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DATE News (chronologically)
04/09/09
racing news
Earthquake hits home for Max Papis
Sitting what seems like a world away, NASCAR driver Max Papis feels the weight of his country bearing down on him.  It is painful for him to sit here and watch an earthquake do so much damage to a country he loves. 

On Monday, just a day after Papis ran his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, an earthquake rocked L’Aquila, which sits about 75-miles northeast of Rome.  The disaster hit close to home for Papis because as a 12-year old boy, he ran his first Italian Championship go-kart race in the area.  Papis has a big heart and it broke when he received word of the tragedy that struck his native country. 

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated Monday’s earthquake at about 6.2-miles deep.  The quake is the deadliest to strike Italy in decades, leaving buildings in piles of stone and people frightened.  The death toll continues to mount and people are struggling to find a place to sleep at night.

Papis, who maintains a residence in Barasso, Varese, Italy, is reaching out to help his fellow countrymen.  He will be selling a race-worn helmet on ebay, as well as other autographed items such as GEICO Racing shirts and hats, and autographed photos of Papis with his new #13 GEICO NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all the people in Italy during this tragedy,” Papis said.  “It’s a beautiful region of Italy and I hope with the help of all the Italian people around the world that they’ll be able to recover quickly from this disaster.” 

He continued, “In moments like this you can really feel the national pride and I hope that everyone will do whatever they can to help the people who have been affected.  I am personally pledging my support to help raise money to get much needed assistance to the region.  I will be posting my helmet and other items on ebay to raise money to help them rebuild their city.”

While his fellow Italians struggle to rebuild their lives, Max Papis will be watching, hoping and praying for them. 

To bid on Max Papis’ race-worn helmet and other items, please visit www.ebay.com.  Items will be added almost daily.

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