Mears, Germain Racing score solid 12th place
Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Casey Mears turns laps at Pocono Raceway.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 team finished 12th in Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway, the team’s best showing since a fourth place run at Daytona in July.
Mears ran as high as fifth Sunday, scoring his 12th lead lap finish of 2014 in 21 starts.
“We’ve had a rough couple weeks; this weekend we had a fairly clean weekend,” Mears said post-race. “We improved on our qualifying run from the last time we were here, and all day had a pretty strong car.”
The performance is also the best for the No. 13 team outside the restrictor plate races. The top-12 effort also moved Mears up two spots to 24th in the point standings.
“It shows we have some of the resources and parts to be able to go and run as well as we did,” Mears said. “I think it’s a good confidence builder for the team too.”
With five races remaining before the Chase begins, Mears sits 103 points behind 13th place in points Greg Biffle, who holds the final Chase spot.
Although the single-car operation sits over two full races behind making the playoffs on points alone, a win in one of the next five races would all but guarantee the No. 13 team a spot in the Chase.
And because of his experience on road courses, Mears said he and his team’s best possibility to win a race before Richmond in September would be next Sunday’s race.
“The best chance is Watkins Glen this weekend,” Mears said of the best chance at winning over the next handful of races. “We’ve been really strong on the road courses.
“It’s a really good opportunity between being fast and playing the strategy, there’s a lot of different ways you can win a road course [race].”