Casey Mears has not run a Monster Energy Cup Series race since 2016 when he finished eighteenth at the season finale with Germain Racing. Three years later, he is back in a Cup car. On Tuesday, Germain announced he would drive a second car, the #27 Chevrolet Camaro, in a partnership with Jay Robinson at the 2019 Daytona 500.
“I have considered running a second car in the Daytona 500 for years,” team owner Bob Germain stated in a 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.”
Mears last competed in NASCAR in 2017, running a part-time Xfinity Series schedule with Biagi-DenBeste Racing; in fourteen races that year, he recorded two top tens (ninth at Richmond Raceway and Road America). He spent the 2018 season as an analyst for Fox Sports and raced sporadically in the Stadium Super Trucks.
A former Hendrick Motorsports driver and 2007 Coca-Cola 600 winner, Mears joined Germain in 2010. During his stint in Germain’s #13, he recorded four top tens, a best finish of fourth at the 2014 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, and a highest championship finish of twenty-third in 2015.
The 2006 Daytona 500 runner-up has 12 Daytona 500 starts throughout his career. In five runnings with Germain, he has two top tens (tenth and sixth in 20154 and 2015, respectively). Pat Tryson will serve as Mears’ crew chief; he worked with Robinson’s Premium Motorsports operation in 2018.
The #27 last appeared in a Cup race in 2017, driven by Richard Childress Racing‘s Paul Menard. When Menard moved to Wood Brothers Racing in 2018, the team was shuttered.