Germain Racing had Dover circled on their calendar after being collected in an 18-car crash with just 46-laps to go in the race during their visit to the Monster Mile in May. Casey Mears longed for his return to the high-banked racetrack in hopes of seeking redemption after he departed the facility heartbroken in the spring.
Much as they did during the May visit, the GEICO team battled Mother Nature this weekend and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying would again be canceled as rain enveloped the Dover area on Friday. The field was set according to owner points and Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS would start 29th in Sunday's race.
When the green flag got the Citizen Soldier 400 underway on Sunday, Mears and the GEICO Chevy quickly gathered up positions and made forward progress. Unfortunately, Mears would begin battling an ill-handling racecar on just lap-10. While the car proved to be a handful, the Bakersfield, CA, native continued to hustle his way around the high-speed one-mile oval, clocking lap times consistent with the front of the field.
His emotions from May would not differ much after today's race, where only six cars finished on the lead lap and a challenging 200-lap green flag run left Mears struggling as he attempted to wheel an irritable racecar for most of the afternoon. The Germain Racing team battled hard and, despite the circumstances, would score a 26th place finish and depart the state of Delaware with the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS intact.
"We had a tough day and the GEICO Chevy was a handful," Mears said. "Qualifying being rained out on Friday really set us back because it's hard to start 29th at this place and get to the front, and the long green flag run certainly didn't help us either." He continued, "We're looking forward to Charlotte next week. Everyone gets to stay at home, which will allow the guys to relax and we will show up on Thursday feeling refreshed."
Germain Racing will enjoy next weekend at home when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action at Charlotte Motor Speedway.