It has been two years since Casey Mears took the wheel of the #13 GEICO/Germain Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry and rescued an otherwise struggling upstart team. Mears’ vast experience coupled with team owner Bob Germain’s unwavering commitment culminated in an effort that has made unprecedented progress and now, just 24-months later, finds itself running door-to-door with the elite teams in the nation’s top auto racing series. GEICO, in the midst of their fifth year with the team, is as much a partner as a sponsor and has played an intricate role in the team’s development and is updated weekly on the goings on in the Germain Racing shop.
Aside from their team sponsorship of Mears and his Germain Racing counterparts, GEICO has established itself as one of the strongest supporters of the sport, boasting comedic television commercials featuring Mears, as well as campground sponsorships at individual racetracks and their entitlement sponsorship of the Chicago race, dubbed the “GEICO 400.”
Germain Racing will take the track this weekend as GEICO engages in their second year of the GEICO 400. While crew members will take great pride in seeing their sponsor’s name blanketed across the speedway grounds, they have also been energized by recent news of a sponsorship extension. This week, GEICO announced they have officially extended their sponsorship of Germain Racing and driver Casey Mears through the end of the 2014 season, leaving the Gecko to co-pilot the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion for the next two seasons.
Team owner Bob Germain reflected on a partnership that has spanned the last five years.
“Everyone at Germain Racing is thrilled to have GEICO continue to support our racing program,” Germain said. “We’ve come such a long way since we started together back in 2008. It’s been a great relationship both personally and from a business perspective. We couldn’t ask for a better partner and we value the opportunity to continue to represent GEICO in the sport of NASCAR..”
GEICO is currently in the 12th year of their NASCAR involvement. Vice president of marketing Ted Ward weighed in with his thoughts on their successful partnership with Germain Racing and the sport in general.
”We’ve enjoyed our partnership with Germain Racing and are proud to have a driver of Casey Mears’ caliber driving our racecar each week and representing GEICO. We are very much looking forward to 2013 and 2014 with Bob Germain and his race team,” Ward said. “Our multi-faceted marketing approach to NASCAR, with our team sponsorship, campground sponsorships and race entitlement, has allowed us to engage NASCAR fans on nearly every level, allowing them to see that we have a genuine interest in the sport as well as the fans that so passionately engage it.”
This weekend, fans will have several opportunities to meet Mears and see his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion on display.
On Friday, Mears will be appearing at the Lakeside Campground from 6:15 p.m. (CDT) – 6:45 p.m. (CDT) and then later at the Race Fan Rally in downtown Joliet, IL, from 7:30 p.m. (CDT) – 8:30 PM (CDT).
On Saturday, he will be signing autographs for fans at GEICO’s expansive display area in Champions Park from 10:15 a.m. (CDT) – 10:45 a.m. (CDT), and again on Sunday from 9:15 a.m. (CDT) – 9:35 a.m. (CDT).
Mears and the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion will hit the track at Chicagoland Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, September 14th, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Qualifying will follow on Saturday, September 15th, at 1:40 p.m. (EDT).
The GEICO 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, September 16th, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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