Player Management International Media Release

Avondale, AZ (November 9, 2014) – Just two races remained on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule when Casey Mears and Germain Racing unloaded their No. 13 GEICO Military Chevrolet SS for practice on Friday.  Veteran’s Day weekend posed the perfect opportunity to run a special paint scheme honoring our nation’s military.  On Sunday afternoon, most of the Sprint Cup field would find themselves behind Mears on the starting grid, staring directly at the saluting Gecko that was ever-present on the rear of his Chevy. 

Mears and company were quick off of the truck.  45-minutes into the weekend’s opening practice session, the No. 13 GEICO Military Chevy sat atop the leaderboard in the first position.  Qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway got underway late Friday afternoon and featured two rounds: one 30-minutes long and the other 10-minutes in duration, and allowed just 12 cars to advance to the final round.  Mears and his GEICO Military Chevy out-hustled the bulk of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field and moved onto the final round of qualifying.  His effort landed him 12th on Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 starting grid.

Perfect weather welcomed fans and teams alike to the racetrack on Sunday.  Mears rolled off of the starting grid from the 12th position and when the green flag flew, he immediately made progress.  He moved into the 10th position by lap four and ran solidly in the top-10 until the caution flag came out on lap 30.  Crew chief Bootie Barker ordered Mears down pit road for right-side tires and fuel.  While some cars only took fuel, Mears surrendered just two positions when he returned to the racing surface.  He restarted 12th and momentarily dropped to 13th before passing his good friend Jimmie Johnson to recapture the 12th position. 

Heartache soon set in, however, when on lap 80 the right rear tire of Mears’ GEICO Military Chevy gave way and sent him into the wall, causing damage to the right front headlight area and right rear quarter panel of the racecar.  He was also left with just half of his front splitter.  Mears visited pit road three times under caution for repairs and returned to the race just two laps down thanks to the speedy work of the GEICO pit crew.  Unfortunately, the damage was significant enough that he would not be able to recover as the race wore on. 

Adding insult to injury, on lap 212 the No. 26 car of Cole Whitt made heavy contact with the rear of Mears’ No. 13 GEICO Military Chevy after failing to slow down as cars were crashing in front of them.  He would be forced to bring his Chevy to the attention of the Germain Racing pit crew for additional repairs.  Over the course of the final 100 laps, Barker would make calls and take gambles in order to gain as much ground as possible.  When the checkered flag halted 312-miles of racing, Mears was relegated to a 35th place finish. 

“What a frustrating day for our GEICO team because we had a lot of speed and were running strong in the top-12 from the time we took the green flag until the tire blew 80-laps into the race,” Mears said.  “I was able to pass cars and do what I needed to do with the racecar for nearly a third of the race, which shows how strong we really are.  Everyone at Germain Racing has been focused on finishing the season strong, so Phoenix was a good sign of how well we’re doing.  The GEICO Military Chevrolet SS was fast all weekend and we consistently posted good speed.”

Next up for Mears and the Germain Racing team is the season finale in Homestead, FL.                                                   

Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, November 14th, at 12:30 PM (ET) and it will be televised live on FoxSports 1.  Qualifying will follow at 6:15 PM (ET) and can be seen live on ESPN2.

The Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, November 16th, 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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