Papis tests for Hendrick Miami, FL – Only with Max Papis can you have that many different racing activities in the same title of a press release. Widely known as the most versatile race car driver in the world, Mad Max spent this week testing for Hendrick Motorsports as they begin to develop their NASCAR Nextel Cup Car of Tomorrow road course program.
During the test, Papis found himself surrounded by NASCAR’s best and brightest, including Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Robby Gordon. He deemed the test as very successful and looks forward to his gradual transition into the NASCAR world.
“The test went very well and it was good for me to get out there and get a feel for this new C.O.T. (Car of Tomorrow),” Papis said. “The key for me is to keep doing things such as this because it helps me learn more about how these cars react and how they feel. I look forward to being in NASCAR, however I want to take it slow and make sure that when I make the transition that I have the experience I need to go out and be competitive each week and win races.”
He continued, "Last year in Watkins Glen, I started 43rd in the Sport Clips car in the Busch Series race and finished 14th. I feel good about how things are progressing at this point."
With the Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR test behind him, Mad Max turns his attention to the Grand-Am race this weekend at Virginia International Raceway. Papis currently sits 4th in points and with a narrow miss in Mexico City, finishing 2nd, he looks forward to getting his first Grand-Am Rolex Series win this season.
However, it would not be the first win of 2007 for Papis, as he celebrated in Sebring when he won the prestigious Twelve Hours of Sebring driving the #4 Compuware Corvette C6.R for General Motors in the month of March.
One of Papis’s favorite races is the Indianapolis 500 and it is his hope that he will once again participate in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Last year he was running 7th when Al Unser, Jr. wrecked in front of him and spit up debris that would ultimately affect the aerodynamics of his race car and relegate Mad Max to a 14th place finish.
“The Indy 500 is the biggest race in the world and you always want to be there if you can make it work,” Papis said. “There are opportunities out there, but I am focused on my Grand-Am program right now and I am letting my agent Doug Barnette handle the Indy 500. We definitely want to be in Indy and the people at the IRL have done a great job of working with us to try and make that happen.”
Papis’s Grand-Am race this weekend, the VIR 400, is Sunday, April 29th, and will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 1:00 PM (ET).