Papis Earns Career-Best NASCAR Finish in Close Finale at Montreal Finishes Second by 0.012 seconds, Closest Road-Course Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series History Max Papis went to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on a mission to win his first NASCAR...
Papis Earns Career-Best NASCAR Finish in Close Finale at Montreal
Finishes Second by 0.012 seconds, Closest Road-Course Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series History
Max Papis went to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on a mission to win his first NASCAR event and in an exciting finish and one of the closest in Nationwide Series history, he came inches away from achieving his goal as he finished second in the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet. Papis crossed the finish line only 0.012 seconds behind winner Boris Said to claim the closest finish on a road course and the fifth-closest finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series history.
"It was an honor to drive for Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) and I am really proud of where we finished," said Papis after climbing from his Rheem Chevrolet. "The car was really fast and it came down to the last corner. This was a great opportunity and the best shot that I have had to win a NASCAR race. I'm very proud of how we ran all day."
Starting the NAPA Auto Parts 200 from the ninth position, Papis patiently took care of the car as he made his way toward the front of the field. He immediately went in to conservation mode to save fuel and the car's brakes, knowing these two components would play a major factor at the end of the event. With several quick cautions early in the race, Papis was able to relay to the team that the car had "good forward bite off the corners, but was a little tight."
After several quick cautions, a multi-car accident on lap 11 brought out the first long caution of the race with Papis in the seventh position. Opting to stay out on the track for position while several lead lap cars decided to pit for tires and fuel, Papis restarted the race on lap 17 from fourth place.
Moving into the third spot on lap 18, Papis was again slowed on lap 20 when the caution flag waved for a single-car incident. Within the pit window for the first stop of the day, Papis brought the No. 33 car down pit road for four tires, fuel and no adjustments. Papis restarted the race 16th on lap 24 with varying pit strategies taking place in front of the team.
Again, Papis immediately began to save fuel and the car's brakes, slowly making his way back through the field. Papis took over 10th on lap 27 and was running sixth on lap 37 when contact with the No. 20 car spun Papis in the hairpin turn. Recovering from the spin, Papis got the No. 33 going in the right direction and only fell to 12th. Refocusing, Papis retook 10th on lap 40 and was running seventh on lap 44 when the leaders began making green-flag pit stops.
As green-flag pit stops continued through the field, Papis took over the lead on lap 47 before pitting on lap 48 for four tires and fuel. With their final stop of the day complete, Papis returned to the track in the seventh spot as crew chief Ernie Cope radioed Papis that the team was "done pitting and the rest was all him."
With concern that the lead lap cars could not make it on fuel, Papis continued to make his way to the leaders, taking over fourth on lap 59. The caution waved on lap 65 with Papis in the fourth position. Sticking with their plan, the team opted to stay on track. The race restarted on lap 68 with Papis in second behind Robbie Gordon. Papis made a move to go for the lead, but made contact with the lead cars sending him off the course into the grass. Papis managed to only lose one position, as the caution waved. A few laps later another on-track incident brought the caution out again on lap 72 for a multi-car accident placing the race under red flag conditions for clean up. Following the short delay NASCAR was forced into a green-white-checkered finish. The race restarted on lap 75 with Papis in the third position. As leader Gordon ran out of fuel, Papis and new race leader Boris Said battled door-to-door for the lead. Crossing the finish line side-by-side, Said took the advantage by .012 seconds as Papis earned his career-best NASCAR finish of second. Canadian Jacques Villeneuve finished third followed by Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard.