Casey Mears | No. 13 GEICO Toyota | Germain Racing
His first season without a stable ride was a rough one for Mears. He finished the year with 21 starts, compiling a 29.5 average finish and failing to record a single top-10 finish. The good news for Mears is that his tumultuous season ended on a high note as he landed a job driving the No. 13 GEICO Racing machine, and he is expected to do the same in 2011.
Although the plan is for Mears to race full time, those plans can always change when dealing with a single-car operation that is tight on cash. If he does run the entire season, he should be a top-30 driver in 2011. Mears finished 26th or better in seven of his last 11 starts in the No. 13. His biggest obstacle will be qualifying for the first five races of the season because the No. 13 is not guaranteed a starting spot.
Prior to the 2010 season, Mears had logged six straight seasons with an average finish between 22.1 and 18.6. However, he was driving some of the top equipment in NASCAR at the time, and those numbers were well below expectations. Ironically, he will be exceeding expectations if he approaches those numbers this year. The bottom line is that any driver with a full-time ride is worth having on your roster, and Mears may even throw in a top-20 finish or two throughout the year.
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