Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a special place to Casey Mears and his family. Aside from being the most celebrated facility in auto racing, the Mears Gang has celebrated significant success at the famed racetrack. Casey's uncle, Rick Mears, has collected four Indianapolis 500 wins, while Casey himself held the track record for nearly ten years after taking the pole there in 2004.
The weekend started off in quick fashion when the younger Mears took the Gecko on a quick tour of the legendary raceway, putting them third on the scoring tower at the close of the opening practice session. Unfortunately, qualifying would betray the aforementioned practice result and Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS would be forced to begin their journey from the 34th position when the race went green amid heavy heat and humidity on Sunday.
Starting from 34th, Mears would have his work cut out for him, especially as long green flag runs would force teams to make multiple green flag pit stops throughout the afternoon. He would battle an ill-handling racecar early in the event, but the Germain Racing crew worked hard to make proper adjustments and, as the race wore on, the handling of the GEICO Chevy improved and Mears found himself more easily pedaling around the 2.5-mile speedway. Picking off positions one-by-one, while the Germain Racing pit crew acted efficiently on pit road, Mears was able to make up ground and by the time the checkered flag closed out a wild day of racing in Indianapolis, he had collected ten spots and hustled to a 24th place finish.
"It was a tough one out there today for sure, but we kept working hard and making adjustments to the GEICO Chevy and were able to make it better," Mears said. "The heat and humidity were formidable foes today, but that's why I train so hard and keep my body in shape and ready to go. It's obviously not the finish we want, but I'm proud of the guys on this Germain team and we will keep our heads down, continue to work hard and now focus on a great weekend at Pocono."
Mears and the Germain Racing team will now make their way to the Pocono Mountains to do battle at the Tricky Triangle, but not before a two-day stop at Watkins Glen International on Tuesday and Wednesday for a test session that will prepare them for the upcoming Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Pocono Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, July 29th, at 11:00 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:15 PM (ET).