Max Papis Nets 14th Top 20 Finish Of 2011 Season At Loudon 9-24-11

By Max Papis Racing | September 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

MAX PAPIS NETS 14TH TOP-20 FINISH OF 2011 SEASON AT LOUDON

LOUDON, N.H. (September 24, 2011) – As time winds down on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ 2011 season, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team look to finish strong over the final seven races. In a year that started out at Daytona with a finish just outside the top-10, Papis and his Germain Racing crew continue to battle hard to maintain their consistency. During Saturday afternoon’s F.W. Webb 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Italian faced handling issues with his No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra but managed to bring home a 20th-place finish. This was Papis’ 14th top-20 effort of the season.

“The GEICO Toyota was really loose during the first part of the fuel run,” said Papis. “As we got farther in, the handling got better and we were able to make up some ground. But since the race only had a couple of cautions, it was tough to have time to make adjustments. It’s frustrating because I thought we were going to be a little better than that during the race. We will keep fighting though and look to finish this season strong.”

With overcast skies looming, Papis completed his qualifying effort at the 1.058-mile oval on Saturday morning. The Como, Italy native clocked a lap of 29.675 seconds (128.350 mph) to lock in the 13th starting position. A few short hours later at 3 p.m. ET, Papis and his GEICO Racing crew were ready for 175 laps of hard racing. Quickly, Papis reported that his Toyota Tundra was “loose all around” and by lap 35, the Gecko had become “better on entry, but still loose off.” As the field was starting to contemplate green flag pit stops, the first caution was displayed for debris on lap 62.

Papis came to the attention of his pit crew under caution for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to help the handling. The GEICO Racing machine restarted on lap 66 from the 19th position. After a short five laps of racing, the second caution slowed the field as debris was in the turn three racing groove. Papis reported to crew chief Randy Goss that the truck had become worse, so the GEICO team used this opportunity to return to pit road for additional adjustments.

On the lap 74 restart, Papis held the 18th position. In an uncharacteristic fashion, the remaining 100 laps went caution-free forcing teams to play strategy at the end of the race. With one more pit stop necessary for fuel, some leaders took two tires with others taking four. Papis hit pit road around lap 125 for tires, fuel, and a final set of adjustments. With 25 laps remaining, Papis was scored in the 21st position. Over the final laps, the GEICO Toyota moved into the top-20 to cross the finish line in 20th-place.

With only six races left in the 2011 season, Papis currently sits in 16th-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. ‘Mad Max’ is nine points behind Justin Lofton who holds the 15th position. The Truck Series returns to action this Saturday, October 1st for the running of the Kentucky 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Watch the action live on SPEED Channel at 8 p.m. ET.

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