Papis to run Montreal NASCAR Busch race UPDATE Added photos of Papis with his car below.
07/06/07 2004 Rolex Grand-Am Series champion ‘Mad Max’ Papis will be behind the wheel of the #1 Miccosukee Resorts & Gaming Chevrolet fielded by Phoenix Racing and team owner James Finch when the NASCAR Busch Series makes its debut appearance in Canada. When Papis rolls into Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the August 4th race, he will be replacing J.J. Yeley while Yeley focuses on his Nextel Cup effort at Pocono Raceway.
An open-wheel and sports-car racing sensation, Max Papis has previously raced at the challenging road course in Montreal as a Champ Car driver.
Montreal will be Papis’s second appearance in a NASCAR Busch Series road course race, as he made his debut a year ago in Watkins Glen driving the #36 Sport Clips Chevrolet. Starting the race in the 43rd position, Papis moved quickly to the front as he picked up 29 spots and recorded a 14th place finish in his first ever NASCAR road course race.
He rarely takes a break from racing and even in the middle of his current Grand-Am season, Papis ran the 24 Hours of Le Mans and he has also spent significant time assisting Hendrick Motorsports in developing their NASCAR Car of Tomorrow road course program. The time spent with Hendrick Motorsports has allowed Papis more time to perfect his stock car road racing skills.
Papis, whose father-in-law is famed race car driver, Emerson Fittipaldi, is widely regarded as one of the most versatile race car drivers in the world. He is excited about the opportunity to drive the #1 Miccosukee Resorts & Gaming Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to race in Montreal and represent the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida,” Papis said. “It means a lot to me that James Finch and the Phoenix Racing team believe in me and I am looking forward to driving the #1 because they are a team that has always had success in the NASCAR Busch Series and this is a great chance for me to win my first NASCAR road course race.”
He continued, “I’ve had the pleasure of competing at some of the most demanding courses throughout my career in open-wheel and sports cars. But I’m especially excited to be competing at this track with some of the world’s most talented drivers, and having a good car that will give me the opportunity to win.”
Papis will team with Mike Wallace in the #7 GEICO Chevrolet and attempt to deliver Phoenix Racing’s first win of the 2007 season.
A native of Como, Italy, Papis moved up the ladder of European formulas during his late teens and early 20s before finding a Formula One test ride with Lotus and Honda in 1994. The following year, he competed in seven Formula One races with Arrows.