Daytona II: Max Papis report

MOTHER NATURE KO'S MAX PAPIS AND THE GEICO RACING TEAM Daytona Beach, FL (July 4, 2009) -- Earlier in the season, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team won the battle against the weather when the skies unexpectedly cleared at both Darlington and...

MOTHER NATURE KO'S MAX PAPIS AND THE GEICO RACING TEAM

Daytona Beach, FL (July 4, 2009) -- Earlier in the season, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team won the battle against the weather when the skies unexpectedly cleared at both Darlington and Charlotte prior to qualifying. Unfortunately, that did not happen yesterday, resulting in Papis and the GEICO team missing the Coke Zero 400 due to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying being rained out.

Although he has two Rolex 24 Hour race wins in Daytona, as well as running countless other races there, Papis was attempting to make his first NASCAR start at the historic 2.5-mile tri-oval. Yesterday was an indication of how fickle racing can be. You go to one of your favorite racetracks where you have experienced great success, even winning on two different occasions, but then, almost without warning, that same track sends you home.

Both practices showed Papis having the speed to comfortably make the field. Prior to the start of qualifying, Papis' crew chief and engineer found something with the #13 GEICO Camry that would have easily given Papis an extra two-tenths of a second in speed, which would have significantly boosted him up the charts. However, it was not to be.

The bright side for Papis is that he and the GEICO team were able to complete two practice sessions on Thursday, which will serve them well come their next visit to Daytona International Speedway. Since the GEICO team will not be participating in the Coke Zero 400 this evening, they will instead travel to Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' final restrictor-plate race of the 2009 season on November 1st.

"It's really unfortunate and I'm upset about it because the GEICO car had plenty of speed and then my guys found two-tenths that would have really helped us in qualifying," Papis said. "But it is written and it is not meant to be, so we'll now focus on taking the #13 GEICO Camry to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks. I appreciate all the hard work of these guys on this GEICO team."

Papis and the GEICO Racing team's next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series attempt will come at the end of the July at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

-credit: max.papis.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Max Papis