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DATE News (chronologically)
02/20/09
nastruck
GEICO to back Bodine and Papis in Fontana  If you are going to bring a date to a dance, you might as well bring one that has talent.  This week in Fontana, GEICO has brought two. 

GEICO, who is kicking off a four-year relationship with world-class driver Max Papis in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, is prepping their guy by providing him the opportunity to hop in the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra this weekend in Fontana, CA, for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.  A week from now in Las Vegas, Papis and the Germain Racing team will be attempting to qualify for the first of twenty Sprint Cup Series races slated for the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry this season.

Papis, the 2004 Grand-Am Series Champion, is having a week of new beginnings.  Aside from his NASCAR career kicking off in Fontana, he and his wife Tatiana welcomed home their second son, Matteo, who was born on February 14th at 4:32 AM. Fittingly, Matteo was born on NASCAR’s 2009 opening weekend. 

Late in the evening on Friday the 13th, after recording his fourth consecutive restrictor plate victory at NASCAR’s most historic racetrack, Todd Bodine departed Daytona just as he had arrived: sponsorless.  On Tuesday, luck came calling and GEICO provided funding to help give Bodine and his Germain Racing team the opportunity to participate in Saturday’s San Bernardino County 200.  Bodine, the 2006 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will attempt to win his third race in a row after winning the season finale in Homestead in 2008 and then providing an encore performance by netting his 16th NCWTS career win in Daytona last week.

Not only teammates, but also close friends, Papis and Bodine may appear to be NASCAR’s version of the odd couple.  While they may differ aesthetically, their off-track vibrant personalities betray their on-track fierce demeanor that has made them two of racing’s best.  One thing is certain; their friendship will be checked at the door on Saturday when they both strap into their GEICO Tundras for the 2nd NCWTS race of the 2009 season. 

Papis and Bodine will hit the track at Auto Club Speedway for their opening practice session on Thursday, February 19th, at 3:30 PM (ET), with the final practice session being held at 6:00 PM (ET).  Qualifying will be held on Friday afternoon at 4:40 PM (ET).

The San Bernardino County 200 is on Saturday, February 21st, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 3:00 PM (ET), while the Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.
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