By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
For the first time since 2016, Casey Mears will attempt to run a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Not only that, Germain Racing will enter two cars in a Cup race for the first time since 2011 as the former tenured duo will attempt to make the 61st Daytona 500.
Owner Bob Germain announced Tuesday that Mears, who drove for his team from 2010-16, will drive the No. 27 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This program was built and staffed by Jay Robinson from Premium Motorsports to get the 40-year-old back in the sport after making his last NASCAR start in the Xfinity Series at Homestead in November 2017.
Additionally, Mears will have Pat Tryson as his crew chief as he’ll look to make his 13th Daytona 500 start as the No. 27 team doesn’t have a charter and must race his way in the Gander RV Duels on Valentine’s Day as four cars are expected to go home.
Germain said he has wanted to enter a second car in the 500, but has kept his focus on establishing the No. 13 Chevrolet, driven by Ty Dillon, who’s entering his third season with the team.
“I have considered running a second car in the Daytona 500 for years,” said Germain. “My immediate focus is still on our No. 13 team and the full season that Ty Dillon will run. However, when the chance to field a second car with Casey Mears came together this year with Jay Robinson building the car and providing the at-track crew, I wanted to jump on it.
“The Daytona 500 is a race that our team, sponsors and fans are all passionate about, and I am too. In a race where anything can happen, having a second entry is an exciting opportunity. Casey has been a part of our Germain Racing family for years, and I’m grateful that he’s willing to get behind the wheel for me again in this one race.”
In 12 previous 500 attempts, Mears has finished in the top-10 three times with a runner-up effort in 2006 being his best finish at Daytona. His other top-five result came with Germain, finishing fourth in 2014.
Since his last NASCAR national start, Mears has competed in multiple Speed Energy Stadium SUPER Truck starts, including last month at the Race of Champions in Mexico City, where he filled in for Arie Luyendyk, Jr.