Player Management International Media Release

Martinsville, VA (October 26, 2014) – Casey Mears and the GEICO team came into Martinsville riding the top-10 wave from the GEICO 500 at Talladega.  Mears sat as high as first on the practice chart and qualified 20th, however a late-race incident on Sunday thwarted what would have been a top-10 run for the Germain Racing team. 

After lining up 20th for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, the early stages of the race found Mears a bit tight in his GEICO Chevy, so the team began readying their strategy for first round pit stops.  Despite a lap three caution, the first pit opportunity would not come until lap 18 and Mears came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment, to help what he described as “super tight.”
With opportunities to pass few and far between, Mears found himself one lap in arrears when the caution flew at lap 189.  Crew chief Bootie Barker decided that rather than have Mears visit pit road, he would instead have him take the wave around, meaning the No. 13 GEICO Chevy SS would return to the lead lap.

Following a handful of odd occurrences, including pit road penalties and a mid-race gutsy call to not pit, Mears restarted the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 from the second position, sporting the best position of the day.  The No. 13 GEICO machine was strong as the field went back to green, but eventually gave way to those with fresher Goodyear tires.

The call proved to be beneficial, however, as Mears held his own in the waning laps.  With just over 100 laps to go, Mears’ GEICO Chevy came into its own as he began to collect positions during his charge to the front.  On lap 393 of 500, he restarted in the 18th position and knocked off one position at a time until being posted in 14th place at lap 400.

With just 64 laps to go at the paperclip-shaped .526-mile oval, Mears’ day would take a devastating turn when the caution flew at lap 436…it would involve the No. 13 GEICO SS.  The No. 2 car of “Chase” contender, Brad Keselowski broke an axle and came to a stop in front of Mears who had nowhere to go, causing a hard crash that knocked the wind out of the GEICO driver and left him with a battered racecar.  Mears climbed from his racecar without assistance, but the damage to the GEICO Chevy was terminal and would result in Germain Racing’s first DNF of the 2014 season. 

“This is a really fun race and it’s just a shame we ended up like this,” said Mears upon emerging from the infield care center.  “My spotter reacted as quick as it happened but as soon as he got the words out of his mouth, I was into the back of the 2 car.... he was just stopped on the track.  The day was really shaping up well, so it’s tough to now be sitting on the bad side of Martinsville.  We put our GEICO Chevy in position to contend for a top-10 finish, but it just didn’t end up that way.”

With just three races remaining on the schedule, Mears and the GEICO team will now travel to the Lone Star State.

Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, October 31st at 1:00 PM (ET) and it will be televised on Fox Sports1.  Qualifying will follow at 6:45 PM (ET) and will air live on ESPN2.

The Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 2nd, and will air live on ESPN beginning at 3:00 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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