2014/2015 Season Review/Preview: Casey Mears
Mears has been a household name throughout the history of motor-sports. Originally, the Mears name was made famous by Rick Mears, who is one of only three men to be a four time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Roger Mears, who is a former off-road driver, also drove in the USAC and CART Championship Car Series. However, Casey Mears, the son of Roger, chose the other route- stock cars.
Mears’ lone win of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career came at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the running of the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend in 2007. After the 2008 season he got the boot from Hendrick Motorsports and picked up a ride for one season with Richard Childress Racing. But in the middle of 2010, Mears picked up a ride with Germain Racing, which he had made his home ever since.
After joining Germain Racing, Mears has proved to be a quality driver for an under funded team. The organization is a one-car team that started up at the beginning of the 2009 season with road course ace Max Papis. Prior to making the jump to the Cup Series, Germain Racing competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and won two championships with Todd Bodine.
During his tenure with Germain Racing, Mears has driven for three different manufactures- Toyota, Ford and Chevrolet. In the 2014 season, Germain Racing received the benefits of having an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. This alliance included engines from Earnhardt Childress Racing, as well as data from the teams of Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. This will continue for the 2015 season.
Though being with the team for four seasons, Mears has only acquired four top-10 finishes, three of them coming this past season. His best effort came at Daytona in July with a fourth-place finish, which was the best in the team‘s history. Mears didn’t have more than one top-10 finish in a single season since amassing four with RCR in 2009. And before his top-five finish at Daytona, Mears hadn’t had a top five in nearly six years.
Geico is the primary sponsor for Germain Racing and has sponsored them ever since they raced in the Truck Series with Papis, along with a few other drivers. That will be no different for the 2015 season as it was announced in early August that the insurance company would remain with the team.
“Right now I’m good through 2015,” Mears told The Racing Experts several months ago. “Everyone is just keeping their heads down and trying to improve the program and get better,”
Heading into his 13th full time season at the top level of auto racing, Mears has established himself in a quality ride. Every season, Germain Racing keeps getting better and better. With the aforementioned alliance with RCR, that only helps Germain Racing establish itself as a team that can attract potential investors and possibly expand as an organization.
A lot of this has to do with the performance on track, and though finishing 26th in the final point standings, Mears had speed for most of the season- competing inside of the top-15 at some point in the majority of events.
With the 2015 racing season fast approaching, the off-season has allowed for Germain Racing to go all in while preparing for Daytona. The team’s best shot at winning a race is at either Daytona or Talladega. Mears is also a fairly good road racer, so don’t rule out Sonoma or Watkins Glen as a possible place where that team could have a good run.
2015 could be the season of the underdog with the new rules package. It would be nice to see an established veteran of the sport be the Cinderella story of the year.
Dustin is a 20-year-old, currently studying journalism at Ithaca College. Albino has always wanted to report on NASCAR and beginning at the end of 2014 that is exactly what he did with Speedway Digest. Since that time he has become well-known around the garage area and is looking to attend even more races than he did in 2015.