Tough Break Leaves Max Papis With A 28th Place Finish At Kentucky 10-1-11

By Max Papis Racing | October 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

TOUGH BREAK LEAVES MAX PAPIS WITH A 28TH-PLACE FINISH AT KENTUCKY

SPARTA, Ky. (October 1, 2011) – Max Papis and the GEICO Toyota team carried an optimistic outlook into Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. Looking to shake the bad luck that has plagued the Germain Racing crew recently, Papis set realistic goals to achieve during the Kentucky 225. Unfortunately, just a short 50 laps into the event, the Italian driver was caught up in an accident, ending the night early for the No. 9 team.

“It’s a real big disappointment,” said Papis. “This GEICO team does not give up though and we will regroup in this off-week to head to Las Vegas stronger than ever. We only have a few races left in the Truck Series season and I really want to get back up front with this team. Hopefully the bad luck will turn around soon.”

After two successful practice sessions on Friday night, Papis took to the track Saturday afternoon for his qualifying attempt. The GEICO Toyota clocked a solid lap to place Papis in the 22nd starting position. Shortly after 8 p.m. ET under chilly conditions, the green flag waved to start the 150-lap race.

Papis gained five positions and moved into 17th-place by lap five, when the first caution slowed the pace of the field for an accident in turn two. The Como, Italy native reported to crew chief Randy Goss that the GEICO Tundra was “hitting the splitter in turn one and a little loose in turn three.” After a lengthy caution for clean up, Papis restarted from the 16th position on lap 13.

The second yellow flag came on lap 22 for a single-truck wreck in turn three. Papis’ Toyota had developed a tight handling condition entering the corner. Goss called his driver to the attention of the GEICO team for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. With varying strategies up and down pit road, Papis took off from 20th-place on lap 26.

While the adjustments helped Papis, the GEICO Toyota began to hit the splitter on the entrance into turn one and turn three, hindering the driver from gaining positions. When the third caution was displayed on lap 42 for a single-truck spin in turn two, Papis returned to pit road for fuel and adjustments only. The different strategies continued as most of the leaders took tires, which placed Papis in the 12th position on the lap 47 restart.

Bad luck struck on lap 50 as the two trucks of Parker Kligerman and Miguel Paludo spun in front of the No. 9 Toyota. Papis tried to drive between the two trucks to clear the accident, but Kligerman’s truck came down the racetrack and clipped the right side of the GEICO machine. The result was significant damage, forcing the #9 GEICO Tundra to head to the garage for repairs. After fixing the truck, Papis completed one lap to gain a position before returning to the hauler. At the conclusion of the 225-mile event, Papis was left with a 28th-place finish.

With the unfortunate early ending, Papis now sits in the 18th position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. He rests just two points behind 17th-place Jason White.

The GEICO team will take a one-week break before returning to racing action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 15th. Watch all the action live on SPEED Channel beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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