Ok, first I have to put out their my obvious bias. I grew up a Rick Mears fan. And before I set my sights on being a NASCAR journalist, I was a Casey Mears fan. I unapologetically root for one of the nicest people in the garage area.
That being said, I quite a collection of Mears gear. He was in the 41, then 42, 25, 5, 07, 90, 36, 83. back to the 36 and finally the 13. If you think nine car numbers is alot in a nine year Sprint Cup Career, try 12 crew chiefs.
Just about the time Mears gets settled into a car, or starts to get some chemistry with a crew chief, he's bounced out of the car, shuffled on to the next crew chief, left out in the cold.
None of this is new. So why do I bring this up now? Well buried underneath of the headlines of demolition derby at Martinsville and will Jimmie Johnson be able to get his sixth title, is Mears. The #13 has put together back to back top 20 finishes, including a season's best 12th at Martinsville. That finishing number and the 17th at Talladega, not really indicative of just how well that team ran as a part-time, woefully underfunded operation.
"We’ve known all year that we could run this well," said Mears. "And it’s a nice feeling to have two weeks in a row where we have run up front."
As a not so closet Mears fan, I am asking, hoping, that Germain racing will leave this team alone. They have sponsorship for 22 races next season. There migh be pressure to make moves now. And as a Mears fan that has seen it before, I ask Germain to just wait, just have patience. This team could grow into to a team that can compete. If you are looking for an example of how that can work, just look at Regan Smith and the 78 team.
And that seems to be what the #13 team is doing. They have allowed Mears and crew chief Bootie Barker to grow this season and they are starting to reap the rewards at years end. Just don't pull the plug too soon.
I am saying is give Mears a chance.