MAX PAPIS GETS SIDEWAYS IN VEGAS; KANSAS CUP RACE UP NEXT Las Vegas, NV -- Seven months removed from making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Max Papis returned to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut...
MAX PAPIS GETS SIDEWAYS IN VEGAS; KANSAS CUP RACE UP NEXT
Las Vegas, NV -- Seven months removed from making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Max Papis returned to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at the track.
Papis was good from the start, as he sat 11th and 17th at the close of the respective practice sessions. When the #9 GEICO Tundra rolled off pit road for qualifying, Papis did not fail to impress when he placed the GEICO Tundra on Row 6 of the starting grid, in the 12th position.
Amid the extreme heat of the Las Vegas desert, Papis and the rest of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field climbed into their trucks as the sun began to set over the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval. While the sun went down, the temperature would decrease just slightly. This would be further complicated when, during the final parade lap, the track would experience a power outage in Turn 1, leaving the opening turn dark, along with the scoring tower.
Fortunately, power would be restored and nearly an hour after the scheduled start time the race would go green. Starting 12th, Papis would quickly move the #9 GEICO Tundra forward. By the close of the opening lap he would secure the 11th position, and by the time he returned to the start/finish line a second time he was in 10th.
When the caution flag was displayed on Lap 21, Papis and the GEICO Tundra were running in the 14th position. They would come down pit road for fuel and adjustments on Lap 23. The GEICO pit crew moved swiftly, as they returned Papis to the racing surface in the 8th position. When the green flag restarted the race on Lap 28, Papis and the GEICO Tundra were sitting in the 7th position, having gained seven positions on pit road.
Papis continued to run solidly in the Top 10 before Lap 34 when Ricky Carmichael slid up the track into the GEICO Tundra sending it sideways towards the wall. Papis would prove to be masterful in his save of the GEICO truck and manage to keep it on the racetrack. Unfortunately, the incident saw Papis freefall through the field and land in the 20th position.
The incident with Carmichael would result in a loose-handling truck and Papis would be forced to battle the GEICO Tundra for the remainder of the evening. Despite the setback, Papis still managed to hustle to an 18th place finish in his first Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"The GEICO Tundra was really good today which showed in our qualifying effort," Papis said. "The race started good and we were able to pick up some positions quickly and run in the Top 10. Unfortunately, someone got into Ricky (Carmichael) and that sent him up into the GEICO truck. After that, I was really loose all night and I fought as hard as I could to keep the truck on the track and get a good finish."
After two weeks of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing, Max Papis and the GEICO team will travel to Kansas City, KS, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next weekend.
Papis will hit the track at Kansas Speedway for the opening practice session on Friday, October 2nd, at 1:00 PM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 4:40 PM (ET).
The Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, October 4th, and it will be televised live on ABC beginning at 1:00 PM (ET), while the Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.