Martinsville II: Max Papis race report

PAPIS PERSEVERES IN MARTINSVILLE; PLATE RACING ON 'TALLAWEEN' Martinsville, VA (October 24, 2009) -- After spending the last few weeks on 1.5-mile and 2-mile racetracks, GEICO driver Max Papis visited Martinsville Speedway this weekend. As the...

PAPIS PERSEVERES IN MARTINSVILLE; PLATE RACING ON 'TALLAWEEN'

Martinsville, VA (October 24, 2009) -- After spending the last few weeks on 1.5-mile and 2-mile racetracks, GEICO driver Max Papis visited Martinsville Speedway this weekend. As the season begins to wind down, Papis is beginning to exhibit great development that has been the product of racing weekly since Atlanta on September 6th.

Papis would once again battle the weather this weekend in Martinsville. After squeezing in two practice sessions, he qualified the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra 18th for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

Papis has spent the 2009 season getting accustomed to the beating and banging associated with NASCAR racing, which would benefit him when the race went green on Saturday. His confidence showed, as he made instant progress and found himself in the 4th position by Lap 38.

Just a few laps later, Papis miraculously saved the #9 GEICO Tundra when he found himself in the middle of a three-wide spin. He would then radio to the crew, "My brake pedal is to the floor; I have no brakes." And then it began. Papis would be forced to compete for the remainder of the afternoon with little braking power available.

Lap 116 proved to be typical Martinsville when a fellow competitor caught the #9 GEICO Tundra and sent it into a spin. Papis would quickly re-fire the truck and rejoin the field.

These situations exposed the skill and improvement that Papis has developed since making his NASCAR oval debut in March. Rather than panic, he stayed with it and remained poised. Consequently, 'Mad' Max would record a 21st place finish despite the brake issues and the subsequent spin.

"I'm very frustrated with the brake issue, but I'm proud I was still able to get GEICO a good finish," Papis said. "Martinsville is always tough and there's a lot of banging going on, so I'm proud to have survived it and now I'm looking forward to Talladega next week."

Next weekend, Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team will perform double-duty when they travel to Talladega, Alabama, for NASCAR's final restrictor-plate race of the season. While restrictor plate racing itself is scary enough, the only thing that can make it scarier is doing it on Halloween, which is what the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will do on Saturday.

-credit: maxpapis.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Max Papis