MAX PAPIS READY FOR DAYTONA 500 AFTER IMPRESSIVE ROLEX RUN
Mooresville, NC (February 4, 2010) -- A year ago, many critics questioned whether or not 2004 Grand-Am Series champion Max Papis would be able to make it in NASCAR. Those critics are now supporters, as Papis prepares to begin his second season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition in the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry for Germain Racing.
Last weekend, Papis spent his days and nights behind the wheel of the #01 Grand-Am Series entry for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He pushed the car to the lead before surrendering it after a double-stint on Saturday night. He would then climb back in the car early Sunday morning, driving an unprecedented four stints. After pacing the Daytona road course for an astonishing three hours and fifty minutes, he turned the car over to teammate Scott Pruett. The Ganassi team would ultimately record a second place finish in the Rolex 24, which is regarded as one of the top races in the world.
Papis opened his racing season in great fashion and one would assume that it would translate into success at Daytona this week when he returns for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying. In addition to his duties in the #13 GEICO Camry, Papis will also pilot the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 12th.
"I'm excited to get to Daytona this week and keep working on what we started building last year in the GEICO car," Papis said. "We did a good job last year of making races and getting some top finishes, so I'm hopeful that both myself and the Germain Racing team will make continued progress in getting the #13 GEICO Camry to the front of the field. The Daytona 500 is one of the biggest races in the world and I am so happy to have an opportunity to be a part of it all."
Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry will hit the track at Daytona International Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, February 5th, at 2:10 PM (ET). Pole qualifying will be held on Saturday, February 6th, at 1:05 PM (ET).
Pole qualifying will be followed by the Gatorade Duel at Daytona on Thursday, February 11th. The Gatorade Duel consists of two races, each of which consists of 60 laps/150-miles and affords teams the opportunity to race their way into the Daytona 500 if they were not able to qualify on time.
The Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, February 14th.