THE ODD COUPLE IN ATLANTA: PAPIS & BODINE AT IT AGAIN Hampton, GA (March 6, 2009) -- This weekend, 'Mad' Max and The Onion will travel to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. While 'Mad Max and The Onion'...
THE ODD COUPLE IN ATLANTA: PAPIS & BODINE AT IT AGAIN
Hampton, GA (March 6, 2009) -- This weekend, 'Mad' Max and The Onion will travel to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. While 'Mad Max and The Onion' seems better suited as a cartoon title, they are actually the nicknames of two of racing's best.
Todd Bodine and Max Papis will arrive in Atlanta this weekend hoping to continue their success in NASCAR's Truck Series. Bodine, riding a streak of Top 2 finishes since November, hopes to put another win under his belt, while his counterpart, Papis, is looking to continue his learning experience and improve upon his Top 10 finish in Fontana. While they appear to be NASCAR's odd couple, what they have in common is their passion and enthusiasm for racing.
They also have GEICO.
While Papis is climbing in the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra for the second race of an originally scheduled six races, GEICO announced this morning that they will be adding Martinsville to the schedule. This will bring their Truck Series program with Max Papis to seven races, and allow him to hit the track a week before attempting his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Texas on April 5th.
"Our GEICO program is off to a great start this year and it has really helped me being on the track and getting the experience I need," Papis said. "I'm thankful for the support of GEICO and glad to hear that we'll be running Martinsville on March 28th. It'll be good to get back on the track before going to Texas for the Cup race. The Germain Racing organization has done a good job and I can't tell you how much I appreciate these crew guys." He continued, "I'm looking forward to getting to Atlanta this weekend and gaining more experience in the #9 GEICO Tundra. Atlanta is a fast track and I love to go fast!"
GEICO will also lend a hand to Todd Bodine again this weekend in Atlanta, just as they did in Fontana on February 21st when Bodine finished second in the San Bernardino County 200. GEICO will appear on the rear quarter panels of Bodine's #30 Germain Racing Toyota Tundra.
While Papis's schedule continues to increase, Bodine's is headed the other direction. Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, is sponsorless and unless a sponsor is found, Atlanta could be his final race. Discouraging news for a driver who sits in second place in the point standings and just five points removed from the leader Kyle Busch. Quite frankly, it is just unfair.
Bodine has been of great support to Papis in his foray into NASCAR, as well as being widely respected by his racing peers. At dinner in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Bodine sat at a dinner table that included racing sensations Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani and teammate Max Papis. Later that evening, friends would surprise Bodine with a birthday gift of Ferragamo dress shoes, which, more than likely, will make him the first Truck Series driver to stroll through the garage in the famous loafers.
While Italian fashion may be making its way into Bodine's wardrobe, the 2009 Daytona winner has returned the favor by being a constant supporter and sounding board for Papis. Even in Las Vegas, when Bodine was running his own Sprint Cup Series car, he spent the bulk of his time in Papis's hauler showing support. Bodine, along with what seemed to be the entire sport, was overjoyed when 'Mad' Max qualified for his first Cup race of 2009.
"This year has been fun so far and I'm hoping we can find the sponsorship to keep it going so we can win some more races," Bodine said. "I appreciate GEICO's support and it means a lot that they're willing to help us out. Max is a close friend and it has been fun watching him race over the last couple of weeks." An emotional Bodine continued, "I appreciate all that the Germain family has done for me and this team is like my family. I hope we can keep things together and win another championship. We're sitting second in the point standings and only five points behind the leader, so it would be upsetting if it all just went away."
No one knows what the future holds, but one thing is certain and that is the fans can expect to see an exciting show on Saturday when the GEICO trucks hit the 1.54-mile quad-oval of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Papis and Bodine will hit the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, March 6th, at 11:30 AM (ET). Qualifying will be held on Saturday morning at 9:35 AM (ET).