News

September, 2017

MEARS PREVAILS AT THE MONSTER MILE WITH 18TH PLACE FINISH

Dover, DE (September 30, 2017) - With the NASCAR Xfinity Series season beginning to wind down, Casey Mears and the GEICO Military team arrived in Dover looking to score a solid finish. GEICO's corporate office sits less than 100-miles removed from Dover International Speedway, leaving the team excited to put on a good show for the hometown crowd.

The Biagi-DenBeste Racing team was optimistic heading into Saturday's Drive Sober 200 after Mears posted the 14th and 19th fastest times in the weekend's two practice sessions. He would later qualify 18th when he hustled the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang around the high-banked one-mile oval in just 23.577-seconds, at a speed of 152.691-miles per hour.

No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang

Starting 18th, Mears quickly moved the GEICO Military Ford into the top-15 in the opening five laps of the race. High-speed door-to-door racing action at the Monster Mile can often result in bent sheet metal, but Mears kept his car clean, save for a single incident where he received only minor contact as he served as collateral damage from an adjacent two-car crash. Over the course of the 200-lap event, he would deal with varying handling issues, but the Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew took advantage of each pit stop, where they made adjustments and helped him maintain his track position.

When the checkered flag closed out 200-miles of racing, Mears hustled his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford across the finish line in the 18th position and netted a solid result for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

"We had a solid day and the GEICO Military crew did a nice job on pit road of making adjustments and getting me back on the track quickly," Mears said after the race. "It was nice to get out of here with a decent finish and with our racecar intact. I always like racing in Dover because of its close proximity to GEICO's corporate office and the opportunity to meet GEICO associates who are at the track for the race. They're a great partner and I'm honored to wear their name across my chest."

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

You can follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

Almirola Receives Classic Gift from Biagi DenBeste Racing Team Owner

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 20, 2017) - After securing his second victory for the Biagi DenBeste Racing team at Talladega Superspeedway, co-owners Bill and Lori DenBeste asked driver Aric Almirola what his favorite color was. After answering that it was is red, Almirola didn't think anything of it. Little did he know that he would receive a classic Shelby to celebrate his wins. The DenBestes gifted Almirola a 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra CSX 6086, black with a red stripe.

Aric Almirola and son Alex pose in 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra CSX 6086 gifted by Bill and Lori DenBesteAric Almirola and son Alex pose in 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra CSX 6086 gifted by Bill and Lori DenBeste

The DenBestes are owners of the world's largest Cobra dealership, DenBeste Motorsports. With the world's largest inventory of Shelby Cobras, picking out Almirola's car was as easy as going to their shop based in Windsor, Calif. DenBeste Motorsports was derived in 2008 from Bill's love of collecting cars and his close friendship with Carroll Shelby. DenBeste Motorsports' focus is to provide an opportunity to own a piece of automotive history and be the owner of one of the world's most collectible cars.

"Aric has done a great job for us in our No. 98 car, and we are happy to reward that effort in a tangible way with the 1965 Cobra," says Lori DenBeste, President of Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

Almirola has driven 26 NASCAR XFINITY Series races for the Biagi DenBeste Racing team and tallied two wins, Daytona in 2016 and Talladega in 2017.

"The significance of the Shelby in the car world is huge and to have one from the first year they started making them is really special," said Almirola. "What makes it even more special is that it signifies the wins we have together. I've really enjoyed my time racing with the Biagi DenBeste Racing team and look forward to reminiscing on those wins with the wind in my face cruising in my 1965 Shelby."

Richard Petty Motorsports Chicago 300 Race Report

No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime FordChicagoland Speedway

Chicago 300 Race Results:
1: Justin Allgaier
10: Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. came out strong in his first race with the No. 98 Biagi DenBeste Racing team. After qualifying the Nickelodeon Slime Ford 16th, Wallace consistently kept the car in the Top 15 during Stage One. He was 14th as a caution brought out the end of Stage One, and Wallace looked for some changes to help with overall lack of grip and tight handling. Crew Chief Jon Hanson called for four tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments for the team’s first pit stop.

Wallace restarted from the 12th position and kept the No. 98 in the Top 15 for most of Stage Two. Finishing the Stage 15th, Wallace again looked for help with grip. The team pitted for four tires, fuel, and additional adjustments. Wallace had minor damage to the left rear of his car from contact, so Hanson called for the crew to take their time with the stop to fix the damage.

The No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford restarted 17th to start Stage Three, and after running in the Top 20 for 33 laps, Hanson called for an unscheduled Green Flag pit stop to try a different fuel strategy. Wallace came off pit road in the 18th position and quickly made his way up to 14th when a Lap 151 caution saw Wallace in the Lucky Dog position. The team again pit for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments, and restarted 13th on Lap 154. Wallace raced in the Top 15 until another caution came on Lap 181. As the team pit for four tires, one of the tire studs was pushed back into wheel causing a long pit stop. Wallace restarted 14th and was in the seventh position when Ryan Reed spun and made contact with Wallace. The damage was minor, and after the restart, Wallace was able to keep the No. 98 Nickelodeon Ford in the Top 10, finishing 10th.

“I was really happy with our 10th place finish today,” said Wallace. “We ran in the Top 15 for most of the day and were able to finish in the Top 10. Jon made some good calls on pit road to help us out with strategy. It was really fun working with this team and these guys. Overall we had a good weekend and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to run here for this team.”

Wallace Ready to Get Slimed at Chicagoland Speedway

No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Team Looks to get to Victory Lane

Weekend Statistics and Notes

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. is ready to get back on track at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend for his first race with the No. 98 Biagi DenBeste Racing team. An ambassador for Nickelodeon, Wallace will drive the Nickelodeon Slime Ford donning iconic Nickelodeon characters from SpongeBob to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Wallace not only helped design the car that he will be driving but also helped design the NASCAR Monster Energy Series Tales of the Turtles 400  trophy. Wallace will use Turtle Power to his advantage in hopes of celebrating in Victory Lane by getting slimed after Saturday's race.

Wallace has just three XFINITY Series starts at the 1.5-mile track. He found success in those three starts with one Top-Five and one Top-10 finish. His best finish of third came in 2015. Wallace also had two Camping World Truck Series starts and one Top-10 finish.

Weekend Chatter

"I'm really excited to get back to the track this weekend, and I'm excited that I get to do it with Nickelodeon and the 98 Biagi DenBeste team. I've worked with Nickelodeon before, and they always make the weekend fun. I know the 98 team has had success in the XFINITY series, and I'm looking forward to working with them for the first time. The winner of the race is going to get slimed in Victory Lane, and we want to get the Nickelodeon Slime car slimed."

No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime FordPrimary Paint Scheme
No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford

BUBBA WALLACE JOINS NICKELODEON AND THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES FOR THE CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY NASCAR WEEKEND SEPT. 14-17

Tales of the Turtles

Wallace to Drive the No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford in the NASCAR XFINITY Race

NEW YORK (September 7, 2017) - Darrell "Bubba" Wallace will join the lineup for Nickelodeon's upcoming Tales of the Turtles 400 race weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, driving the No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford in the NASCAR XFINITY race for Biagi DenBeste Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM).

Wallace competed in the RPM No. 43 Ford in four Monster Energy Series races this year filling in for the injured Aric Almirola, where he tallied two Top-15 finishes. Wallace found Victory Lane this season in the Camping World Truck Series at Michigan International Speedway in his first Truck Series race since 2014, giving the Alabama native six wins in his Truck Series career. A NASCAR XFINITY Series veteran, Wallace has 84 starts in the series and was on a roll of sixth-place finishes earlier this season in the No. 6 Ford.

"I'm really glad to get back behind the wheel of a race car," said Wallace. "Chicago has always been a decent track for me where I've had some good finishes. I'm excited to get back in the XFINITY Series in a Ford Mustang. With the history with Biagi DenBeste Racing and RPM, we should have some good speed. It's really cool to be pair with Nickelodeon. We've formed a great relationship over the past three years, and we're able to do these one off races to attract the youth to the sport. With such a cool looking car this weekend, I think we'll do just that."

No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford

Nickelodeon is the entitlement sponsor of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 17, dubbed the Tales of the Turtles 400. The track will feature a weekend of action, activities and fun for the entire family with the iconic Heroes in a Half Shell.

The 1.5-mile track will serve as the site of an epic weekend showcase for the new Tales of the Turtles TV season, which is titled Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because it consists of seven separate serialized stories. The featured drivers include:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

  • Matt DiBenedetto will carry the “Samurai” paint scheme on his Go Fas Racing Ford
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt will have “BeBop” and “Rocksteady” on his Circle Sport Chevy

XFINITY Series

  • Bubba Wallace will showcase “Nickelodeon Slime” on his Biagi DenBeste Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
  • Matt Tift will have “Lone Rat and Cub” on his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Camping World Truck Series

  • John Hunter Nemechek will have “Undead Shredder” on his NEMCO Motorsports Chevy
  • Jennifer Jo Cobb will carry “Rebel Road” on her JJC Chevy

During the Tales of the Turtles 400 race weekend, enjoy fun family activities in Champions’ Park. The area will feature appearances from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumed characters, a Spongebob Squarepants display and more.

The creative Tales of the Turtle 400 trophy will be on display throughout the weekend at the track. The winning designers were chosen through the Good Day for Play art competition held this past summer. The attendees and celebrity judges ended in a tie, selecting Chicago street artists Tubsz and Max Sansing to co-design the trophy. Artist E. LEE will have his work featured on a trackside billboard.

Special fan merchandise is available for the Tales of the Turtles 400 event and features fun, bright colors and the race logo. A range of T-shirts and hats will be available for fans of all ages, including youth, toddler and adult sizes, as well as lanyards, magnets, can coolers and even a bib for the youngest “Dudes” and Turtle fans. The fan apparel and novelty items showcasing “Turtle Power” are available at the Fan Zone merchandise area and on the NASCAR.com Superstore.

This Sept. 14-17 marks the second partnership for Chicagoland Speedway and Nickelodeon, who last year partnered to bring fans the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 race which featured art created by renowned artist Hebru Brantley. This is the seventh consecutive year Chicagoland Speedway will kick off the Playoffs for the MONSTER Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Mears

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 38th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).

August, 2017

MEARS AND THE GECKO NOTCH NINTH PLACE FINISH AT ROAD AMERICA

Elkhart Lake, WI (August 27, 2017) - While the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series enjoyed its final off-weekend of the 2017 season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series visited the beautiful Elkhart Lake area of Wisconsin for their final road-course race of the year. Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team were impressive when they hit the track with the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang. While it was Mears' first-ever race at the famed road-course, he quickly made himself at home.

Mears opened up the weekend 16th in the first practice session before picking up speed in final practice, where he finished up as the ninth fastest racecar on the board. Unfortunately, Mother Nature would prevail when qualifying rolled around and Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford would be relegated to a 28th place starting position after weather forced the cancellation of qualifying.

Mears

Despite starting from the 28th position, Mears immediately began charging forward when the green flag signaled the start of the Johnsonville 180 on Sunday. The GEICO driver made quick work of the field, as he hustled around the 4.048-miles that make up the scenic Road America racing circuit. By the conclusion of stage one, Mears had the GEICO Military Ford up to 12th place. After pitting for four tires and fuel during the stage break, he returned to the racing surface, where he continued his trend of passing cars. His efforts were rewarded and when stage two came to a close, the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford was up to the ninth position, marking a 19-position march from Mears' starting position.

On lap 27, just four laps after the final stage of the race got underway, Mears indicated that he received heavy right-side contact from a fellow competitor while running in the seventh position. Undeterred, the Bakersfield, CA native stayed on the gas and just six laps later the GEICO Military Ford posted the fastest lap on the track. As the race wound down, Mears never departed the top-10 and remained focused on securing a solid finish for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

When the checkered flag closed out 182.2-miles of racing, Mears and his No. 98 Ford Mustang crossed the finish line in the ninth position, posting a strong run for the GEICO Military team.

"I had a lot of fun out there today; Road America is a blast," a smiling Mears said after the race. "We needed a solid weekend and I'm glad we were able to make it happen and get a top-10 finish. The GEICO Military Ford was strong today and the Biagi-DenBeste guys did a good job on pit road. We are looking forward to getting to Richmond, which is just down the road from the GEICO corporate office, making it a special race for us."

Mears' next start in the Gecko adorned No. 98 Ford will come when the NASCAR Xfinity Series visits Richmond, VA.

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at Richmond International Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, September 8th, at 8:00 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:15 PM (ET).

The Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Friday, September 8th, and it will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 7:30 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

 

MEARS' RUN IN THE FAST LANE AT THE GLEN DERAILED BY WHEEL AND FUEL ISSUE

Watkins Glen, NY (August 5, 2017) - Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team headed to the Finger Lakes Region of New York this weekend for the NASCAR Xfinity Series' first road course race of the season. Mears has always experienced success at road course events and he eagerly anticipated the opportunity to get on the track at Watkins Glen International.

Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang were 16th in the opening practice session on Friday. On Saturday, the Bakersfield, CA, native wheeled around The Glen in a prompt 72.753-seconds at a speed of 121.232-miles per hour, landing him 17th on Saturday's starting grid.

When the green flag turned the field loose for 82-laps of racing on Saturday, Mears took off from the 17th starting position, but immediately charged forward. He broke into the top-15 by lap two and continued hustling the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford to the front. Mears was up to eighth by lap 24 and feeling optimistic, but it would be just after the mid-way point of the race when things took a challenging turn.

GEICO Military Ford Mustang

On lap 45, Mears reported that the No. 98 GEICO Military car had a loose wheel, sending him scrambling to pit road under green to rectify the issue, surrendering precious track position. After receiving four fresh tires, he returned to the racing surface and quickly gathered up lost real estate. Pitting during green flag conditions meant that Mears would rejoin the race in the 30th position. Despite the setback, the speedy veteran made quick work of the field and found himself back in the top-20, running in the 19th position, on lap 60.

Mears had wheeled the GEICO Military Ford up to 17th with just 10 laps remaining and appeared poised for a top-15 finish after overcoming the loose wheel issue. Unfortunately, just four laps later, a surprised Mears radioed that he was out of gas. This would prove insurmountable, as the race was approaching the closing laps. Mears received a push to pit road where the Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew refueled the GEICO Military Ford and sent him back out for the race's final restart of the day. While he restarted 27th with just three laps to go in the race, Mears managed to hustle the GEICO Military Ford up to 25th in the final two laps and score a top-25 finish.

"That was a tough one to take because the GEICO Military Ford was fast and we really had a top-8 or top-10 car," Mears said after the race. "The Biagi-DenBeste guys gave me a good car and we definitely should've been there at the end, so it's heartbreaking. I'm looking forward to getting on the track at Mid-Ohio next weekend and having some more fun on a road course."

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, August 11th, at 2:00 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at noon (ET).

July, 2017

MEARS AND GEICO MILITARY TEAM MARCH TO TOP-15 FINISH AT KENTUCKY

SPARTA, Ky. (July 8, 2017) - Each and every race weekend, drivers and teams are in control of many variables that will impact their performance, but there is always one element that is out of any person's control - the weather. And Mother Nature decided to roar her ugly head on Friday evening for the second consecutive week, only an hour before the scheduled start of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Due to the magnitude of the severe storms in the Sparta region, NASCAR was forced to postpone the 200-lap event until Saturday afternoon.

Under clear and sunny skies, Casey Mears and his Biagi-DenBeste Racing team were ready for battle on Saturday. Rolling from the 25th position, Mears quickly used his veteran skills to miss a multi-car crash on the initial green flag start. With cars spinning directly in front of the nose of the GEICO Military Ford, Mears dodged the accident and only received minor damage to his grill. After pitting for repairs, the seasoned driver restarted from 33rd-place. Within one lap, Mears gained five spots and in just five laps later, the No. 98 machine held the 24th position.

No. 98 Ford Mustang

When the scheduled competition caution slowed the pace on lap 26, Mears ran in the 22nd position - a gain of 11 spots in as many circuits. The California-native reported his GEICO Military Ford was "way too loose" as Stage 1 was coming to close, but despite this handling condition, Mears ran in 18th-place on lap 45. During the stage break, crew chief Jon Hanson called Mears to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help the loose feeling. Once back under green, Mears continued to run inside the top-15 and by lap 100, the No. 98 Mustang took over the 13th position.

Over the final 100 laps, the GEICO Military Ford continued to be troubled by the loose handling ailment, even though the No. 98 team took every opportunity to make adjustments. "Loose everywhere" was the common chatter on the radio and with 30 laps to go, Mears found himself in 18th-place. In the closing laps, Mears drove the GEICO Military Ford back into the top-15 and crossed the finish line in the 15th position. This is the pairing's third top-15 effort of their limited 2017 Xfinity Series schedule.

"It was nice to get out of there with a top-15 finish today," Mears said. "The Biagi-DenBeste crew worked hard on the car all day and I was able to gradually get to the front. I was fortunate to miss that first crash at the green flag, which was a little scary since it happened right at the start/finish line. We've been able to rack up some top-15 finishes with the GEICO Military team and we will keep making progress as the season moves along."

June, 2017

Fresh From Florida Returns to Home State on No. 98 Ford

Casey Mears Fills in For Injured Aric Almirola with Biagi DenBeste Racing

Weekend Statistics and Notes

The No. 98 Fresh Form Florida Ford team looks to return to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway with Casey Mears behind the wheel. Mears will once again fill in for the injured Aric Almirola in Saturday's XFINITY race after subbing at Pocono Raceway. As defending winners of the Daytona Firecracker 250, Biagi DenBeste Racing and Fresh From Florida are looking to repeat their 2016 victory. Fresh From Florida will return to its home state for the second time this year to promote locally grown produce and seafood.

Mears has experience at the 2.5-mile track with 25 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts. He also has four starts in the XFINITY Series with two of those races resulting in a Top 10. Mears will look to score his first superspeedway win during the July 4th weekend.

No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford Primary Paint Scheme
No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford

About Richard Petty Motorsports

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields one team in competition in the NASCAR premier series with driver Aric Almirola. Almirola will return to the iconic No. 43 Ford with partners Smithfield Foods, STP, United States Air Force and Fresh From Florida. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.

 

No. 98 Ford is Fresh From Florida in Pocono

Casey Mears Fills in For Injured Almirola in XFINITY Race with Biagi DenBeste Racing

Weekend Statistics and Notes

Fresh From Florida knows the way to Victory Lane with Biagi DenBeste Racing. The last time the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services campaign adorned the hood of the No. 98 Ford Mustang, Aric Almirola drove to a win at Talladega Superspeedway. With Almirola injured in a crash at Kansas Speedway, Biagi DenBeste Racing regular Casey Mears will jump behind the wheel of the No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang this weekend at Pocono Raceway and will work to raise awareness and promote the sale of the high quality produce and seafood produced and grown in Florida.

Although this is Mears' first NASCAR XFINITY Series start at the "Tricky Triangle" he also knows how to find Richard Petty Victory Circle at the Pocono Raceway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native scored two ARCA wins in 2003. He also has experience behind the wheel in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He made 28 Monster Energy Series starts where he tallied one Top Five (fourth in 2007), three Top-10 finishes and one Pole award.

Weekend Chatter

"I appreciate Fresh From Florida and Biagi-DenBeste Racing giving me the opportunity to fill-in for Aric while he continues to recover," Mears said. "We've shared the 98 car this year and have had a solid season to this point. I look forward to this chance to have more time with the team as we continue our year together and hope to have him back in the car soon."

May, 2017

MEARS OVERCOMES BACKUP CAR TO FINISH 21ST AT CHARLOTTE

Concord, NC (May 27, 2017) - Whenever Casey Mears enters the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he is quickly reminded of his 2007 Coca-Cola 600 win. He piloted the No. 25 National Guard car to Victory Lane for Hendrick Motorsports on Memorial Day weekend and his relationship with the military continues to run deep. Mears was elated when GEICO announced in February that they would feature the GEICO Military paint scheme on the No. 98 Biagi-DenBeste Racing Ford Mustang. The Charlotte weekend is always special to him and 2017 would elicit those same emotions.

Mears and his GEICO Military team got to work when the NASCAR Xfinity Series took to the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday. A home game of sorts, the teams and drivers are afforded the opportunity to slumber in their own beds during the final week of May.

No. 98 Ford Mustang

Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang appeared to have speed when practice got underway. Unfortunately, the Bakersfield, CA, native would experience a failure in the right front of his racecar that sent him hard into the outside wall. The heavy contact caused significant damage, resulting in the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team bringing out the backup car. The team hustled to get the GEICO Military Ford ready, but Mears was faced with a formidable challenge when he arrived at the speedway for qualifying. Despite the setback in practice, he managed to secure a 25th place starting position in Saturday's Hisense 4K TV 300.

When the NASCAR Xfinity Series took the green flag on Saturday afternoon in front of a passionate crowd, Mears looked to remain patient and gather positions as the day wore on. With 200-laps and 300-miles of scheduled racing, the GEICO Military Ford would be afforded time to make progress. He battled an ill-handling racecar, but the Biagi-DenBeste pit crew made adjustments during pit stops to assist in his effort. Mears broke into the top-20 and as the laps continued to count down, he managed to hold his position. 12 caution flags slowed the field over the course of the afternoon, but Mears managed to keep his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford out of trouble and score a solid 21st place, lead lap finish.

"It was a long day, but we managed to salvage a decent finish in the GEICO Military Ford," Mears said after the race. "We obviously had the problem in practice, forcing us to go to our backup car. I'm proud of the effort that our Biagi-DenBeste guys put in to get the GEICO Military Ford ready for the race today. We fought handling issues all day, but the team made great decisions when it counted. I thought we did the best we could with what we had. Now we have to start focusing on putting together our car in order to be ready for Pocono."

Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team will hit the track at Pocono Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, June 9th, at 1:00 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 9:35 AM (ET).

The Pocono Green 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, June 10th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:00 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

 

Almirola has Momentum and Past Success on His Side at Talladega

GEICO Racing

Weekend Statistics and Notes

Fresh off a ninth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway, Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Fresh From Florida Ford team look to draft on that momentum heading to Talladega Superspeedway. The team finished fourth in the Daytona 500, the last superspeedway race this season, and is optimistic in their chances at the 2.66-mile track this weekend.

Almirola will run double duty this weekend with sponsor Fresh From Florida. Saturday, he will compete in the Biagi DenBeste Racing No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford. He’s finished 10th in the last three XFINITY races he competed in at Talladega, including last spring with the Biagi DenBeste Racing team. He also scored a win in the No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang last summer at Daytona International Speedway. He looks to get in the mix on Saturday and drive to Victory Lane.

Almirola not only has proven success at superspeedways in the XFINITY Series but also the Monster Energy Series as well. He scored his first Monster Energy Series win at Daytona International Speedway in July 2014. He made 14 starts at Talladega Superspeedway and scored two Top-10 finishes. Last fall, he scored his best finish of eighth.

 

Appearances

Almirola will stop by the Monster Energy stage in the Fanzone leading into the GEICO 400.
When: Sunday, May 7, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Talladega Superspeedway Fanzone

 

Weekend Chatter

“Talladega can definitely be a crap shoot. You want to run up front all day, but at the same time, you have to make sure you are at the right place at the right time in order to miss any of the ‘Big Ones’. We had a great day there last fall and a really good finish this year at the Daytona 500. We have a great engine program with Roush Yates Engines, and the guys at the shop have built good superspeedway cars. I’m excited to get out there on Sunday and work to be in position to make a run for the win at the end.

“We’ve got Fresh From Florida on the car for both of the Monster Energy and XFINITY Series races this weekend. It’s always fun to have them on the car. Being Fresh From Florida myself, I love having an abundance of Florida products around the race track.”

April, 2017

CASEY MEARS SCORES NINTH PLACE FINISH IN THE GECKO'S BACKYARD

GEICO Racing

RICHMOND, VA. (April 29, 2017) - As the NASCAR Xfinity Series entered Richmond International Raceway, Casey Mears and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing team looked to continue building a strong foundation, as Saturday's 250-lap race would mark only their third race together this season. With Richmond, Virginia sitting less than 100-miles from GEICO's corporate headquarters, Mears and company aimed to have a solid day. After qualifying in the 21st position, Mears battled back from one lap down, avoided close wrecks and crossed the finish line in ninth-place. This marks the No. 98 team's first top-10 result of the 2017 season.

After taking off from the 21st starting position, Mears quickly picked up three spots to solidly place the GEICO Military Ford inside the top-20. Due to a combination of Mears needing more "rear grip" in the No. 98 Ford Mustang and the leader setting a blistering pace, the Bakersfield, California native would go one lap down in the opening, caution-free stage. When the yellow flag waved on lap 75 to slow the field at the conclusion of Stage 1, the Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew quickly serviced the GEICO Military machine with four fresh tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments.

No. 98 Ford Mustang

Restarting from the 19th position on lap 87, Mears hastily passed his competitor within one lap to not only take over 18th-place but insert himself into the free pass position should another caution be displayed. On lap 115, the timely yellow allowed Mears to receive the Lucky Dog Award and return to the lead lap. With limited sets of tires in the pits, Mears took care of his Goodyear rubber and held his spot in the 18th position at the conclusion of Stage 2.

Over the final 100 laps, the GEICO Military Ford began to come to life as the adjustments made the machine the "best the car has taken off yet." The over-the-wall crew picked up four positions on pit road, allowing Mears to restart from the 15th position with five laps remaining. A wreck would take place directly in front of Mears the next lap, forcing the caution once again and placing the No. 98 Mustang in the 11th position for overtime. Once the leaders passed the overtime line deeming the race official, another spin would bring the yellow flag. Mears picked up two spots on that final half lap, recording a ninth-place finish.

"The guys worked really hard to make good adjustments to the GEICO Military Ford as the race wore on today," Mears said after the race. "It paid off and I was able to pass some cars and put us in position to have a solid day. The Biagi-DenBeste pit crew did a nice job of getting me on and off of pit road and we were able to pick up some positions during pit stops. We beat some good cars today and I appreciate the work this team has put in to make sure we're competitive. It's great to get a top-10 finish, especially since we're just down the road from GEICO's corporate office."

Mears and the GEICO Military crew will now shift their attention to Charlotte Motor Speedway, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series will stay in North Carolina in two short weeks. The Biagi-DenBeste team will hit the track in Concord, N.C. on Thursday, May 25 for opening practice at 4:00PM Eastern. Qualifying will take place on Saturday, May 27 at 10:05AM Eastern.

The green flag will fly for the Hisense 4K TV 300 on Saturday, May 27 at 1:00 pm ET. FOX Sports 1 will carry the live television broadcast, with the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

 

HARD-CHARGING MEARS DERAILED BY MECHANICAL ISSUE AT TEXAS

Fort Worth, TX (April 8, 2017) - When the NASCAR Xfinity Series descended upon Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, fans and drivers alike were interested to see what the newly paved racetrack would bring as cars took to the track. Practice got underway on Friday and while Biagi-DenBeste Racing would struggle early on, Casey Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military team were able to find speed when the race got underway on Saturday.

Mears was 22nd in the weekend's opening practice session before later qualifying 26th for Saturday's My Bariatrics Solutions 300. With full confidence in car and driver, Mears and his Biagi-DenBeste team were seemingly undeterred as the GEICO Military Ford lined up for 200-laps of racing.

When the green flag got things going in the Lone Star state on Saturday afternoon, Mears and his GEICO Military Ford Mustang got off to a quick start after starting 26th. Within the first five laps, the Bakersfield, CA, native had gathered up four spots and picked up another before the first caution flag of the day slowed the field on lap 11. He continued his trek through the field, closely eyeing the top-15 as the first stage of the day came to a close after 45-laps of racing. The GEICO Military Ford was scored in the 19th position and Mears and crew chief Jon Hanson exchanged radio chatter about the newfound speed and how much the car had improved to that point.

Casey Mears

During the break between stages, Mears brought his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford to the attention of the Biagi-DenBeste pit crew, who promptly outfitted him with four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. The car was fast and the team was excited about the day's prospects as the field prepared to return to green. As Mears exited pit road during his journey back out to the racing surface, something snapped and his car was soon spilling oil all over pit road and the racetrack. When Mears got in the gas as he took off, the nuts that hold the gear on the housing stripped, causing a rearend seal issue. He was done for the day. After finding speed in what was certain to be a top-10 car, Mears was relegated to a 38th place finish.

"This is disappointing because I was having a lot of fun out there and the GEICO Military Ford was fast. We were definitely going to be top-10 today," Mears said in the garage. "The Biagi-DenBeste team worked hard this weekend and we were able to find speed for the race today. We were passing a lot of cars and having fun, so standing here right now is heartbreaking. Thanks to Jon Hanson and the guys for their hard work this weekend. We will be ready to get back to work at Richmond."

Mears and the GEICO Military team will now shift focus to the next race on their schedule, which will take place in Richmond, VA.

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at Richmond International Raceway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, April 28th, at 1:00 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 10:05 AM (ET).

The ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, April 29th, and it will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 1:00 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing

March, 2017

MEARS AND GEICO MILITARY TEAM HUSTLE TO 14TH AT FONTANA

Fontana, CA (March 25, 2017) - While the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season got underway at Daytona International Speedway in February, Casey Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Ford Mustang made their debut this weekend in southern California. Just before the start of the season, Mears and GEICO announced a 12-race schedule with Biagi-DenBeste Racing that commenced in Fontana. A native of Bakersfield, CA, Mears had many family members on-hand, including his legendary father Roger Mears, when he took to the track to turn his first laps in his new ride.

When practice got underway on Friday, Mears climbed into the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford looking to build the relationship with his new team. This weekend would be Mears' first opportunity to work with the Biagi-DenBeste Racing organization, but one couldn't tell, as the group showed speed immediately and finished up the first practice session in the 15th position. In qualifying, they continued to be quick and Mears toured the 2-mile oval in just 40.375-seconds, at a speed of 178.328-miles per hour, landing him 19th on Saturday afternoon's starting grid.

MEARS AND GEICO MILITARY TEAM HUSTLE TO 14TH AT FONTANA

When the green flag signaled the start of Saturday's Service King 300, Mears made immediate progress. Starting 19th, the GEICO driver quickly gained five spots and was in the 14th position by the close of lap five. Mears continued his charge by breaking into the top-10 by the tenth lap of the 150-lap event. Throughout the race, the Biagi-DenBeste pit crew worked efficiently, returning the GEICO Military Ford Mustang to the racing surface in prompt fashion after each stop, allowing Mears to remain in a competitive position as the race began to wind down.

When the race's final caution flag waved with only eight laps to go, crew chief Jon Hanson gambled and ordered Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford to pit road for four fresh Goodyears, while a large of group of cars stayed out and opted to take their chances against a track that is especially hard on tires. Mears would be relegated to starting 26th when the race returned to green, but Hanson's gamble paid off. Mears and his GEICO Military machine made an almost effortless assault on the field when they began charging to the front, collecting positions in bulk. By the time the checkered flag closed out a busy day of racing just a few laps later, the Bakersfield native had gathered up 12 spots and crossed the finish line in 14th place.

"We had some fun out there today and the GEICO Military Ford was strong there at the end and we were able to get to the front pretty quick," Mears said after the race. "We have some work to do, but this was our first race together, so we'll be stronger as the season goes on. Jon (Hanson, crew chief) and the crew did a nice job on pit road today and made good adjustments as the race went on. I'm looking forward to getting back in the car at Texas and continuing to build something here."

Mears will drive the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang in at least 11 more NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season. Below is the current 2017 schedule:

  • Texas                4/ 8
  • Richmond          4/29
  • Charlotte           5/27
  • Kentucky           7/7
  • Indianapolis       7/22
  • Watkins-Glen     8/5 (Road Course)
  • Mid-Ohio            8/12 (Road Course)
  • Road America    8/27 (Road Course)
  • Dover                 9/30
  • Phoenix             11/11
  • Homestead        11/18

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, April 7th, at 2:30 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 10:35 AM (ET).

The My Bariatric Solutions 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, April 8th, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:30 PM (ET). The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing.

 

MEARS RETURNS HOME FOR 2017 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES DEBUT

GEICO Military and Biagi-DenBeste Racing Announce 2017 Schedule

Fontana, CA (March 23, 2017) - After announcing in February that he would run 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang for Biagi-DenBeste Racing, the time has come for Casey Mears to hit the track. His first race of the 2017 season is this weekend in Fontana, CA, and the Bakersfield native will make his first laps in his new ride when the first practice session gets underway at 3:30 PM (ET) on Friday.

Mears, a 14-year NASCAR veteran, last competed in the Xfinity Series in 2010. He has one win, 16 top-5 and 32 top-10 finishes in just 93 starts in the series. The GEICO driver also captured four pole awards, while leading 361-laps.

This weekend, Mears takes aim at the 2-mile southern California oval, piloting an entry fielded by the team that first delivered a GEICO car to Victory Lane when, on July 2, 2004, the Biagi-DenBeste group departed Daytona International Speedway with trophy in-hand. The pair looks to continue their success as they again partner, this time with Mears as the wheelman of the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford, which will pay tribute to our nation's military and its service members and families.

"I'm excited to get on-track this weekend and see what the GEICO Military Ford can do. It will be fun getting behind the wheel and driving a racecar that honors our military for all they do for our country," Mears said. "These guys on the Biagi-DenBeste team work really hard and are a great group, so I feel like we'll be successful this year. It's nice that I get to run the first race here in California, where a lot of my family resides. We'll have a big group of people at the track this weekend, so it'll be special and I'll do all I can to get the GEICO Military car up front." He continued, "I want to thank both Biagi-DenBeste Racing and GEICO for this opportunity. I am proud to be associated with a sponsor and team that support our military service members and their families. It says a lot about the character of both organizations."

Mears will drive the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang in at least 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season. Below is the current 2017 schedule:

  • Fontana             3/25
  • Texas                4/ 8
  • Richmond          4/29
  • Charlotte           5/27
  • Kentucky           7/7
  • Indianapolis       7/22
  • Watkins-Glen     8/5 (Road Course)
  • Mid-Ohio            8/12 (Road Course)
  • Road America    8/27 (Road Course)
  • Dover                 9/30
  • Phoenix             11/11
  • Homestead        11/18

Casey Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang will hit the track in Fontana, CA, for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, March 24th, at 3:30 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow on Saturday at 12:30 PM (ET).

The Service King 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race is on Saturday, March 25th, and it will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 4:00 PM (ET). The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast, along with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

 

February, 2017

GEICO AND BIAGI-DENBESTE RACING REUNITE FOR 12-RACE XFINITY SERIES DEAL WITH CASEY MEARS

February 20, 2017 – NASCAR veteran Casey Mears and sponsor GEICO will partner with Biagi-DenBeste Racing for 12 races in the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Mears will pilot the #98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang, which will pay tribute to our nation’s military and its service members.

This partnership reunites a sponsor and team who previously experienced success together in the Xfinity Series from 2002 to 2006, where Biagi-DenBeste Racing handed GEICO their first NASCAR win on July 2, 2004, at the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway. 11 years later, they are back together and looking to achieve similar results with Mears behind the wheel, beginning in Fontana, CA, on March 26th.

A winning Xfinity Series team, Biagi-DenBeste Racing visited Victory Lane during the 2016 season and team owner Fred Biagi aims for continued success with Mears and GEICO in 2017.

“It’s great to have GEICO back on-board after experiencing success together early on,” Biagi said. “GEICO is a first class company that has high standards and cares about its customers. Our philosophies line up well and we look forward to working together to have a successful year with Casey and the GEICO Military Ford.” He continued, “I’ve always had a lot of respect for Casey and his family and it excites me to have him in our racecar. I believe this new partnership will not only help us improve our race program, but also result in elevated awareness and generate the interest of potential sponsors.”

Aside from being the longtime sponsor of Germain Racing’s #13 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entry, GEICO has become synonymous with the sport of auto racing, establishing itself as an entitlement sponsor at Talladega Superspeedway with the GEICO 500, while also blanketing racetracks across the country with the GEICO logo, including campgrounds where fans make their home during each race weekend.

“We are excited to expand our footprint in the NASCAR community with our sponsorship of Casey Mears and Biagi-DenBeste Racing in the Xfinity Series,” said GEICO vice president of marketing, Ted Ward. “We enjoyed our relationship with the team in years past and are happy that Casey will continue to be part of the GEICO family. This program is a nice complement to our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series sponsorship of Germain Racing and will help broaden our presence during race weekends. The military is an important component of our business and we are looking forward to honoring our service members with the #98 GEICO Military Ford.”

Casey Mears carries with him one of the most recognized names in the sport of auto racing. He has experienced success at each of NASCAR’s top two levels, winning races in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In 2006, he became the first full-time NASCAR driver to achieve an overall victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Since making his NASCAR debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 10, 2001, Mears has been employed by NASCAR’s elite, including Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing. He spent the last seven seasons as the driver of the #13 GEICO entry for Germain Racing, where he helped expand a grassroots Monster Energy NASCAR Cup program into a competitive top-25 team that continues to experience success.

“I’m thankful for GEICO’s continued support and I’m happy we were able to get this deal put together with Biagi-DenBeste Racing,” Mears said. “Fred Biagi and Bill and Lori DenBeste are great people and I’ve always respected them and how committed they’ve been to NASCAR and building their team over the years. I’m honored to be able to drive the #98 GEICO Military Ford and pay tribute to our military and their families. GEICO does a terrific job of supporting the military and I appreciate the opportunity to play a small role in honoring our service members.”

#98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang

 

About GEICO

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 15 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 24 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO’s online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by nonaffiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.

About Biagi-DenBeste Racing

Biagi-DenBeste Racing is owned by Fred Biagi and Bill DenBeste, with Lori DenBeste serving as President.

Fred Biagi owns Biagi Bros Transportation with his brother Greg in Napa, CA. Though racing is their passion, their careers have been driven by 18-wheels instead of four. They started in 1978 as a transportation company, but have evolved over the years into a full service transportation, warehousing and logistics company offering expert 3PL services to clients across North America. You can find out more by visiting: www.biagibros.com

Bill and Lori DenBeste established DenBeste Transportation, Inc. in 1988. The company specializes in the transportation of hazardous and non-hazardous (contaminated) soils and is the largest transporter of hazardous and non-hazardous materials in California. The company later evolved into DenBeste Water Solutions (DWS). DWS is an environmental rental company dedicated to providing cost-effective, state of the art turnkey liquid storage solutions and equipment to a wide variety of industries, including environmental, engineering, Oil and Gas.

 

January, 2017

Fresh from Florida sponsoring Almirola at Talladega

Richard Petty Motorsports announced that the "Fresh From Florida" campaign will return for their fourth season with Aric Almirola and RPM. Through the partnership, Almirola, who is Fresh From Florida himself, will drive the #43 Fresh From Florida Ford at Talladega Superspeedway (May 7) and the #98 Fresh From Florida Ford at Daytona International Speedway for both NASCAR XFINITY races, as well as Atlanta Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The partnership will kick off during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, perfectly timed for peak season for strawberries, tomatoes, sweet corn and peppers. The partnership will include media buying and in-car camera purchases by RPM on behalf of the campaign. The "Fresh From Florida" campaign is focusing on retail activations at 40 Florida Walmart locations, which kicks off Tuesday, January 25 and leads into Speedweeks. Each activation will feature the #43 Fresh From Florida Ford, Fresh From Florida brand ambassadors, activities and giveaways of hats, t-shirts and gift cards in an effort to encourage consumers to buy Fresh From Florida products.(Richard Petty Motorsports).

 

The Possibilities are Endless

Entering into a NASCAR Xfinity Series partnership is an effective, high impact marketing strategy.