PAPIS ON BOARD: Max Papis teams up with Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) for the second time in his NASCAR career this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet Impala for the Bucyrus 200 at Road America. Papis made his first start with the team at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal last season in the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet. He qualified for the event in the ninth position and finished second.
ROAD COURSE RACING: Road America will be the first of three road course races for the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season. The Elkhart Lake, Wis., track made its debut on the series’ schedule last season. KHI competed in the inaugural event with four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday in the No. 33 Chevrolet. The team started from the 12th position and finished 11th.
“ROOKIE VETERAN” AT ROAD AMERICA: While this Saturday’s event will mark Papis’ first Nationwide Series start at Road America, it will not be his first time to compete at the 14-turn road course. The Italian-born driver competed in the Champ Car Series for eight seasons collecting several podium finishes at Road America.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Paul Menard joined KHI for the third time this season for the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Menard qualified the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet on the pole, his third-career Nationwide Series pole and the team’s second pole award in 15 races, and brought home a solid fourth-place finish. The No. 33 team is fifth in Owner’s Point standings, 41 points from the lead with 19 events remaining in the season.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 33 Menards team has prepared chassis No. 075 for this weekend’s event at Road America. This chassis, new to KHI’s inventory this season, was tested at Virginia International Raceway in May with Papis.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: MAX PAPIS
What are your thoughts going into this weekend at Road America? “I am really looking forward to racing this weekend at Road America. This will be my first NASCAR race there so I will be considered a rookie, but it will not be my first race at the track. I spent a lot of time at Road America and in the Milwaukee and Green Bay area when I raced in the Champ Car Series. It is a great track and the area is beautiful. They have awesome fans. I can’t wait to get there and race.
“I am looking forward to joining the KHI team this weekend. I am going there with one goal: be the first Italian in the modern era to win a NASCAR race. I know in this No. 33 Menards Chevrolet I will have a good chance of winning the race.”
This is the first road course event of the year. Is Road America similar to the other courses on the schedule? “Road America is different than Montreal and Watkins Glen [International]. It is very unique and one of the longest courses that you will run on. It presents a lot of challenges. Road America is one of the most technical and traditional tracks here in America. It has a lot of fast corners. It will be a very technical race.”