Mears Upened Amidst Strong Kansas RunPress Release
Kansas City, KS (April 21, 2013) – Casey Mears and his GEICO team entered Kansas with thoughts of redemption after a heartbreaking race in Texas. They quickly began to move forward when Mears posted the 19th fastest time in the weekend’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Kansas Speedway. He later was 18th in second practice and moved to 17th in Happy Hour, setting the tone for what he and his team expected to be an exciting event. The only challenge faced was in qualifying where Mears went out 15th and qualified 30th for Sunday’s 400-mile race.
The STP 400 got underway on Sunday afternoon amid gray skies and cool temperatures. The sun would expose itself infrequently during the race, but for the most part remained hidden behind the clouds. Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion rolled off of the starting grid from the 30th position, but quickly made up ground when the green flag set the field underway for 267 laps of racing. Mears and his GEICO machine promptly moved into the top 25 before Kyle Busch brought out the first caution flag of the day on lap four. Mears consistently turned lap times comparable with the leaders and held court inside the top 25 for the entire day, while also making appearances in the top 20 and even the top 10, reaching the eighth position on lap 161.
The day took an unfortunate turn on lap 183 when Marcos Ambrose got sideways and collected Sam Hornish, Jr, just in front of Mears and his GEICO Fusion. Mears quickly lifted off of the gas pedal of his racecar, but David Gilliland didn’t receive the news in time and instead went full speed into the rear of the #13 Germain Racing entry, causing significant damage and sending the Bakersfield, CA, native limping down pit road with a torn up racecar. At the time of the incident, Mears was in 21st place, preparing to re-enter the top 20, but instead found himself more akin to a pinball as he made his way down to the apron of the racetrack. Mears made several visits to pit road for repairs to his #13 GEICO Fusion, but by lap 240 the damage proved insurmountable and he retired from the race. He would ultimately be credited with a 34th place finish.
“Days like today are tough to swallow because the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion was good and we were headed for another top 15 finish, but we happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” a visibly frustrated Mears said after exiting his racecar. “The team did a great job today and we were able to be on the lead lap and in position to get another good finish. Now, we’re looking forward to getting to Richmond next week because it’s close to GEICO’s home office and we always have a lot of guests, which makes it fun for our team. Richmond is where it all started for GEICO’s NASCAR program 13 years ago, so we’re excited to celebrate that anniversary with them next Saturday night.”
Next weekend, the Germain Racing team will get to play in the Gecko’s backyard when they race in Richmond, VA, just 100-miles from GEICO’s corporate office in Washington, DC. DRIVE SMART Virginia will be back on the #13 GEICO Fusion to once again bring attention to Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which takes place during the month of April.
Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Richmond International Raceway for the opening practice session on Friday, April 26th, at 12:00 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 5:35 PM (EDT).
The Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Saturday, April 27th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 7:30 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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
Please visit the Casey Mears Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/
Source: Player Management International, Inc., for GEICO Racing/Germain Racing
Article Tags: Casey Mears, Kansas City (KS), Kansas Speedway, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion, NSCS, STP 400