Mooresville, NC (August 23, 2010) For the second week in a row, Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) will welcome a new face to the No. 33 Nationwide Series car lineup, as Max Papis makes his KHI debut this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, ...
Mooresville, NC (August 23, 2010) For the second week in a row, Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) will welcome a new face to the No. 33 Nationwide Series car lineup, as Max Papis makes his KHI debut this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.
Papis is no stranger to the road course of Montreal, having run all three Nationwide Series races at the track. With three starts in the series at the track, Papis has two starts on the outside pole (2008 and 2007). In 2007, when KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick won the inaugural race, Papis earned his career-best NASCAR finish of third among the top-three series (Cup, Nationwide and Truck).
Having success in many areas of racing, Papis has recorded three wins in the former CART Series and has been one of the top competitors in American sports car racing. He posted an overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002 and 2000, as well as a Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series championship in 2004. As a member of GM's Corvette Racing team, Papis has recorded two wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, as well as two runner-up finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
BEFORE THE RACE WITH DRIVER MAX PAPIS:
Making your first start for KHI at Montreal, can you talk about the opportunity to run for KHI with the success the team has had this year? "I think it is just an honor to be able to be in this situation and come over and see what KHI has, it proves that all the hard work that I have done so far is worth it. The goal we have for me is to go there (Montreal) and do the best that I can. I am very confident that with the equipment that we have here at KHI, that we are going to be out there contending for success. I see a lot of very good chemistry at KHI and I sense a good level of professionalism, but at the same time, they keep things simple, and that is kind of like my personality. I am a very dedicated person to what I do, but at the same time, I am just Max Papis from Como Village in North side of Italy."
This will mark your fourth start at Montreal, with your best finish being third in 2007. What about Montreal and road-course racing is good for you? "I know that people kind of look at me all the time like a road-course racer, but actually, I have many ovals under my belt between Champ car, Indy 500 and everything else. Road courses are kind of how I opened the door to NASCAR for me, testing for Hendrick Motorsports with the COT. And, about Montreal, I went there the first time driving a Champ Car back in 2000 (I think) and when I jumped in a stock car, I had really good success. I was the guy pushing Kevin on the last lap when he actually won this race a couple of years ago, three years ago, and I finished third. I have a couple of starts on the outside pole. I don't really have a preference over one race track or another, but what I really enjoy the most about Montreal, I really enjoy the atmosphere and I think the Canadian fans are very passionate and you can definitely feel that it is a big event when you go there. It is not just a race, it's a huge event and you feel the passion and I think that is what it counts for me. I am a guy who is also passionate for my sport and I really feel that is a unique event where there is this atmosphere where people come out because they really want to see NASCAR. For me, it's just a pride to be able to represent, and I kind of feel like I am a hero of the two worlds in a way. I am Italian, but I came here in America and started with open wheel, but I am a NASCAR driver. I feel that a lot of people really identify with me, different people. Not just from the NASCAR fan, but from the open wheel guys and that's why I feel like Montreal is this kind of mix. NASCAR is still new and they have a lot of history with open wheel cars, so people identify with me for what I have done before, but they have an interest in what I can do with these cars."
CHASSIS HISTORY: This weekend the No. 33 Rheem team will unload chassis No. 060 for Papis. This chassis was brand new when team co-owner Harvick piloted it at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, starting the race from the third position and finishing in the same spot.