Martinsville Accident Ruins Max Papis’ Career-Best Effort 10-29-11

By Max Papis Racing | October 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm


RIDGEWAY, Va. (October 29, 2011) – After finishing in 10th-place one week ago at Talladega Superspeedway, Max Papis and the No. 9 GEICO Racing team entered Martinsville Speedway with momentum on their side. With only three races remaining in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, the Germain Racing team looked to continue their goal of finishing inside the top-10 in each of the final events. Saturday’s race at the ‘paperclip’ looked to be headed in that direction before an accident on lap 130 quickly ended those hopes.

After rain showers cancelled the majority of Friday’s practice session for the Truck Series, Papis and Crew Chief Randy Goss relied on their set-up package from the spring race. The weather began to cooperate late Saturday morning, allowing Papis to qualify his No. 9 GEICO Toyota. The Italian clocked a solid lap of 20.014 seconds (94.614 mph) to place his machine in the 15th starting position.

As soon as the green flag waved, shortly after 2 p.m. ET, Goss reminded Papis to establish a solid rhythm for the 200-lap race. The Como, Italy, native moved into 13th-place, as the first caution slowed the field on lap 39. Goss elected to bring Papis down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment. With varying strategies up and down pit road, the GEICO machine restarted in the 17th position on lap 43.

By lap 70, Papis had driven his way up to 14th-place and was using patience, as over half the race remained. A caution was displayed on lap 87 for a single-truck accident in turn four. Goss once again called Papis to pit road for right-side tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment as the GEICO Toyota had responded positively to the previous changes.

Papis took off from the 14th position on lap 93 and after another quick caution, the No. 9 Tundra moved into sixth-place on lap 109. Two short laps later, Papis took over the fifth position. Over the next 20 laps, Papis and the GEICO Toyota continued to gain ground on the track and were en route to their career-best finish in NASCAR.

The good fortune quickly took a turn for the worse on lap 132 as Papis received contact from teammate Todd Bodine, while both trucks were running solidly in the top-five. Papis stayed on the racetrack while the majority of the field pitted to restart on lap 138 from 10th-place.

On lap 147, the bad luck continued for Papis as the No. 9 GEICO truck spun in turn three to bring out a yellow flag. Goss brought his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel, and repairs. Over the final 50 laps, Papis worked to salvage a respectable finish, but the damage sustained was too much and the truck crossed the finish line in the 18th position.

“It’s part of Martinsville racing,” said Papis after the race. “It’s just disappointing because I wasn’t expecting to get contact from a teammate. We had a great run going and it was going to be my best run of my career (in NASCAR). My team deserves better and it’s disappointing. There are two races left in the season and the GEICO team will keep trying to get the best finishes we can.”

Papis currently sits in 18th-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. The GEICO Racing driver is 14 points behind Miguel Paludo who holds the 17th position.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action this Friday, November 4th for the running of the WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway. Watch the action live on SPEED Channel at 8 p.m. ET.




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