Player Management International Media Release

Concord, NC (October 11, 2014) – Enjoying a rare weekend of racing near home, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams hit the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the final time this season.  A well-rested Germain Racing team entered the garage on Thursday looking to make gains and find the speed necessary to be successful over 500-miles of racing.

The weekend got off to a challenging start when first practice on Thursday saw Casey Mears and the GEICO team post the 33rd fastest time.  Despite the setback, they were able to put what they learned to use for Thursday night’s qualifying session, improving their standing to 29th, where Mears would line up for Saturday’s Bank of America 500.  Friday featured two practice sessions, which once again found Mears and his crew at the rear of the field when they ended up 32nd and 34th in the respective sessions.  The team went to work on a plan that would increase the speed of the No. GEICO Chevrolet SS.

As the 7:30pm start grew closer on race day, the skies above Charlotte Motor Speedway became darker.  After two cells of heavy rain blanketed the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the damp weather cleared and track drying began.  As the 334-lap event got underway with little delay, Mears found the speed he needed and eyed the top 25 no sooner than he had crossed the start line with the green flag waving overhead.

Reporting early that his GEICO Chevy was a combination of tight, yet loose off the turns, Mears had picked up three positions by the time of NASCAR’s competition caution at lap 25.  The team pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment and readied for the restart at lap 30.  When the green flag returned the field to racing action, Mears was strong and quickly took over the 24th position as he continued his trek to the front.

Shortly after the lap 100 restart, Mears and the No. 17 car of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. made contact and the left rear tire of the GEICO Chevy began to show smoke, indicating a fender rub. If not addressed, it would likely result in a cut tire and possible further damage to the racecar, so Mears was forced to pit under green on lap 108 where he emerged in the 37th position – two laps down.  With still more than 200 laps remaining, crew chief Bootie Barker encouraged his driver and crew explaining, “we need to be aggressive to try to recover from this so we’ll take the wave around at every opportunity and hope for some quick cautions.” 

That opportunity came when the yellow flag waved at lap 221 with Mears posted in the 34th position.  Barker made the call to forego a pit stop for a wave around and that move paid off when the caution came out again at lap 227 and Mears recovered one of four laps.  The team would pit for four tires and fuel returning to the track in the 34th position.

Cautions were plentiful in the coming laps and the by virtue of making up a lap, Mears was able vie for another few positions as the race wore down.  Reporting that the condition had now turned to tight, Mears pitted under caution for final adjustments at lap 330 and restarted in the 31st position.  Following a green-white-checker restart, and a hard-fought battle by the entire GEICO team, Mears was credited with a 31st-place finish.

"It was just close racing, but we got together with the 17 car and ended up with the fender being pushed in on the tire,” said Mears. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have an opportunity to see how we could adjust on our GEICO Chevy tonight because we had good speed – we just needed an opportunity to make our way to the front.  Anything goes at Talladega, so next week we’ll come prepared to make good decisions throughout the race, put ourselves in a position to avoid any trouble and come out with all four fenders and a good finish.”
The Germain Racing team will now pack up and head to Alabama for a special weekend that will see their primary sponsor GEICO as the race’s sponsor.

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will take to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway for practice sessions on Friday, October 17th, at 2:30 and 4:30 PM (EDT), which will air live on Fox Sports 1. Qualifying can be seen live on ESPNEWS on Saturday, October 18 at 4:40 PM (EDT).

The GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race gets started on Sunday, October 19th, at 2:00 PM (EDT) and will be televised live on ESPN. 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 KMC Wheels, please visit: www.KMCwheels.com