When it comes to fast single car operations, everyone thinks of Kurt Busch and Furniture Row Racing but there is another single car team out there that is just a couple steps behind the No.78 performance wise. They haven’t been mentioned much because a lot of their great races have been marred by bad luck and accidents not of their own doing. They are Casey Mears and Germain Racing. Casey kicked off the year on a roll finishing 16th or better in four of the first six races. In fact, they were just outside the top-15 in the standings and just a few points short of a provisional chase position. Since then, circumstances outside of their control have dropped them down the leader board but through every crash and misfortune, one thing remained the same and that was the raw speed and pure determination that the team possessed.
This team proved once again at Dover what they can do when bad luck doesn’t hinder their efforts. They qualified 16th beating many of the top organizations and ran top-15 for most of the race. They finished 16th which is very respectable but were trapped a lap down for a good portion of the race stopping them from getting what could have been a 12th or 13th place result.
Throughout the event, I watched Mears pass Clint Bowyer and the defending Sprint Cup Series champ Brad Keselowski with ease as he charged through the field. Two years ago, this team was forced to start and park and they have already built their way up to a solid top-20 organization and with full sponsorship from GEICO Insurance I should add. They haven’t made any imprudent decisions that would dig them a deeper hole; they are actually very meticulous in the way they go about things.
They sit 25th in points due to the bad luck but deserve to be around 18th with how well they’ve run. Five of their past six finishes have been the result of bad luck and I see three races that would have most likely been top-15’s had fate been kinder. There is a fourth race called Talladega where they crashed (as did 30 other people) and who knows where Casey would have ended up if he stayed out of trouble there! If they can get some more good luck on their side like we saw Sunday; I firmly believe we will see them finish top-20 in the point standings, score a couple top-10 results and maybe even steal a victory at a plate race or short track.
If you read through the team’s and Casey’s tweets; you will see that they stay positive through all their travails letting optimism and hope supersede any doubts and concerns they may have. A bunch of bad runs in succession usually kills the morale of a race team but that’s simply not the case with the No.13. They have seen and experienced the lowest of lows in NASCAR and are grateful to even be in the position they are today which in the end, makes them stronger. GEICO has found a diamond in the rough here and I think people are beginning to realize it.
Their perseverance and refuse to lose attitude is why this team has beat the odds and made it in this cut-throat business of auto-racing. You can tell Casey is fired up and determined to keep improving and if the progress continues which I feel it will; I see them in the hunt for a chase berth come 2014. A contingent of people may say that’s a bold and almost ludicrous statement until you actually look at the monumental gains they’ve made in such a short period of time.
Germain Racing is used to the pressure and can handle it with ease which is a virtue not many possess. It’s not just a handful of people on the team either. Everyone from Casey to Bootie Barker and every mechanic that touches the car has the same mind sight and it’s to keep fighting no matter what. They are the next break-out NASCAR team and what they are accomplishing is not unprecedented.
We saw MWR do it, we are watching Furniture Row Racing do it right now and Germain Racing won’t be too far behind. A few years down the road, they’ll be laughing as they reminisce about the days when they were happy to finish 20th as they look on at a shelf full of trophies. They are unwavered by anything bad thrown their way, they refuse to quit, they don’t know the words it can’t be done and because of how bad they want it; their dreams will come to fruition soon and they know it.