By Max Papis Racing | August 1, 2011 at 8:31 am

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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