RICHMOND, Va. (April 29, 2017) – As the NASCAR Xfinity Series entered Richmond International Raceway, Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team looked to continue building a strong foundation, as Saturday’s 250-lap race would mark only their third race together this season. With Richmond, Virginia sitting less than 100-miles from GEICO’s corporate headquarters, Mears and company aimed to have a solid day. After qualifying in the 21st position, Mears battled back from one lap down, avoided close wrecks and crossed the finish line in ninth-place. This marks the No. 98 team’s first top-10 result of the 2017 season.
After taking off from the 21st starting position, Mears quickly picked up three spots to solidly place the GEICO Military Ford inside the top-20. Due to a combination of Mears needing more “rear grip” in the No. 98 Ford Mustang and the leader setting a blistering pace, the Bakersfield, California native would go one lap down in the opening, caution-free stage. When the yellow flag waved on lap 75 to slow the field at the conclusion of Stage 1, the Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew quickly serviced the GEICO Military machine with four fresh tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments.
Restarting from the 19th position on lap 87, Mears hastily passed his competitor within one lap to not only take over 18th-place but insert himself into the free pass position should another caution be displayed. On lap 115, the timely yellow allowed Mears to receive the Lucky Dog Award and return to the lead lap. With limited sets of tires in the pits, Mears took care of his Goodyear rubber and held his spot in the 18th position at the conclusion of Stage 2.
Over the final 100 laps, the GEICO Military Ford began to come to life as the adjustments made the machine the “best the car has taken off yet.” The over-the-wall crew picked up four positions on pit road, allowing Mears to restart from the 15th position with five laps remaining. A wreck would take place directly in front of Mears the next lap, forcing the caution once again and placing the No. 98 Mustang in the 11th position for overtime. Once the leaders passed the overtime line deeming the race official, another spin would bring the yellow flag. Mears picked up two spots on that final half lap, recording a ninth-place finish.
“The guys worked really hard to make good adjustments to the GEICO Military Ford as the race wore on today,” Mears said after the race. “It paid off and I was able to pass some cars and put us in position to have a solid day. The Biagi-DenBeste pit crew did a nice job of getting me on and off of pit road and we were able to pick up some positions during pit stops. We beat some good cars today and I appreciate the work this team has put in to make sure we’re competitive. It’s great to get a top-10 finish, especially since we’re just down the road from GEICO’s corporate office.”
Mears and the GEICO Military crew will now shift their attention to Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series will stay in North Carolina in two short weeks. The Biagi-DenBeste team will hit the track in Concord, N.C. on Thursday, May 25 for opening practice at 4:00PM Eastern. Qualifying will take place on Saturday, May 27 at 10:05AM Eastern.
The green flag will fly for the Hisense 4K TV 300 on Saturday, May 27 at 1:00 pm ET. FOX Sports 1 will carry the live television broadcast, with the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.
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To learn more about Biagi-DenBeste Racing, please visit: www.biagidenbesteracing.com