Mears and Geico Team Back on Track with 16th Place Dover Finish
NASCAR - Dover, DE
Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion were 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ opening practice session on Friday. Qualifying saw the team fall victim to a bad draw, which sent Mears out first on a hot Friday afternoon. Undaunted, Mears quickly pedaled the #13 GEICO Ford around the one-mile concrete oval in just 23.052-seconds at an average speed of 156.169 miles per hour. Despite the steamy temperatures, Mears managed to tame the Monster Mile and would roll off Sunday’s starting grid from the 17th position.
Bright sunshine, hot temperatures and a slight breeze welcomed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to the track on Sunday. Mears would start from the 17th position when the green flag turned the field loose for 400-miles of racing. He dropped to 18th on lap three, but then sat solidly in that position for the next 51 laps. He then worked his way into the top ten before being forced down pit road for a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 73. After being outfitted with four tires and fuel, Mears rejoined the race in the 19th position and began making up ground.
Mears passed Carl Edwards on lap 149 to take over the 18th position and was sitting in 16th when Matt Kenseth lost an engine and brought out the caution on lap 160. Mears then headed down pit road under caution where the Germain Racing pit crew promptly refreshed the #13 GEICO Ford with four fresh tires and a full tank of fuel, allowing Mears to restart the race from the 15th position. He then made quick work of Dale Earnhardt, Jr, and captured the 14th position before passing Clint Bowyer for 13th on lap 202.
Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion would never at any point during the race depart from the top 20. After 400-laps/400-miles of racing, Mears recorded a 16th place, lead lap finish on a hot and humid Delaware Sunday afternoon. His effort accounts for the team’s fifth top 20 finish of the season and boosts him one spot up to 25th in the Sprint Cup Series’ driver point standings.
“This was a great day for our GEICO team because we were consistent and the pit crew did a nice job and we were able to get a 16th place finish,” Mears said. “We were also able to finish the race on the lead lap, which is tough to do at Dover, as seen on the finishing order where I think only 16 cars did it. I’m proud of everyone on this 13 team; we keep making good progress. I want to thank everyone out there that supports our Germain Racing team, especially the people at GEICO. We were excited to have a lot of GEICO folks with us today since their office is so close.”
Up next for the Germain Racing team is the Tricky Triangle in Long Pond, PA.
Casey Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Pocono Raceway for the opening practice session on Friday, June 7th, at 12:00 PM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (EDT).
The Party in the Poconos 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, June 9th, and it will be televised live on TNT beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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