BUSCH: Papis looks forward to NASCAR debut

Papis makes NASCAR debut Italian open-wheel star Max Papis will make his NASCAR national series debut at Watkins Glen, replacing Tim Sauter in the No. 36 Sport Clips Chevrolet for McGill Motorsports for this race. Papis also is entered in the ...

Papis makes NASCAR debut

Italian open-wheel star Max Papis will make his NASCAR national series debut at Watkins Glen, replacing Tim Sauter in the No. 36 Sport Clips Chevrolet for McGill Motorsports for this race. Papis also is entered in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, the car normally driven by Kenny Wallace in that series.

"Mad Max" will add stock-car racing to his impressive 2006 resume, which also includes racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and at Le Mans. Other road-course specialists joining Papis in the NASCAR Busch Series race this weekend: Scott Pruett (No. 1 Miccosukee Gaming Dodge) is in for Mike Wallace, Boris Said (No. 9 Ingersoll-Rand Dodge), a New York City native who won the Busch Pole at Mexico City and finished second there, Michel Jourdain Jr. (No. 15 Kraft Singles Ford) returns to series competition as does Mexico countryman Adrian Fernandez (No. 57 Lowe's Chevrolet).

Trans Am veteran Brian Simo (No. 34 No Fear Chevrolet) is entered for Frank Cicci while Grand Am driver Butch Leitzinger will drive the No. 79 WMRA/Jasper Dodge. Eduardo Troconis, a native of Mexico City with stock car experience in the Desafio Corona Series, will attempt his series debut in the No. 23 Keith Coleman Racing Chevrolet. Chris Cook (No. 43 visitPA.com Dodge) will put his driving school instructor experience on display at The Glen as well.

No. 36 McGill Motorsports Chevrolet - Max Papis : "I'm excited to get the opportunity to drive in NASCAR," Papis said. "I've been working hard for a long time to make this happen and I thank team owners John and Nancy McGill for giving me the chance.

He continued, "It means a lot to me that Sport Clips, who was my Indy 500 sponsor, has stepped up to support my Busch Series effort. Sport Clips CEO Gordon Logan and I have had a great relationship and I'm looking forward to giving him a great finish."

No.78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing - Max Papis: "I am very thankful for Furniture Row giving me the opportunity to make my first Nextel Cup start," Papis said. "The crew has been great to work with and Joe and I have a great relationship. I'm looking forward to getting in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet and having a strong run."

Papis, 36, said if he makes the race at The Glen, it will complete a nearly perfect year for him.

"I've run the Daytona 24 hours race, the Indy 500, Le Mans, watched Italy win the World Cup and, the most exciting thing, watched my son, Marco, being born," Papis said. "I am truly enjoying life right now and my NASCAR debut just adds to the excitement.

"I'm proud to represent my country, Italy, and to be the first Italian in the modern era to be in NASCAR and I'm going to work as hard as I can to make the most of the opportunity and make my country proud. I hope to have a great weekend at The Glen."

-credit: Kika Garcia-Concheso

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Kenny Wallace , Mike Wallace , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Scott Pruett , Tim Sauter , Chris Cook , Michel Jourdain
Teams Furniture Row Racing