Max Papis went to Nazareth last week as the CART points leader with the goal of leaving Pennsylvania with the point lead intact. Thanks to the inclement weather, Papis heads to Long Beach with the FedEx Championship Series points lead. It is a position that the 30-year-old Papis hopes to grow accustomed to. "For me it is a matter of satisfaction that I can carry the title of points leader with me around the paddock," said Papis. "I am proud that my team is recognized as the leaders and the fans have been so supportive. It gives me a good feeling." Papis has posted three consecutive top-five results on street courses including a podium appearance at Australia as the runner-up "We are confident that we can be successful when we run on a road or street course. I grew up racing on road and street courses so to me those feel the most natural of all courses that we race on in CART." In 1999 Papis started fourth and finished ninth at Long Beach. Other than his DNF's at Detroit and Vancouver, Long Beach was the only time last season that Papis failed to finish in the top-five on a street course.

MILLER CREW 2nd IN THE CRAFTSMAN PIT CREW CHALLENGE Even with several personnel changes Max Papis' Miller Lite pit crew remains among the best in CART as they rank second in the 2000 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. Last season the Miller crew finished first in the 19 race qualifying competition by a wide margin and finished second in the shootout finale at Fontana. Papis knows his crew is a key to the success he has experienced. "My crew is instrumental in my on track performance. We were second in the pit crew competition last year but just as our goal is to improve and to win the pit crew title." "Obviously we want to be quick but more importantly we want to be consistent," said rookie Miller Lite crew chief Sean Hanrahan. "We practice pit stops everyday trying to make the job second nature for the crew. The more you practice the more you can react and recover if something goes wrong. We try to be as thoroughly prepared as possible."