Casey Mears is returning to the driver’s seat in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and he’s doing it with a familiar team.
Mears will attempt to qualify for the 2019 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in the No. 27 for Germain Racing, the team announced today (Feb. 5).
The car is prepared in collaboration with Premium Motorsports, and Pat Tryson will be its crew chief, while Premium will also provide the rest of its at-track team.
Mears did not compete on the NASCAR national series level in 2018 and last drove in a Cup race in 2016 with Germain. He first drove for the team in 2010 and was the primary driver of its No. 13 before Ty Dillon took over in 2017.
In 2017, he and longtime sponsor Geico teamed with Biagi-DenBeste Racing for 14 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“I have considered running a second car in the Daytona 500 for years,” team owner Bob Germain said in a team release. “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.”
Sponsorship details for Mears’ ride have not yet been released.
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Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.