Sears Point: Max Papis race report

PAPIS, NO. 66 TEAM LEARN FROM INFINEON EXPERIENCE SONOMA, Calif. -- Max Papis, in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut, drove the No. 66 Haas Automation Chevrolet to a 35th-place finish at Infineon Raceway Sunday. While it wasn't the finish he and...

PAPIS, NO. 66 TEAM LEARN FROM INFINEON EXPERIENCE

SONOMA, Calif. -- Max Papis, in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut, drove the No. 66 Haas Automation Chevrolet to a 35th-place finish at Infineon Raceway Sunday. While it wasn't the finish he and the Haas Automation team were hoping for, Papis sees the experience gained as a season-long benefit.

"I'm pleased that we learned a lot about the car this weekend," Papis said. "Not only things that will apply when we go to Watkins Glen, but some things that will help Haas CNC Racing at all of the tracks. If we had come home with unanswered questions, then it would have been a failure. But that is not the case," he said.

Papis rolled off the starting grid in the 28th-position after qualifying his Impala SS on time, in what Papis said was one of the most stressful experiences of his career. "It's difficult," Papis said. "You have to be aggressive enough to make the race, but you have to be cautious as well. One small mistake can end your chances."

From the onset of the race, Papis reported that his car was tight through the center of the turns and loose when coming out of the corners. His initial thought was that the car would stabilize as his tires built up pressure. However, despite chassis and air pressure adjustments in the pits, the condition persisted throughout the race.

"We fought hard all week," Papis said. "The team gave everything it had. We just came up short. Matt (crew chief Matt Borland) and I communicated and worked very well together. We just needed more time. We had a long talk on the plane ride home last night and we figured a lot out," he said. "So even though we didn't finish where we wanted it was still a very productive weekend."

-credit: hc

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Max Papis