Mad Max Papis Debut
July 28, 2006
The Glen Marks “Mad Max” Papis’ Début in NASCAR® NEXTEL Cup with Furniture Row® Racing
Denver, CO- Road-racing specialist Max Papis has earned another notch in his belt. Papis will make his driving début in his career first NEXTEL Cup race with Furniture Row® Racing. Papis will be driving the #78 Chevy Monte Carlo at Watkins Glen International road course on August 13th.
Furniture Row® Racing is elated about the opportunity to work with Papis. Crew Chief, Joe Garone explains. “Max is a world class athlete, and we feel very fortunate to have him on board with us, as we head into our road course ventures at the Glen. We just returned from a test at Virginia International Raceway. This marks the first time we have worked together. Despite the bad weather, it was very promising.”
Papis is known as a fierce competitor on the track in various series. Papis, earned the name “Mad Max,” for his on-track prowess en route to winning the 24 Hours of Daytona race in 2002. Recently, he finished an IROC series career-best second place, behind NASCAR's Tony Stewart, at the Crown Royal IROC series race last month at Daytona.
Stewart acknowledged Papis after his IROC win. “To me it’s a huge honor to win this race with guys like Max Papis, who are really good on the road courses,” said Stewart. “This is probably one of the biggest wins I’ve had because of that.”
Papis will utilize the expertise developed in his career to handle the Glen’s 2.45 mile, 11-turn road course for Furniture Row® Racing. Papis is anxiously awaiting the opportunity. “I am very thankful for Furniture Row® giving me the opportunity to make my first Nextel Cup start. The crew has been great to work with and Joe (Garone) and I have a great relationship. I'm looking forward to getting in the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet and having a strong run."
2006 has been exciting year for Papis both on and off the track. “I've run the Daytona 24 Hours race, the Indy 500, Le Mans, watched Italy win the World Cup and, the most exciting thing, watching my son, Marco, being born. I am truly enjoying life right now and my NASCAR debut just adds to the excitement. I'm proud to represent my country, Italy, and to be the first Italian in the modern era to be in NASCAR and I'm going to work as hard as I can to make the most of the opportunity and make my country proud. I hope to have a great weekend at The Glen," states Papis.
A native of Como, Italy, Massimiliano 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.
In 1996, Papis posted three wins in IMSA World Sports Car, and then joined CART, where he won three races in five years. Since then, Papis has been one of the top competitors in American sports-car racing. He posted an overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002, a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series championship in 2004, and class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Daytona. He also secured two runner-up finishes at the 24 Hours of LeMans. Papis also drives in the Crown Royal IROC Series.
Furniture Row® Companies is one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions®, Denver Mattress Company®, and Big Sur Water Beds®.