Max Papis Outlasts Weather and Cautions to Finish 11th at Pocono

By Max Papis Racing | August 9, 2011 at 9:22 am

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.




Max Papis driving the #9 Toyota Camry of Joe Gibbs Racing atSee other Videos >>