Player Management International Media Release

Daytona Beach, FL (February 20, 2014) – How lucky you can be.  This was part of the conversation as the Germain Racing crew was returning to the garage after Duel number two at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday evening.  Just a day earlier, a practice crash involving Cole Whitt sent Brian Vickers across the nose of Casey Mears’ #13 Chevrolet SS, forcing the GEICO driver to the garage for minor repairs.  A lap later, cars were crashing, but Mears was out of harm’s way thanks to the inadvertent contact just moments prior. 

Last night, after 58 laps of clean racing, the final five miles culminated in a cruel swing of emotions that found the GEICO team in tears of pain and then joy, all inside of a couple of minutes.     

Their driver, Casey Mears, experienced misfortune that only served to benefit the team moments later.  Mears’ #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS was strong throughout the 60-lap mad dash, running solidly in the top seven cars for the bulk of the evening.  He ascended the leaderboard and the #13 GEICO Chevrolet even sat atop the scoring tower as the race leader on lap 36. 

It was lap 56 that got Mears’ heart racing when he noticed a drop in fuel pressure, causing concern among the Germain Racing engineering staff.  Two laps later, Mears found himself shaking his racecar side-to-side hoping to re-fire his GEICO Chevrolet.  Fortunately, he was able to make it around the 2.5-mile superspeedway without incident and delivered his Germain Racing entry to the attention of his pit crew.  Just after Mears departed pit road, the ‘big one’ took place a lap later as the field approached the checkered flag.  Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel, initiating a crash that would collect a handful of drivers and also see Clint Bowyer flip over, land on his wheels and drive away.  If not for Mears’ misfortune a lap earlier, the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS would have most certainly been collected, as well.  Instead, Mears was credited with a lead lap, 14th place finish that placed him comfortably in the 2014 Daytona 500 starting field.  Most importantly, he was left with a clean, undamaged racecar.  For the second time in as many days, pain quickly turned to comfort as the racing gods smiled down on Mears and his Germain Racing crew. 

“We’ve been fortunate the last two days and it’s nice to have things go our way here.  We would’ve definitely been in that mess tonight if I didn’t have the fuel issue, so in retrospect it worked out,” Mears said.  “Our GEICO team has worked hard all week and I’m glad they are having some positive things happen.  We’re really strong and I’m thankful to all of the Germain guys and the folks at RCR (Richard Childress Racing, Germain’s technical partner) for giving me a fast racecar.  We’re looking forward to Sunday.” 

Mears and his GEICO team have been strong since they unloaded their #13 GEICO Chevrolet a week ago for the season’s opening practice session.  To this point, fortune has favored the team, so both crew and driver excitedly await Sunday’s Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 is on Sunday, February 23rd, 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. 

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