but it seemed to dissipate. The Germain pit crew made favorable changes during each visit to pit road, allowing Mears and his Gecko adorned racecar to keep making progress.
A debris caution on lap 126 would change the trajectory of Mears’ race. Crew chief Bootie Barker ordered him to stay out rather than pitting and to take the wave-around in order to rejoin the lead lap. He then informed Mears that he would need to pit immediately after taking the green, a daring call that could pay dividends if another yellow flag waved quickly. Mears complied and restarted 29th when the race went back to green on lap 129. The next time around, the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion hit pit road for two right-side tires and fuel, leaving Mears at the tail end of the lead lap. Now all they needed was a quick caution and Barker’s strategy would pay off. Almost on cue, Juan Pablo Montoya got loose underneath Matt Kenseth in the tunnel turn on lap 134, sending them both into a spin that brought out a much needed caution flag for the Germain Racing team. Barker’s bold move paid off and the GEICO team was now solidly on the lead lap and back in the hunt.
Mears was eyeing the top 20 when Barker radioed to him on lap 139, “Good job, man. You get faster and faster every lap.” Mears and his GEICO Ford continued to hustle and when the checkered flag brought a close to 160 laps and 400 miles of racing, he posted a 22nd place finish. Pocono is Germain Racing’s eighth top 25 finish of the 2013 season.
“We struggled a little bit today, but kept working hard and eventually got fast there at the end, when it mattered. This is the first time we’ve raced Pocono together as a team because we’ve had to start and park it the last two years.” Mears said. “This was a good day for us here and something to build on. We’re thankful for GEICO’s support because we can now run all the races. We’ve had two solid weeks and that’s what we needed to get things back on the right path. I’m proud of everyone on this Germain team and look forward to Michigan next week. Michigan International Speedway is just down the road from Ford’s corporate office, so we’re hoping to put on a good show for them.”
Mears and his GEICO team will next travel to the Irish Hills of Michigan for race number fifteen of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Casey Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Michigan International Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, June 14th, at 11:30 AM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 3:35 PM (EDT).
The Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, June 16th, and it will be televised live on TNT beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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
Please visit the Casey Mears Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/caseymearsracing
- PMI -