Player Management International Media Release

Fort Worth, TX (November 2, 2014) – As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season begins to quickly wind down, the Germain Racing team looks to close the year on a strong note.  Their effort has not been without results.  After a top-10 finish at the GEICO 500 at Talladega, Casey Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS had a strong run going at Martinsville before becoming collateral damage while running in the 14th position with just 64 laps to go.  With two solid runs under their belt, the Lone Star State presented the opportunity for redemption, as the 1.5-mile speedway has long given the Germain organization fits.  After finishing 28th in Texas in the spring, they aimed to improve the result as the Sprint Cup Series visited Texas Motor Speedway for the final time this season.

The weekend started off slow when Mears and his GEICO Chevy finished up first practice in the 29th position on Friday afternoon.  If the afternoon was a challenge, the evening didn’t provide any relief.  A tough qualifying session landed Mears 38th on the starting grid, which would present a significant challenge come race day.  Despite the setback, the GEICO team showed up for practice on Saturday morning and ended up 11th on the board, an indication that crew chief Bootie Barker and his engineering staff found speed in the late-night hours at the team hotel.  The speed looked good on Mears and hope was abound when the team departed the track on Saturday.

Gray skies, wind and cool temperatures welcomed race fans to the track on Sunday.  The sun ultimately manifested itself just prior to race time, but would later depart as the event wore on.  Starting from the 38th position, Mears would have his hands full as he looked to work his way to the front at the high-speed facility.  In the opening laps of the race, Mears began to battle handling issues.  On lap 19, he had navigated up to 30th, but reported that he was “loose in and off, but losing the frontend pretty bad through the center”.  Mears’ communication on lap 30 caused alarm when he told Barker: “The car’s driving like I have a right rear tire going down.”  The pit crew was at the ready, but the tire would not become an issue. 

As the race wore on, Mears found himself three laps down to the field after being caught on pit road when the caution came out on lap 41.  Barker devised a strategy that would help facilitate Mears’ return to the lead lap.  He would order Mears to take the wavearound under two different cautions, major gambles that would pay off when the GEICO team became the beneficiary of timely yellow flags.  The Germain Racing pit crew also provided welcome assistance by picking up multiple positions on pit road during the race. 

Around the halfway point of the race, the sun slid behind the clouds, the wind picked up and the temperatures cooled.  The track began to come to Mears and he was soon making big gains and charging to the front.  As the end of the race approached, the GEICO Chevy was back on the lead lap and eyeing a top-20 finish.  The final laps at Texas Motor Speedway seemed more akin to the Wild West than a NASCAR race.  It would take two attempts at a green-white-checker finish to determine the outcome of the originally scheduled 501-mile event.  When the checkered flag closed out 341-laps of racing, Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevy scored an 18th place finish after collecting 20 positions from their 38th place starting spot.  Mears’ effort accounts for the team’s 15th top-20 finish of the 2014 season. 

“We started out a little rough, but the guys never quit and we kept making changes to the GEICO Chevy and the car really got better as the race progressed,” Mears said.  “Bootie made some good calls that put us in position to make up ground and the pit crew did a nice job getting me off of pit road quickly.  It’s good to have another strong run as we get close to the end of the year.  We had a few tough weeks, but we’re turning it around over the last three races and I’m happy for the guys on this GEICO team because everyone works so hard.”

Mears and the Germain Racing team will now head west to Phoenix for the second to last race of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.                                                     

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Phoenix International Raceway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, November 7th, at 1:30 PM (ET).  Qualifying will follow at 6:45 PM (ET).

The Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 9th, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 3:00 PM (ET).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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