NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tag Archives: Max Papis

Max Papis Hopes Charlotte’s Roval Inspires Other Racing Series to Try NASCAR’s Move

Daytona International Speedway has used its famous roval for the 24-hour sports car race since the 1960s. Now, Charlotte Motor Speedway has a roval of its own. The design at CMS didn’t come without the help of experienced road course racers, though. Max Papis, who has competed in open-wheel, sports …

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Freshmen Struggle To Find Footing At Richmond… With One Exception

*Joey Logano:* *Start: 27th; Finish: 14th* *Summary:* Joey Logano faced a tall order when Saturday evening’s race began. Starting towards the back of the field at a short track during one of the season’s most intense races of the year would be daunting for any freshman, but especially for one who had yet to score a top 15 on a Cup oval less than a mile in length. So while some were busy racing for their Chase lives, Logano was simply hoping to have a solid night without interfering with any of the "bubble drivers" in front of him. Mission accomplished.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Edition

The buzz generated by Sunday’s exciting night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will likely reverberate through the NASCAR masses for a long time. The Pep Boys Auto 500 saw exciting racing for much of the event and saw someone not driving a non-Hendrick-affiliated car go to Victory Lane (though many were picking Jimmie Johnson to win). The race also did nothing to answer which drivers will be in safe mode for next week’s “race before the Chase” at Richmond. Kasey Kahne’s win moved him from 11th to 6th in the standings, while Carl Edwards’ oil pan problem regulated him to a poor finish and to within 85 points of falling outside the top 12. Kurt Busch totaled his No. 2 Dodge and lost a lot of his points. Kyle Busch led laps but faded toward the end and ended up _losing_ points to 12th place Matt Kenseth, despite Kenseth putting his No. 17 Ford into the wall twice in the first 20 laps. Brian Vickers’ No. 83 team bounced back from axle trouble, to finish 7th and leapfrog ahead of Busch in the points. Now 122 points are all that separate 14th in points Kyle Busch from 5th in points Edwards. The racing in Atlanta was eventful, exciting, and very influential in the points. Here are the *HOT*, *WARM* and *NOT* drivers this week:

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Rookie Report: Joey Logano Leads Quiet Night for Rookie Contenders

*Scott Speed:* *Start: 32nd; Finish: 24th* *Summary: It certainly wasn't flashy, but Scott Speed finished the race 24th, with a car in good shape. That's about everything Team Red Bull can ask at this point, considering that the top 35 is all but out of reach and that the organization's focus is square on the No. 83 car and securing a Chase berth, not working on developing a rookie driver. The other good news for Speed was that in his now third trip back to Atlanta, he posted his first top 25 finish, a result ten places better than he produced in the spring. The measuring stick for all rookies is with regard to improving on repeat visits, and Speed did just that on Sunday.*

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Heluva! Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen Edition

*ONE: Should NASCAR implement rain tires at Sprint Cup road course races?* *_Fan Vote -- YES: 50%; NO: 50%_* Like any NASCAR road course rain delay, fans who actually wanted to see a race on a Sunday immediately called for rain tires and windshield wipers. We’d seen it before in the Nationwide Series in Montreal... and the results were mixed. But this is the way I see it: *If you don’t have brake lights or headlights, how can you race in the rain?*

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Bubble Breakdown: Scott Speed Slowly Chipping Away At John Andretti’s Lead

I am gonna start this week’s column with a bit of advice, as I know many of you attend races and even camp at the track like I do. So if you are camping at the race, and they come over the PA system and warn of impending severe thunderstorms, go take down your 30 feet high metal flagpole _BEFORE_ the lightning moves into the area. However, I am sure my readers are smart enough that I don’t need to tell them that... so on to the race from Watkins Glen. My *Ron Fellows* in Victory Circle prediction fell apart very early, as a broken starter sent the road racing ace to the garage for repairs on lap 28, costing him several laps on the track. But not every bubble driver struggled at the Glen, and we even had a non-top 35 driver post their first career top 10 finish. So read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown to see which drivers actually had a good Monday in Upstate New York.

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Yellow Tail and Lambrusco Pace the Rookie Field at NASCAR’s Wine and Cheese Event

*Max Papis:* *Start: 16th; Finish: 8th* *Summary:* When Max Papis qualified in the 16th position on Friday, it set a career best for the Italian road racing specialist. However, the extraordinary weekend would not stop there for the GEICO team. When the race finally began, Papis progressed forward from the drop of the green flag and by the time the event reached the one-third mark, the No. 13 Camry was in the top 10.

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