Player Management International Media Release

Las Vegas, NV (March 11, 2012) – As iron sharpens iron, adversity tests the true character of a man.  Or, as in this case, the character of a race team.  After having odd issues in Daytona and Phoenix derail Top 10 runs, Casey Mears and Germain Racing arrived in Las Vegas looking to reverse their fortune.  Unfortunately, they would be forced to continue learning the lesson of patience after an early race wheel issue all but removed the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion from contention early Sunday afternoon. 
Mears and the #13 GEICO Fusion showed promise in the weekend’s opening practice session on Friday afternoon.  After sitting 30th on the chart, the Bakersfield, CA, native shot straight to 16th during one of his final runs.  Mears’ qualifying setup was loose, which landed him 32nd on Sunday’s starting grid, but the race setup was fast, providing the GEICO team with great hope.
When the green flag was displayed in front of a packed house amidst perfect weather conditions, Mears and the #13 GEICO Fusion promptly improved their position by jumping from 32nd to 28th on the opening lap.  A lap later, he captured 27th.  Lap three served as the day’s greatest frustration when Mears reported a severe vibration to crew chief Bootie Barker.  Although Barker offered him the option of traveling down pit road, Mears chose to ride it out, hoping the vibration would relieve itself.  Unfortunately, lap seven offered him no other option, so he dove down pit road where he received four new tires and, in the process, went two laps down. 
Although Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion were turning laps comparable with the leaders, they would not recover and would instead spend the balance of the afternoon playing an intense game of ‘catch-up’.  While the team’s early race setback was significant, Mears proved resilient and nevertheless salvaged a 27th place finish when the checkered flag ended 267 laps of racing. 
However frustrating the day may have been for Germain Racing, a bright spot that emerged was its pit crew.  Persevering in the midst of challenge, they turned out quick stops that found Mears and the #13 GEICO Fusion netting positions during their yellow flag visits to pit road.  Even the green flag stops held solid and Mears was able to return to the racing surface without falling on the scoring chart. 
“Honestly, there’s just not a lot to say; it’s frustrating for the entire team,” Mears said after the race.  “We’re good.  We have good cars, we have good engines and, most importantly, we have good people.  We have the core ingredients and a great foundation.  Once we get all of this new stuff figured out we’re going to take off.  The GEICO Fusion has a lot of horsepower and the day everything clicks, we’ll be flyin’.” 
A week from now, Mears and the GEICO team find themselves closer to home when they travel to Bristol, TN, for the fourth race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 
Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the ½-mile oval of Bristol Motor Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, March 16th, at 12:00 PM (EDT).  Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (EDT).
The Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, March 18th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 12:30 PM (EDT).  The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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