MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Max Papis Racing is proud to announce its presence in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, fielding the No. 99 racecar for the 2014 season. Team Principal and Italian native Max Papis, who has the most NASCAR starts for a European driver, and his wife/car owner, Tatiana Fittipaldi Papis, have a personal connection with the NASCAR family.

"Being a NASCAR team owner is a very important step in my professional career," said Papis. "I am excited to create a working platform that will act as a bridge between racing in the United States and Europe, creating opportunities for drivers and technicians to experience the best of the two worlds combined."

Max Papis, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Max Papis, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Getty Images

Kevin Gilardoni will drive the No. 99 racecar in the Elite division. The 21-year old Italian driver has competed in the Eurocup Megane Trophy and Formula Renault 2.0 series, showing great talent and potential with multiple wins, pole positions, and podium finishes in the past three seasons.

"I am looking forward to having a young and upcoming talent like Kevin Gilardoni in the Elite Series," said Papis. "He is a self-motivated young man and we will work efficiently to give him all of the tools he needs to prove his ability to be a front runner in NWES and in selected Late Model races in the USA, guiding him in his dream of becoming a NASCAR driver. We are currently finalizing our driver for the Open Division and hope to have further details available by the end of January."

"It is a great pleasure for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Organization to welcome Max Papis and the Max Papis Racing team. From his achievements, Max is clearly a racing legend but also the only European driver who succeed in having a racing career in NASCAR," said Team FJ General Manager, Jerome Galpin.

"From its beginning in 2009, the series improved a lot and especially in building this strong link with the USA and NASCAR. The involvement of Max Papis and his U.S. based team, with its perfect knowledge of the U.S. NASCAR way of racing, is the best proof of the strength of this link and of the international dimension of our series. Benvenuti al Max Papis Racing!"

"It is great to see a successful global racer like Max Papis become an owner in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series," said Joe Balash, NASCAR's International Competition Liaison. "Max understands what it takes to reach the highest levels of NASCAR racing and is perfectly positioned to share that knowledge by having a team compete in the series. His international racing experience will benefit everyone."

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will begin its third season under the NASCAR banner with the season opener April 12-13 at Valencia in Spain. The six race-weekend schedule also includes stops at England's Brands Hatch, Germany's Nürburgring and the championship weekend at France's famed LeMans. In addition, the series competes on the first purpose-built oval for stock cars in Europe, Tours Speedway in France.

Max Papis Racing