Casey Mears is not exactly a high-profile guy. He has a reputation for being clean-cut, nice, and unassuming. His only win is a fuel mileage race. His sponsor isn’t an energy drink or a big-box store–it’s an insurance company. A fist fight with Marcos Ambrose this year was his most controversial incident since he entered the sport. His team, Germain Racing, is regarded in the same way Mears is. Quiet. Normal. Out of the way. Founded in 2007, Germain Racing has fielded backmarkers for most of its life. Germain’s first top 15 at an oval came in 2011. Its next one came 2 years later, in 2013. But since then, especially this year, the little team that no one knows about has quietly put up some big numbers.
Germain Racing is not in the top echelon of Nascar teams, but Casey Mears and his crew have driven the #13 Geico Chevy to some impressive results this season. Mears currently sits 24th in Nascar points, ahead of some big-name drivers. First, he is one spot ahead of the #78 of Martin Truex Jr. Truex’s team has performed poorly this year, allowing Mears to overtake him in points. Perhaps more surprisingly, Mears is 3 spots ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Last year’s Rookie of the Year is driving top-level Roush cars, but has fallen well behind this year. Mears is also outperforming Danica Patrick, David Ragan (last year’s Talladega winner) and rookie Justin Allgaier, whom many thought had an outside shot at being this year’s top rookie. Clearly, Germain Racing has stepped it up compared to their competitors.
But Mears is not doing well simply because of poorly-performing competitors. He’s been reeling off strong finishes as well. A quick glance at his stats is unimpressive–Mears only has two top 10 finishes on the year. However, the Germain Racing team has been very consistent in finishing 11-20th. The team has 12 top-20’s and 8 top 15’s, including a 4th place finish in the Pepsi 400. The team also has no DNF’s, a feat among full-time competitors shared only by Jeff Gordon. Germain Racing, despite its limited recognition, has been the most successful single-car team this year. The organization has quietly improved year after year since entering the sport, and under Casey, looks to have its best season so far. Germain and Casey are quietly proving that a single-car team can succeed in Nascar.