By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
After the announcement that Ty Dillon would take over the driving duties of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS for Germain Racing, Casey Mears was left without a ride. As teams announced their line-ups, the options appeared to dwindle for Mears. Just as Speedweeks got under way, Mears was finally able to announce his plans for the 2017 season.
Mears will partner with Biagi-Denbeste Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 12 races where he will pilot the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang. The partnership reunites GEICO with Biagi-Denbeste Racing who earned GEICO their first victory in NASCAR with Mike Wallace behind the wheel.
Team co-owner Fred Biagi was excited to have GEICO back on the car.
“It’s great to have GEICO back on-board after experiencing success together early on. GEICO is a first class company that has high standards and cares about its customers. Our philosophies line up well and we look forward to working together to have a successful year with Casey and the GEICO Military Ford.”
GEICO Vice President of Marketing Ted Ward was excited about expanding GEICO’s exposure in the sport,
“We are excited to expand our footprint in the NASCAR community with our sponsorship of Casey Mears and Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the Xfinity Series. We enjoyed our relationship with the team in years past and are happy that Casey will continue to be part of the GEICO family. This program is a nice complement to our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series sponsorship of Germain Racing and will help broaden our presence during race weekends. The military is an important component of our business and we are looking forward to honoring our service members with the #98 GEICO Military Ford.”
Biagi also expressed the respect he has for Mears,
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for Casey and his family and it excites me to have him in our racecar. I believe this new partnership will not only help us improve our race program, but also result in elevated awareness and generate the interest of potential sponsors.”
Mears has one victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that came in 2006 at Chicagoland Speedway for Chip Ganassi Racing. He also has 16 top fives, 32 Top 10s, and four poles in the Xfinity Series. The last time Mears competed in the series was 2010 at Phoenix International Raceway for Braun Racing.
Biagi-Denbeste Racing has two victories since its inception in 2001. One came with Wallace in 2004, the other with Aric Almirola in the 2016 July Daytona race. The team also has five top fives and 21 Top 10s.
Mears was thankful for the opportunity that Biagi-Denbeste and GEICO have presented him,
“I’m thankful for GEICO’s continued support and I’m happy we were able to get this deal put together with Biagi-DenBeste Racing. Fred Biagi and Bill and Lori DenBeste are great people and I’ve always respected them and how committed they’ve been to NASCAR and building their team over the years. I’m honored to be able to drive the 98 GEICO Military Ford and pay tribute to our military and their families. GEICO does a terrific job of supporting the military and I appreciate the opportunity to play a small role in honoring our service members.”
The first race for Mears will be March 26 at Auto Club Speedway where he and Biagi-Denbeste hope to repeat their past success.