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Germain Racing Ready To Take On The Lady In Black

Germain Racing Ready To Take On The Lady In Black

by April 1, 2014 0 comments

Darlington, SC – Casey Mears tested at Darlington Raceway Monday and Tuesday preparing for the upcoming Bojangles’ Southern 500.

Testing from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. both days, the Germain Racing team who has been on quite a tear this season unloaded at the track “Too Tough To Tame,” concentrating on team chemistry and track performance unlike in years past when the team came to the track it was all about starting and parking or just surviving the elements.

“I think now that we’re running at a different level, we find ourselves having a lot more conversations internally to on how to take advantage of that, and how to make better decisions,” Casey Mears said. “You know before it was just like ‘how are we gonna get this rear-end housing in so that we can make it to the track next week,’ and now it has turned into refining how we call races, communication during the race.”

This season, Germain Racing made the switch from Ford to Chevrolet with a Richard Childress Racing technical alliance. The team kicked off the season with a solid 10th place finish in the Daytona 500 and two weeks ago, they finished 15th at Auto Club Speedway.

“It has been a really good switch for us,” Mears said. “In all fairness, we didn’t have the level of support that we have now last year. Last year we were just getting car, parts and pieces. This year we actually have a full relationship with RCR. We’re able to view all their data, use their sim program. We’re involved in a lot of the meetings. It’s pretty much a fully integrated program, so it has been great.”

The switch to Chevrolet was a great fit for Casey Mears, because he used to race for Richard Childress Racing, so he’s interacting with a lot of familiar faces, and he understands how the organization operates. Once Mears left Richard Childress Racing at the end of the 2009 season, he wasn’t quite sure where to go and what move to make next in his career. He competed with Key Motorsports in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2011 when he found his new home at Germain Racing where they have been slowly but steadily building the team from a start and park effort to a team that’s set to compete every weekend.

“It has been a long progression to get to this point,” Mears said. “The last four years we went from a really just a start and park program to running a few races to running our first full season last year and then now running our second full season this year, it has just really come a long way.”

Within the last few years, NASCAR’s powerhouses have really stepped up the efforts to sell their products to the smaller teams. Furniture Row Racing who also has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing even contended in last year’s Chase. Could major technical alliances be the future of the sport? Casey Mears certainly believes so.

“It’s really the only way to compete,” Mears said. “Obviously you still have to have somewhat of a substantial budget to be able to purchase that. Quite honestly, the amount of dollars these big teams spend to do that development, to get to where they’ve gotten to, we couldn’t do it overnight. There would be no way to obtain that without quadrupling our budget.

“Obviously we have a good budget. It’s not great, but it allows us to buy our way in a little bit if you will and be able to utilize some of those resources. For sure being a small, single car program, the only way that you could truly go out there and compete is to have some sort of relationship like that.”

Casey Mears currently sits 21st in the points standings, and with the new format for the Chase, there’s a realistic shot the team will make it into NASCAR’s new playoff system if they’re able to get at least one win. Germain Racing is kind of an underdog favorite this season when it comes to superspeedways and road courses. The new technical alliance seems to be really paying off, and it wouldn’t exactly be a long shot to see them in Victory Lane before the season concludes in November. Furniture Row Racing won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 back in 2011. Who knows, maybe Germain Racing will do the same next week when the sun sets on Darlington County.

“Darlington is just a really fun place to drive,” Mears said. “It’s very unique, so when we get data from places like Vegas like we have before. We’ve ran California. To come here where this is such a high speed in turns one and two and a 20 mph discrepancy in three and four, it presents a lot of challenges when you try to make both of those corners work and get them to go fast. So, we felt it was a great opportunity to come here and learn what we needed to figure out with this new rules package and see if we can nail some of that discrepancy.”

Tickets for the upcoming Bojangles’ Southern 500 and VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 are still available at Darlington Raceway. Visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com to purchase your seat to one of NASCAR’s most historic events.

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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