MOORESVILLE, NC - Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced earlier today that former Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series champion, “Mad” Max Papis, will pilot the team’s No. 64 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in all three 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events. The ever-colorful Papis will undoubtedly bring even more intensity and personality to the team owned by one of NASCAR’s most intense and personable characters.
Noted team owner and NASCAR legend, Rusty Wallace, “I’m extremely pleased to announce Max Papis as the driver of our No. 64 for the road course events in 2008. When we looked at the 2008 schedule, we wanted to head to the road course events knowing that we had an edge over the competition. That’s why we chose Max Papis to drive the 64 car. His diverse record of longevity and success proved to us that he has what it takes to put our team in victory lane in 2008.”
While unknown to some, the relationship between Rusty Wallace and Max Papis actually originated in the mid-1990’s, when both drove cars sponsored by the Miller Brewing Company. During that time, Wallace wheeled for Penske Racing in NASCAR, while Papis drove in the CART series for Team Rahal. Stated Wallace, “I had a lot of fun with Max back when we both drove for Miller Lite; we did a lot of commercial shoots and appearances together during that time and that’s when I really started to learn about Max and his tremendous background.”
Papis’s background is indeed one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, consisting of race cars from NASCAR to Formula One and nearly everything in between. His 20-plus year career began in the early 1980’s, when he was named to the Italian national karting team. Since then, Papis has scored victories in many of the world’s greatest motorsports series, including CART, Italian Formula 3, International Formula 3000, IMSA World Sports Car, the American LeMans Series, Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and SCCA World Challenge GT. Max reached the pinnacle of European motorsports, Formula 1, in 1995 with the Arrows operation, before moving stateside, where he would capture an overall win in the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2002 and go on to win the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series championship in 2004. Currently, Papis serves as a driver for Chevrolet’s factory Corvette operation in the American LeMans Series and scored a third place finish, after starting from the outside pole, in the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007.
Said Papis, “I am extremely honored and pleased to have been given this opportunity to drive for Rusty Wallace Racing. Rusty and I have been friends since our days together with Miller Brewing Company and I’m really looking forward to the chance to drive for him in 2008. Given his team’s past performance on the road courses and the support from Chevrolet, I believe that we’ll have a very good chance at running up front and contending for the win in all three races.”
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