After weather wreaked havoc on Casey Mears and his fellow racers a week ago, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was happy to arrive in Loudon, New Hampshire, for the Sylvania 300. Mears and his GEICO team were looking to rebound from a 30th place finish in Chicago where a five-hour rain delay and subsequent cold weather caused an angry racecar to battle Mears for most of the night.
Friday in New Hampshire proved challenging for Mears and the Germain Racing crew when they ended up 31st in practice and later qualified 34th. Saturday, however, took a turn for the better when Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion looked much quicker in practice and left the team hopeful for Sunday’s 300-lap race.
Rain once again threatened this weekend, but did not prevail. Track dryers had the racing surface clear in time for the race to get underway with an on-time start. Mears would roll off 34th, but appeared confident in his bid to move forward. While he experienced handling issues early on, the lap 30 caution allowed him to bring his #13 GEICO Ford to the attention of his pit crew for tires, fuel and much needed adjustments. He recovered quickly and by lap 48 eyed the top 25, as he sat solidly in 26th place. Mears continued making progress and was in 21st position on lap 59.
On several occasions, the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion was the fastest car on the track and Mears would regularly produce lap times consistent with the leaders. The Germain pit crew was also impressive, twice gaining positions during pit stops.
After 317.4-miles of racing concluded, Mears and his GEICO team rebounded well and recorded a 25th place finish, moving up nine positions from where they departed the starting grid. Mears’ finish is Germain Racing’s 17th top 25 result of the 2013 season.
“The weekend started off rough, but I’m pleased with how well our GEICO team did during pit stops today, making changes to the car, getting me out quickly; it helped get everything turned around,” Mears said. “It was nice to come here and get a decent finish after a tough race last week. We’re looking forward to getting to Dover because it’s so close to GEICO’s corporate office and we always have associates come down for the race.”
The Germain Racing team will now play in the Gecko’s backyard when they travel to Dover, Delaware for next week’s race.
Casey Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Dover International Speedway for the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday, September 27th, at 11:00 AM (EDT). Qualifying will follow at 3:10 PM (EDT).