MAX PAPIS GAINS EXPERIENCE IN INDY; FOCUS TURNS TO WATKINS GLEN Indianapolis, IN (July 27, 2009) -- Now that the new week is underway, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team are putting the weekend behind them and moving forward. Experience was ...
MAX PAPIS GAINS EXPERIENCE IN INDY; FOCUS TURNS TO WATKINS GLEN
Indianapolis, IN (July 27, 2009) -- Now that the new week is underway, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team are putting the weekend behind them and moving forward. Experience was surely gained over the weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it did not make the end result any less painful.
Despite sitting ahead of just three 'go or go home cars' at the end of the first practice session on Friday, Papis turned things around in the second practice. At the conclusion of the session, Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry sat third amongst the 'go or go home cars', ahead of eight others.
The rain set in Saturday, which would dramatically change the dynamics of the racetrack and force the GEICO team to head into qualifying blind. Once the rain cleared on Saturday afternoon and qualifying began, the sun and heat would bear down on the 2.5-mile speedway and continue to make the track more treacherous.
Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry were slated to be the final car to make a qualifying attempt on Saturday afternoon. Typically, going out last is a blessing, but with the heat and sun present it was more of a curse.
Consequently, at the end of two laps of qualifying, Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry would find themselves excluded from Sunday's field.
Regardless of the fact that they out-qualified NASCAR stars Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler, NASCAR's Top 35 qualifying rules left Papis and his Germain Racing team the odd men out.
Regardless of the result, Papis and the GEICO team gained valuable experience that will benefit them when they return to the Racing Capital of the World next season.
When a member of the media suggested that team owner Bob Germain probably wished it would have kept raining, the team owner quickly responded with,
"Absolutely not. We're here to compete and do the best we can for GEICO and the guys on this team. If it kept raining then we wouldn't have gotten the experience of going out and qualifying here. Although we missed the race, this was a good day and we will take what we've learned and use it when we return next year."
A dejected Max Papis remained optimistic despite the setback.
"We came out here and did our best. The #13 GEICO Camry was great in practice and we were looking forward to a great qualifying run," Papis said. "Unfortunately, the rain really changed things and it got so hot by the time we went out. It was great experience for me and the team, so it will be of great help next year." He continued, "Watkins Glen is next for the GEICO team and after our great run in Sonoma, we're looking forward to getting there and putting the GEICO Camry up front."
Papis and the GEICO Racing team will take a week off before heading to Watkins Glen, NY, for the August 9th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.