By Max Papis Racing | November 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 18, 2011) – After nine long months and 24 races, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team entered the racetrack for the final time as the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season concluded at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. Amid a season filled with ups and downs, the determination and will to fight until the very end continued to be imminent throughout the entire event. With weather playing a key role, the Germain Racing team worked hard to get the most of the GEICO Toyota. The heavy rain came with 15 laps remaining, forcing NASCAR to call the race early and placing Papis in the 21st position.

“I want to give a big thanks to everyone on this GEICO Racing team,” said Papis. “All these guys work so hard and do a great job. The season has had its good times and its rough moments, but we always stuck together and finished strong. I’m sad to see the year come to an end but looking forward to what 2012 will bring. Also, would like to thank my teammates for all of their help this season.”

With a one-day show on tap for the Truck Series, Papis took to the 1.5-mile south Florida track Friday morning for practice. Rain forced the teams to work quickly as the session was halted on numerous occasions. The precipitation continued for the majority of the day, leading to the cancellation of qualifying, which would result in the field being set according to practice speeds. Papis started the final race of 2011 from the 24th position.

Quickly the first caution came on lap five for oil on the track, while Papis continued to run inside the top-25. Once the field went back to green flag racing, the Como, Italy native showed a vast amount of patience knowing that the competition caution was coming around lap 20.

When the yellow flag was displayed for the second time, Papis came to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. On lap 24, Papis restarted from 23rd-place. The driver reported to crew chief Randy Goss that the adjustments helped the GEICO Tundra but he was still fighting a tight-handling condition.

The third caution slowed the pace on lap 31 for a two-truck accident in turn four. With less than 10 laps on the fresh tires, Papis stayed on the track. However, a long green-flag run ensued, forcing Papis to deal with the handling conditions. When the field passed halfway, the GEICO machine was scored in the 19th position. Shortly thereafter, the leaders began to make green-flag pit stops. Papis was able to stay out a little longer than the frontrunners, which allowed the No. 9 truck to move into the second position on lap 77.

One lap later, Papis came to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. Once the entire field cycled through, the GEICO Tundra was scored in 23rd-place. The fourth caution came on lap 98 for a single-truck accident in turn two. Goss instructed his driver to take the wave around, placing Papis back on the lead lap. The field restarted on lap 102, with the No. 9 Toyota in the 21st position.

Papis was unable to pass any competitors before the rain started to fall on lap 119. With only 15 laps remaining and no sign of the weather letting up, NASCAR called the race, ending the 2011 Truck Series season. Papis and the GEICO team were left with a 21st-place finish.

Papis finished the season in the 18th position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. The No. 9 GEICO team recorded a total of 10 top-15 and 17 top-20 finishes during the 2011 campaign.




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