KANSAS CITY, Kans. (May 7, 2016) – After a week of unpredictable restrictor plate action at Talladega, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to a mile-and-a half-track for racing under the lights at Kansas Speedway. The Germain Racing team brought a brand new No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS for driver Casey Mears to pilot during the GoBowling.com 400 on Saturday night. Despite starting at the rear of the field after changing a rear gear prior to the green flag, Mears gained a total of 19 positions to cross the finish line in 21st-place. This marked Mears’s sixth top-25 performance of 2016.
“I’m proud of the effort the entire GEICO Racing team put forth,” said Mears after the 267-lap race. “Our Chevrolet was just too tight at times, but I also had a lot of speed at different points of the race. Tonight was a solid race and it’s what we need to do consistently every week and this is definitely a good start.”
After qualifying in the 31st position on Friday evening, the GEICO Racing team had to change a rear gear prior to the green flag, which forced Mears to start from the tail end of the field in 40th-place on Saturday night. Quickly the veteran driver reported the Chevrolet was “plowing tight;” but despite this ill-handling condition, Mears collected ten positions and broke into the top-30 just 17-laps into the event. After the first caution slowed the pace on lap 23, Mears brought his GEICO machine to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. A solid stop by the pit crew allowed Mears to gain positions and knock on the door of the top-25 by lap 35.
As the field began to separate during a long green flag run, Mears ran in the 23rd position. The caution flag waved on lap 103, allowing the Bakersfield, California native to return to pit road for fresh rubber, fuel, and no adjustments, as the GEICO Chevrolet had found a sweet spot for Mears. Another quick stop from the pit crew allowed Mears to restart from 19th-place on lap 109.
Mears continued to hold a spot inside the top-20 for the next 70 laps, before the tight handling condition returned to the GEICO Chevrolet. While another green flag run was underway, Mears completed his scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 217, getting four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. “The car is much better this run,” reported Mears, who was scored in the 26th-place with 37 laps to go. Over the final stretch, Mears began dicing through the field and passed five competitors to finish in the 21st position when the checkered flag concluded 400-miles of racing.
The Sprint Cup Series now heads to the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway for a date with the high-banked, one-mile concrete oval. Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track on Friday, May 13th for opening practice at 11:00AM ET. Qualifying will follow at 3:45PM ET.
The AAA Drive for Autism 400 will take place on Sunday, May 15th, with FS1 carrying live television coverage beginning at 1PM ET. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio channel 90 will also have the live radio broadcast.
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To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.caseymearsracing.com
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To learn more about Germain Racing, please visit: www.germainracing.com