BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 24, 2011) – Every driver leaves Bristol Motor Speedway with either a huge smile or upset feelings. When the action picks up at The World’s Fastest Half Mile, it picks up rapidly and Max Papis was on the receiving end of the action on Wednesday night. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicked off the festivities with a rare mid-week race but the GEICO Racing team was prepared to battle. Unfortunately, the concrete bullring didn’t play nice and left Papis with a 26th-place finish.
The misfortune struck early for Papis as the GEICO Toyota Tundra scrapped the outside wall during qualifying on Wednesday afternoon. The Germain Racing crew quickly went to work to repair the minimal damage, however this forced Papis to start from the rear of the field when the green flag flew later that evening.
The O’Reilly 200 began shortly after 8:15 p.m. ET and Papis knew the GEICO team must be patiently aggressive to maneuver their way to the front. Papis quickly gained seven positions to take over 29th-place as the first caution was seen on lap 11. Crew chief Randy Goss took this opportunity to pit for fuel and wedge adjustments as Papis reported the truck as “tight center off.” Returning to green flag conditions on lap 18, the Como, Italy native was scored in the 27th position.
Marred with a very tight handling condition at a track that is difficult to pass on, Papis faced obstacles when moving through traffic. As the second caution slowed the pace on lap 32, Goss brought his driver back down pit road for four tires, fuel, and two rounds up on the track bar. Papis took off from 28th-place on lap 37. By lap 50, Papis broke into the top-25 and less than 10 laps later, the GEICO machine was holding the 18th position.
On lap 63, a fellow competitor got loose underneath Papis, causing a multi-truck accident and bringing out the fourth caution. The GEICO Toyota received a heavy amount of damage but the over-the-wall crew worked hard to keep the No. 9 on the track. Due to the numerous pit stops for repairs, Papis restarted from 30th-place on lap 72.
Papis began to feel a loose handling condition because of the damage. With the GEICO Tundra in the 27th position on lap 114, another multi-truck accident occurred and Papis had nowhere to go. Once again, the pit crew never gave up and repaired the battle scars as much as possible.
Over the final 75 laps, Papis continued to wheel the GEICO machine, although the Italian was only able to move up one position due to the number of laps the team was down to the leaders. When the checkered flag flew, Papis and the team were left with a 26th-place finish.
“We had a rough day but I couldn’t be more proud of my guys on this GEICO Toyota,” said Papis. “They worked so hard all day and never gave up during the race even when we got in those two wrecks. We will keep digging as hard as we can and getting back in the top-10 is coming soon for us.”
Papis now sits in the 17th position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. He is only three points behind 16th-place Miguel Paludo and 11 points behind 15th-place Justin Lofton.
The GEICO team will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Friday night, September 2nd, to kick off Labor Day weekend in the ATL. The green flag waves shortly after 8 p.m. ET and all the action can be seen live on SPEED. MRN Radio and Sirius-XM Satellite Radio will both carry the live radio broadcast.
BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 20, 2011) – After a one-week break, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entered the Irish Hills of Michigan to return to racing action. Max Papis was confident that the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra was going to compete inside the top-10. However, an early accident on only the second lap spoiled the “best truck of the year” and left the Germain Racing team with a 19th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway.
During Saturday morning’s qualifying session, Papis clocked a lap of 41.071 seconds (175.306 mph) in order to solidify the 16th starting position. A few short hours later, the green flag flew to start the VFW 200. Papis quickly drove his way into the top-15 but on lap two, the GEICO Toyota received contact from competitor Cole Whitt, as Whitt’s truck shifted up the track and pushed Papis into the outside wall. This contact created a substantial amount of damage on the left and right side of the blue and red Tundra, forcing Papis to pit under green flag conditions.
On lap nine, the first caution was waved for debris on the two-mile racetrack. Crew chief Randy Goss took this opportunity to bring Papis back to pit road for additional repairs and adjustments. The field restarted on lap 12 with Papis scored in 30th-place.
Despite a left front tire rub, Papis moved into the top-25 on lap 30. The GEICO Toyota was able to continue full speed as the smoke disappeared from the rub. A green flag run ensued until the third caution was displayed on lap 79 for debris. Papis reported to Goss that the Toyota was tight center off but overall okay with all of the damage sustained.
After pitting for four fresh tires and fuel, Papis restarted on lap 83 from the 23rd position. Over the final 18 laps, four cautions slowed the pace, causing Papis to maneuver his way through the spinning trucks. Using his skills behind the wheel, the Como, Italy, native was able to cross the finish line in the 19th position.
“This GEICO Toyota Tundra was one of the best trucks we’ve brought to the track so far this year,” said Papis. “It was such a shame to have contact that early into the race, but Cole (Whitt) just made a rookie mistake. As much as I’m upset, I’m proud of the hard work that went into this truck and I know that we would have finished well if we didn’t have that damage. We will put this race behind us and head to Bristol on Wednesday.”
Despite his top-20 effort, Papis dropped two positions in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. Papis now holds 16th-place and is only one point behind 15th-place Jason White.
Papis and the GEICO Racing team only have a few shorts days in the Mooresville, NC shop before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway for short track racing on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. All of the action from the World’s Fastest Half-Mile can be seen live on SPEED Channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Krista Voda will kick off the coverage with the Set-Up Show at 7:30 p.m. ET. MRN Radio and Sirius-XM Satellite Radio will also have the live radio broadcast.
In effort to promote the upcoming O’Reilly Auto Parts 200, NASCAR & Bristol Motor Speedway hosted Max Papis for schools visits with Woodland Elementary (K-3) and Anderson Elementary (K-6) on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. Read More..
LONG POND, Pa. (August 7, 2011) – When entering a race weekend, the majority of control is placed in the driver and team’s hands. Each crew meticulously prepares the vehicle. Every driver pilots that vehicle to extreme limits without losing control. However, the weather is one aspect that no driver or team has power over. Mother Nature proved to have the deck of cards this weekend at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
The 2nd Annual Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 was scheduled to run on Saturday afternoon. With storm clouds looming, Max Papis and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took to the track early Saturday morning to qualify for the 50-lap race set to begin a few hours later. Papis laid down a solid lap of 56.565 seconds, placing the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra in the 18th position. Unfortunately, due to team personnel missing the Driver-Crew Chief Meeting, Papis was forced to start from the rear of the field.
Shortly after 1 pm (EDT), the green flag flew over the 2.5-mile ‘Tricky Triangle’ and Papis was prepared to battle. With threatening showers close by, the GEICO team knew the field was hoping to reach the 25-lap mark in order to make the race official. The first caution came on lap four for debris on the racetrack. Papis had driven his way up to 20th-place in the first three laps and reported to the team that his GEICO Toyota was a little loose. Crew chief Randy Goss used this opportunity to have Papis visit pit road for fuel and a small adjustment.
Papis restarted from the 23rd position on lap six, but less than one lap later the caution was displayed again for a two-truck spin on the frontstretch. With the size of Pocono Raceway, Goss brought Papis back to pit road to top off with fuel in order to go farther than the leaders. On lap nine, the Como, Italy, native restarted from 23rd-place.
Climbing his way back into the top-20, Papis and the GEICO team were scored in the 16th position as the storm arrived and rain covered the facility. The red flag was displayed on lap 18 and the weather would remain for the balance of the afternoon, forcing NASCAR to postpone the conclusion of the event until Sunday morning.
Bright and early the next day, just after 9 am (EDT), Papis and the Truck Series resumed racing action. Once the track was dry, NASCAR displayed the caution flag and opened pit road. As did all the leaders, Papis brought his GEICO Toyota to the attention of his pit crew for right-side tires and fuel. The race went back to green flag conditions on lap 22 with Papis just outside the top-10, in 13th-place.
Papis quickly reported back to the team that his GEICO Tundra was very tight. Because of the truck not wanting to turn, Papis fell back to the 16th position as the fourth caution came on lap 32 for debris. Goss called his driver back to pit road for tires, fuel, and adjustments. With a little strategy and a great pit stop by the GEICO team, Papis restarted from the seventh position on lap 35.
Shortly after the restart, a multi-truck accident occurred in turn three, which brought out the fifth caution on lap 37. Still detailing a tight truck, Papis took off from eighth-place on lap 40 with his sights set on a top-10 finish. Over the next 10 laps, the No. 9 GEICO Toyota remained inside the top-10 and looked to come home in that position until a caution on lap 50 for an accident on the frontstretch. This caution set the stage for a green-white-checkered finish. With a two-lap shootout, business picked up and Papis crossed the finish line in the 11th position. The entire GEICO team put forth great effort, as the No. 9 Toyota captured its seventh top-15 finish of the 2011 season.
“Even though we didn’t get the top-10 finish, I’m still very proud of the entire Germain Racing team,” said Papis. “Our GEICO Toyota was pretty good and it is nice to have a good week at the track. Our team never gives up so we will keep digging and be ready for Michigan.”
Papis remains in the 14th position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. The Italian sits 18 points behind 12th-place Nelson Piquet Jr.
The Truck Series will take a well-deserved week off, but will return to racing action on Saturday, August 20th at Michigan International Speedway. The Set-Up Show hosted by Krista Voda can be seen live, beginning at 12 Noon (EDT) only on SPEED Channel. The green flag will drop shortly after 12:30 pm (EDT). MRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will carry the live radio broadcast.
CLERMONT, Ind. (July 29, 2011) – Indianapolis: one word that can bring out many emotions from drivers throughout every garage. Ask any competitor which track they want to win at and the top two answers will be Daytona and Indianapolis. While the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series doesn’t compete at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a few miles away sits a legendary short track, Lucas Oil Raceway, that holds just as many memories. Max Papis has competed in the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, but never at the .686-mile speedway. A challenge was awaiting the Como, Italy native.
A one-day show awaited Papis and the GEICO Racing team, as the No. 9 Toyota Tundra practiced, qualified, and raced all on Friday. After two morning practice sessions, Papis qualified his Germain Racing entry in the 29th position, as the truck was fighting a tight handling condition.
The green flag waved shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET with dark skies surrounding the raceway. Before one lap was completed, the first caution was brought out for a multi-truck accident. Papis maneuvered his way through without suffering any damage to the GEICO Toyota. On lap six, the field restarted with Papis scored in the 25th position.
Storm clouds continued to move closer and closer to Lucas Oil Raceway and by lap 41, the rain had started to fall, forcing the second caution to be displayed. Optimistic that the shower would quickly pass, NASCAR kept the trucks on the racetrack. After the rain stopped, Papis came to the attention of his GEICO pit crew for four tires, fuel, and adjustments.
Papis restarted from the 24th position on lap 58. Over the next 20 laps, the Italian was facing handling issues but continued to remain optimistic that the No. 9 Toyota team would rebound in the second half of the race. On lap 81, the third caution was shown for a two-truck wreck in turn four. Crew chief Randy Goss made the decision to keep Papis out during this yellow in order to take over the Lucky Dog position.
Restarting from 25th-place on lap 85, Papis was looking for a quick caution to receive his position back on the lead lap. That break came on lap 91 when the fourth caution was displayed, allowing Papis to receive the Lucky Dog Award. Goss brought Papis to pit road for tires and fuel before returning to racing action.
The unimaginable at a short track happened as the final 107 laps were completed without a caution. By lap 150, Papis had moved into the 24th position and set his sights on another top-20 finish. Over the final 50 laps, he did just that to bring home an 18th-place effort as the checkered flag flew.
Next Saturday, August 6th, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Pocono Raceway. Watch all the action live on SPEED Channel, beginning with the Set-Up Show hosted by Krista Voda at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. MRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will have the official radio broadcast.
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NEWTON, Iowa (July 16, 2011) – As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series began a five-week racing stretch last week at Kentucky Speedway, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team looked to keep the momentum flowing from their 11th-place finish in the Bluegrass State. Read More..
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SPARTA, Ky. (July 7, 2011) – Kentucky is known for the biggest horse race of the year. But when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series comes to town, a different set of horses take the stage – horsepower under the hood that is. With the inaugural Sprint Cup Series event taking place on Saturday night, the Truck Series roared to life on Thursday for hard racing action under the lights. Max Papis was prepared to make his first career start at the 1.5-mile oval in the Bluegrass State.
On Thursday afternoon, Papis completed his qualifying effort, clocking a time of 32.015 seconds (168.671 mph). This lap placed the Como, Italy native in the 22nd position as the green flag flew shortly after 8 p.m. ET. As the 150-lap race began, Papis quickly radioed to his GEICO Racing crew that his No. 9 Toyota was tight on entry and lacked grip on the outside. The first caution of the night slowed the pace on lap seven for a multi-track accident in turn two. Papis restarted from 20th-place on lap 13.
Papis continued to exuberate patience as the second caution came on lap 19 for oil on the track. Crew chief Randy Goss called his driver to the attention of the GEICO pit crew for fuel and a shock adjustment to help the tight handling condition. With the shock adjustment taking an extended amount of time on pit road, Papis restarted from the 24th position on lap 22.
The GEICO Toyota Tundra did not react the intended way, as Papis radioed that the shock adjustment made the truck loose on entrance and tight in the middle, as well as hitting the splitter on the racetrack. Goss encouraged his driver to keep pushing the Gecko as hard as he could and reassured him that changes would be made on the next stop. The third caution came on lap 59 and gave Papis the opportunity to return to pit road for changes. The GEICO pit crew changed four tires, fuel, reversed the previous shock adjustment and made an air pressure change. As the race returned to green flag conditions on lap 64, Papis held the 21st position.
A short nine laps later, the fourth caution was brought out for an accident in turn four. Papis received the Lucky Dog Award, placing the GEICO Toyota back on the lead lap. Having to start at the tail end of the longest line as a result of the award, Papis came in for fuel and a rubber adjustment to help the handling. On lap 76, Papis was scored in 19th-place.
As the race went into a routine, green flag pit stops became necessary for all the leaders. Around lap 120, fellow competitors began to hit pit road for fuel and adjustments. Papis moved into sixth position before coming to the attention of his GEICO pit crew once again on lap 131 for fuel and a track bar adjustment. The sixth caution came on lap 143 after the field had cycled through with Papis holding 15th-place on the restart.
One lap later, a multi-truck accident occurred in turn four setting the stage for a green-white-checkered finish. Papis once again received the Lucky Dog Award and came to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Taking the first attempt at a two-lap finish, Papis took off from the 11th position, which is where the GEICO Toyota Tundra crossed the finish line as the checkered flag flew.
“This race showed the character of my guys on this GEICO team,” said Papis after the race. “We didn’t have a very good Toyota but we never gave up. We kept digging as hard as we could and to come home with an 11th-place finish is good. This team will head back to the shop and figure out why we didn’t run as well as we would have liked and be ready to go next week at Iowa. Overall it was a great night for Germain Racing to have two trucks in the top-five and the GEICO Toyota close behind.”
Papis dropped one position to 12th-place in the NCWTS driver championship point standings. The Italian is only one point behind teammate Todd Bodine who holds the 11th position. Next Saturday, July 16, Papis and the GEICO Racing team head to Iowa Speedway for the 11th race of the 2011 season. Live television coverage can be seen on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with the Set-Up Show. In addition, the radio broadcast can be heard on MRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
To learn more about Max Papis, visit: www.maxpapis.com <http://www.maxpapis.com> .
You can also follow Max Papis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/maxpapis <http://www.twitter.com/maxpapis> .
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, visit: www.geicogarage.com <http://www.geicogarage.com> .