Casey Mears is back with Germain Racing for Daytona

After losing his seat in the #13 Germain Racing Chevrolet to Ty Dillon after the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Casey Mears is back with Germain to compete in the 2019 Daytona 500 on Feb. 17 as Dillon's team-mate.

Mears will attempt to qualify as second entry, a #27 Chevrolet, in the first official race of the Cup Series season. Germain Racing is fielding the #27 through a partnership with Premium Motorsports.

“I have considered running a second car in the Daytona 500 for years,” Germain Racing owner Bob Germain said. “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 drove the #13 for Germain Racing from 2010 through 2016, posting a best finish of fourth at Daytona International Speedway during that time. His best-career Daytona 500 finish was a second in 2006 as a Chip Ganassi Racing driver. Mears has one-career Cup Series win, coming in the 2007 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

Mears didn't compete in any of NASCAR's national series in 2018, but he ran a partian NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule for Biagi-DenBeste Racing in 2017. He hasn't competed in the Cup Series since losing the #13 ride to Dillon.

The #27 team doesn't have a charter, so Mears will have to qualify for the Daytona 500, either through front-row qualifying Sunday or one of two Gander RV Duel races Feb. 14.