The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) added another mark in the history books this weekend, as the competitive series completed its 400th race on Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Despite making his first NCWTS start at the 1.5-mile oval, Max Papis looked to collect a top-10 finish in the historic event. Unfortunately, an accident on lap 112 left the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra with damage, relegating the team to a 22nd-place finish.
During qualifying on Saturday morning, Papis laid down a lap of 32.758 seconds (164.845 mph), placing the GEICO Toyota in the 20th position to start the 167-lap race. Within the first 10 laps, Papis reported to Crew Chief Randy Goss that his truck was loose entering and in the middle of the corners. The first caution came on lap 18 and Papis brought his truck to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments.
The majority of the leaders made the decision to stay out and not pit during the caution, putting Papis in the 23rd position on the lap 22 restart. The adjustments helped the Germain Racing entry, however the Toyota was still loose. On lap 47, the leaders began to pit under green flag conditions as they reached their fuel cycle. Papis remained on the racetrack, due to his previous pit stop, and moved into the seventh-place by lap 60.
Two laps later a lucky break came for the GEICO Racing team, as the caution slowed the field and allowed Papis to pit under yellow. Goss brought his Italian driver in for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. A great stop by the over-the-wall crew picked up two positions for Papis to restart from fourth-place on lap 66.
Before the competitors could make one circuit, another caution was brought out for a single-truck spin. Papis had to return to pit road as the team had discovered the truck was not full of fuel from the previous stop. Goss used this time to make an additional adjustment to tighten up the GEICO machine.
Papis restarted on lap 71 from the 19th position. As the laps clicked off, the loose handling condition continued to plague the GEICO Toyota Tundra. The fifth caution of the afternoon came on lap 99 for debris on the backstretch. Papis returned to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments, before restarting in the 16th-place on lap 103.
While battling with Shane Sieg for position, Papis received contact from the competitor, sending the GEICO Toyota into the outside wall. Right-side damage forced the team to pit for repairs, but good work once again by the team allowed Papis to retain his position on the lead lap and return racing as the 250-mile event restarted on lap 116.
Over the final 50 laps, the damage continued to hinder Papis’ quest to gain additional positions, leaving the GEICO Racing team with a 22nd-place finish. With the unfortunate ending, Papis dropped one spot in the NCWTS Championship Point Standings and is tied for 11th-place with Joey Coulter. Both drivers are only one point behind Germain Racing teammate Brendan Gaughan, who holds the 10th position.
Max Papis PR