Geico announced an extension Thursday of its primary sponsorship with Germain Racing through at least the end of the 2018 Sprint Cup season. The team also announced a concurrent three-year extension for Casey Mears, driver of the No. 13 Chevrolet, through the ’18 season.
Geico has sponsored Gemain Racing for eight seasons, including since the team’s move to the Sprint Cup Series in 2009. The insurance company will redesign its primary paint scheme with the deal. In addition to Germain, Geico also sponsors a Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway and the campground areas at several tracks.
“”NASCAR is a natural fit for us and it has provided access to a brand-loyal fan base that now has a clear line of sight into Geico’s multiple product lines and the many ways that we can service their insurance needs,” Geico vice president of marketing Ted Ward said in a release. “We’ve enjoyed our partnership with Germain Racing and Casey Mears and the character of their organization is in line with our corporate values. We are excited about the extension and look forward to building upon our successful relationship in the sport of NASCAR.”
Said team owner Bob Germain: “I’m thrilled to be able to extend our partnership with Geico thru 2018. We are proud to be associated with a company that supports our sport in so many ways and we feel fortunate to be able to represent them on the track. We’re thankful for Geico’s unwavering support and this extension allows us to keep building upon the foundation we’ve laid and continue to add people and resources in an effort to accelerate the growth and progress of our program. It also allows us to make long-term commitments to our great partners Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing and ECR, along with our driver, Casey Mears; all of which have played an integral role in the development of our Sprint Cup Series program.”
Mears joined the team midway through the 2010 season. The Bakersfield, Calif., native is ranked 22nd in the points standings with two races left this season, putting him on pace to top his previous best finish in the standings (24th in 2013) for the team.
Mears has driven full time in NASCAR’s premier series since 2003.
“This is great news for our Germain Racing team because everyone has worked so hard to build this Geico program and people in the garage are taking notice of what we’re accomplishing,” Mears said.
Kevin Harvick didn’t have a flashy night Sunday in Las Vegas, but it didn’t keep him from retaining the No. 1 spot in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings.
After winning the Bristol night race, Harvick finished in the top 10 in the first two stages in Vegas before placing 10th at race’s end.
Kurt Busch’s win at his home track vaulted him into the top 10 as 12 drivers received votes.
Here is this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings:
1. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 1): In the last eight races he’s won three times and finished outside the top 10 only twice.
2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 5): Placed fourth for his 11th top-five finish in the last 14 races.
3. Alex Bowman (Last week unranked): Finished fifth for his second top five and fifth top-10 finish in the last six races.
4. Denny Hamlin (Last week unranked): Left Vegas with a third-place finish to snap a three-race streak of finishing outside the top 10.
5. Kurt Busch (Last week unranked): Snapped a 46-race winless streak with his victory and advanced to the Round of 8.
6. Kyle Busch (Last week No. 3): Finished sixth after a “dismal” night. He has four consecutive top 10s.
7. Brad Keselowski (Last week No. 5): Finished 13th to give him two finishes outside the top 10 since he won at Richmond.
8. Chase Briscoe (Last week unranked): Opened the Xfinity playoffs with his second consecutive win.
8. Chase Elliott (Last week No. 2): Led 73 laps, but had to settle for a 22nd-place finish in Vegas.
8. Joey Logano (Last week No. 3): Finished 14th for his second straight finish outside the top 10.
Also receiving votes: Erik Jones and Chris Buescher.
Citing “programming changes,” NASCAR announced shifts in the race dates and start times for its visit next month to Kansas Speedway.
The Xfinity, ARCA and Truck Series races have been shifted, while the Cup race remains at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 18.
The biggest move is the Truck Series race shifting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.
Here are the changes.
Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. ET – ARCA Menards Series on FS1 or FS2; network TBD at a later date (previously at 10 p.m. ET)
Saturday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. ET – Truck Series on FOX (previously Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)
Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. ET – Xfinity on NBCSN (previously 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)
Chase Briscoe opened the Xfinity Series playoffs by earning his second consecutive win.
His victory Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives him 57 playoff points and an automatic spot in the Round of 8.
Harrison Burton holds the final transfer spot. He has a two-point advantage over Ross Chastain.
Behind Chastain below the cutline are Michael Annett (-10 points), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20).
Below is the full Xfinity Series playoff standings going into Saturday’s race at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance. Drivers in yellow are in the remaining playoff spots.
Kurt Busch flipped the script on the Cup playoff standings with his win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
He entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings, but is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.
Replacing Busch in the bottom spot of the playoff standings is Austin Dillon. He is 32 points behind Alex Bowman, who holds the final cutoff spot.
Behind Bowman is Kyle Busch (-9 points), Clint Bowyer (-20), Aric Almirola (-27) and Dillon.
“Obviously, the 1 car (Kurt Busch) was not a car that we needed to win a race,” Clint Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. (Kurt Busch) winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out.”
Here is the full playoff standings entering Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).
Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance to the Round of 8. Drivers in yellow hold the remaining available playoff spots.