The 2000 FedEx Championship Series started on a high note with Miller Lite driver Max Papis winning his first CART race in the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead, FL. Since then the season has taken more twists and turns for Papis than a ...
The 2000 FedEx Championship Series started on a high note with Miller Lite driver Max Papis winning his first CART race in the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead, FL. Since then the season has taken more twists and turns for Papis than a roller coaster at an amusement park. Papis has been frustrated by seven DNF's this season after he finished more races and logged more laps and miles than anyone in the series in 1999. At Mid-Ohio Papis finished fourth, his third top-five finish of the season.
In 1999 Papis put together a late season run which saw him post 82 points in the last seven races. Despite the seven DNF's in 2000 Papis is exactly where he was a year ago with 68 points after 13 races.
The race at Elkhart Lake's Road America has moved back to its traditional August date and this year marks the beginning of that final seven-race period for Papis. At Road America in 1999 Papis posted a fifth place result after starting 14th. The race was red flagged at the beginning because or an incident involving six cars, including Papis, in the first turn. When the race was red flagged the Miller Lite team rolled out the back-up car and Papis promptly drove it to a top-five result.
"The rash of DNF's has been frustrating, but last week at Mid-Ohio was important for us to show we can finish a difficult race," said Papis. "This has been a strange year. It seems whatever could go wrong has, where in 1999 we seemed to catch a lot of the breaks. We are entering the portion of the season where we really came together last year and were able to make up some ground on the series leaders. We have never changed our approach even when we had the back-to-back DNF's. I think my crew has responded and worked even harder. We finally got a few things to go our way last week and we finished fourth. I am hoping we can build on that result and start a run like we had last year."