CHAMPCAR/CART: Papis to Leave Arciero Wells

Papis to Leave Arciero-Wells in 1999 RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., (August 24, 1998) -- The Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team announced today Max Papis asked for and was released from his commitments to the MCI Racing ...

Papis to Leave Arciero-Wells in 1999

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., (August 24, 1998) -- The Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team announced today Max Papis asked for and was released from his commitments to the MCI Racing Team/Arciero-Wells for the 1999 FedEx Championship season. He is pursuing other opportunities and is currently in negotiations which should culminate in an announcement by the end of this week. Scott Pruett, as announced, will drive for the California-based MCI Racing Team/Arciero-Wells on the two-car Toyota team. An additional driver will be announced. "After we lost Jeff Krosnoff in 1996, we had huge shoes to fill," said Cal Wells III, team co-owner of Arciero-Wells. "The team needed a driver who would continue Jeff's passion and commitment to his craft in the same un-compromised fashion Jeff did. We knew we could not replace Jeff but we needed someone who would understand and emulate his mantra, 'Stay Hungry.' Max has given that to us in and out of the car. He has been a true asset in many, many respects to our team and sponsors." "I have a lot of confidence in Toyota and our team to continue to move ahead and run at the front," said Wells. "I am also very proud of our Toyota Atlantic team and our Toyota Off-Road Team; there are exciting times ahead for all of us. We are looking forward, as we move into our new facility to continue to work with MCI, Toyota and all of our sponsors." "Max has been an integral part of Toyota's Champ Car program throughout the past several seasons," said Les Unger, National Motorsports Manager of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. "His commitment and dedication to Arciero-Wells, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Racing Development (TRD USA) has been instrumental in the development of a competitive engine package for the CART FedEx Championship Series. Toyota Motor Sales and MCI look forward to continued success with Max during the remaining five races of 1998, and wish him well in all his future endeavors." Papis, originally of Como, Italy, joined Arciero-Wells mid-season in 1996 and posted his first CART points after only two races under the MCI/Arciero-Wells banner. In 2? seasons and 34 starts in CART competition, Papis and the Aricero-Wells team have earned points in eight events, with a career best finish of eighth at Michigan in 1997 and an eighth place finish at Toronto this year. Papis also held the provisional pole at Detroit during this season. Papis has competed in and has track records and poles in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), where his moniker, "Mad Max" was coined for his late-race charges to the front. He has also competed in F1, Formula 3000 and on the Italian National Karting Team. "Sometimes in life you need to make choices between your heart and brain, said Papis. "In life you have opportunities that do not come by very often. A driver needs to make decisions made by the brain even if it hurts your heart because when you think of the special moments and things in the past you need to explore the future and the opportunities that are ahead of you. You have choices that you need to do in life that are comprehensive of friendship, hunger, emotion and the will to succeed. "I want to thank Cal Wells, Mark Johnson, Frank Arciero and the Arciero-Wells team. Since I started driving in the United States and with this team in 1996, all of my crew, Cal, Mark and MCI have been around me like my family and have taught me many things. It has been like growing up like a kid in a family; we have had good and bad moments, but as a team we have always looked to the best. "The people in Japan and in the United States at Toyota have built and we as a team have fought to develop our program with one goal -- to succeed. I want to thank them for everything they have taught me and the hard work they have done and their continued commitment. "I know I have and will have in Cal, Mark and every single person on my team and at MCI, friends for my life and forever. I wish them a lot of success because they are honest people that believe in one goal, succeeding in your dreams." "Max has been a sponsor's dream as an ambassador for MCI and we are sad to see him leave the Arciero-Wells Team," said Jim Freudenberg, General Manager of MCI Racing. "Over the past three years Max has made a tremendous impression on all of our employees, customers, executives and guests who have met him. We wish him the best for the remainder of the 1998 season and in the future. MCI will continue to sponsor and support the Arciero-Wells/Toyota team next year and we have confidence in Cal Wells in choosing Max's successor."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Jeff Krosnoff