Player Management International Media Release

Daytona Beach, FL (February 13, 2016) - Casey Mears and Germain Racing are coming off of their best season since entering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2009. The winter was productive for the GEICO team, as evidenced by the speed they have exhibited in the opening days of 2016 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS finished fourth in last year's Sprint Unlimited and aimed to top that effort as they took to the starting grid for last night's season-opening 75-lap shootout.  

Starting sixth, Mears and his GEICO Chevy quickly jumped to fourth when the green flag got the 2016 season underway. He seemed to run effortlessly at the front of the pack for most of the night. Only once did he find himself descending through the field and that came on lap 35 when he was caught on the bottom and shuffled back to the 19th position. He recovered quickly and pedaled his way back up to the eighth position with 35 laps to go in the event.

On lap 43, Mears and his best friend Jimmie Johnson got even closer after Johnson's No. 48 car made contact with the GEICO Chevy, bringing out the yellow and forcing Mears to make a brilliant save, as he traveled nearly sideways down the racetrack. Having sustained damage from the incident, the No. 13 machine visited pit road for tires, fuel and the opportunity to survey the affects of the contact. The Germain Racing crew quickly returned Mears to the racing surface where he reported that his Chevy SS felt out of balance. The car may have been out of balance, but Mears was not. When the race returned to green on lap 48, the Bakersfield, CA, native was forced to restart from the 16th position, but just four laps later was up to eighth, appearing to be unfazed by the damage to his car.

With 20 laps left to be contested, Mears took over the sixth position and remained there until the race took an unfavorable turn for Germain Racing with just two laps to go. Racecars began colliding around Mears and he sustained heavy damage to the splitter of his GEICO Chevrolet SS. Once hopeful for the win, he now found himself on the outside looking in. He quickly delivered his GEICO machine to the attention of a ready and waiting pit crew that paid prompt attention to the damage. They would pit a total of three times before returning to the track and restarting from the rear of the field as the Sprint Unlimited headed into overtime.

When the green flag restarted the race for the final time, Mears quickly began to charge around the 2.5-mile high-speed tri-oval looking to recover lost ground. He was also hoping the heavy splitter damage to his GEICO Chevy would not prohibit him from turning in the corners. The Germain Racing pit crew made perfect repairs, allowing Mears to regain real estate and make a mad dash to the front. Mears exercised his restrictor-plate racing prowess when in the final laps, he managed to pick his way through the field and hustle to a fifth place finish, marking an improbable comeback that converted tragedy to triumph. For the second consecutive year, Mears and the GEICO Racing team scored a top-5 finish to kick off their season.

"I'm so proud of the team and all of the hard work they put in over the winter to make sure we were ready for this season. Germain Racing is as prepared as we've ever been and it showed here tonight when we were able to remain calm, get the car fixed and have a chance to make a run there at the end," a visibly happy Mears reported after climbing from his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS. "It's a great way to start the year. So much of the credit goes to our general manager Larry Rogers, Bootie Barker (crew chief) and everyone on the team that made it a point to work on the little things in the off-season and make sure we were moving to the next level; that we were ready for whatever may come our way. I'm happy for GEICO, Bob Germain, everyone on the team and all of our sponsorship partners. Now, we're focused on Daytona 500 qualifying and having a strong run at the Duels and the 500 itself."

The Germain Racing crew will get very little shut-eye before returning to the historic racing facility, where Daytona 500 qualifying will commence on Sunday at 1:15 PM (ET), live on FOX.

The Can-Am Duel 150 qualifying races will be held on Thursday, February 18th, beginning at 7 PM (ET). They will be televised live on FoxSports1.
The Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, February 21st, 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, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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