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Aug 18
2010

MAX PAPIS MOVES TO FULL-TIME ROLE WITH THE GECKO

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

Mooresville, NC (August 18, 2010) – Max Papis, who has occupied the seat of the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will take a new opportunity to race full-time in NASCAR.  Papis will be piloting the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series beginning in 2011.  
 
The effort is fielded by Germain Racing, who, aside from winning the 2006 Truck Series championship, currently holds the points lead in the Truck Series with driver Todd Bodine.  
 
Papis will turn his attention to the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra effective immediately beginning this week in Bristol.  In addition, Papis will compete in three additional races of the remaining 2010 Camping World Truck Series season in an effort to lay a solid foundation heading into 2011.  
 
Papis has spent the previous year and a half piloting the #13 GEICO Camry, which was slated to compete in 18 races each season.  ‘Mad Max’ has taken full advantage of his opportunity, notching an 18th at Talladega, a 12th at Infineon Raceway and he recorded his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 10 when he finished 8th at Watkins Glen last year.  
 
Aside from NASCAR, Papis is known to be one of the most versatile racecar drivers in the world. He sits among racing’s elite, as he has competed in the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  In addition to recording three wins in the former CART Series, Papis has posted wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 and 2002, as well as a Grand-Am Series championship in 2004.  As a member of GM’s Corvette Racing team, Papis has recorded two wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, as well as two runner-up finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
It only makes sense that Papis will now try his hand at Truck Series racing where he has already experienced considerable success.  Along with a Top 10 at Fontana and an 8th place finish at Martinsville, Papis nearly recorded his first Truck Series victory at Daytona in February 2010.  Unfortunately, Nelson Piquet, Jr, ended his day late in the race after Papis led his first laps as a NASCAR driver.

"Since I came to NASCAR one of my goals has been to have the opportunity to run a complete racing schedule. When GEICO and Germain Racing, a Truck Series championship team, approached me with an offer to represent them for a full season in the Camping World Truck series, I saw it as a unique opportunity that I simply could not turn down,” Papis said.  “I am very proud to have been part of the development of a brand new Sprint Cup team that has already made their mark when we recorded our first Top 10 finish at Watkins Glen last year, while running only part time over the last year and a half.”  
 
He continued, “I look forward to watching the #13 team continue to grow and mature, while being a special part of GEICO’s expanded commitment to NASCAR through their Truck Series sponsorship.  I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all the fans, both new and old, who have supported me throughout my career and who are an important part of the success I have experienced.  I am very excited by this opportunity and you can bet on my doing everything I possibly can to bring success to GEICO and Germain Racing."
 
Beginning with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Atlanta on September 5th, Casey Mears will take over driving duties of the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry fielded by Germain Racing.
 
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 

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Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International
 Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com 


Aug 16
2010

Germain Racing, Bodine Take the Win at Historical Darlington Raceway

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

Mooresville, NC (08-16-2010) – Todd Bodine went into Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race with a sincere ‘understanding’ of the track “Too Tough to Tame” and also hailed as the “Lady in Black.” Darlington Raceway, located in Darlington, SC, has been a part of NASCAR’s history for years and Bodine had scored one win there and more top-ten finishes at Darlington than any other NASCAR track. Saturday night, Bodine added another historical statistic to his championship-winning Truck Series career. Bodine put the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra out front in the “Too Tough to Tame 200” for the final 47 of 147 laps. He took the win, his second victory at Darlington and his 35th NASCAR career win.

“It’s awesome. The history behind Darlington and the great drivers that have raced here... The list of drivers is incredible and to be part of that and to be able to be in victory lane here again – I was fortunate to get one win in Nationwide – and now we got one in the Germain.com Tundra. It’s incredible. It’s a great feeling to be able to win at Darlington, for sure,” said Bodine, who leads the 2010 Truck Series championship standings and has amassed 20 of Germain Racing’s 21 victories.

Bodine says his years of experience working with the “Lady in Black” helped on Saturday, but noted that the youthful drivers of the Truck Series did just fine.

“Experience here is a huge advantage, but with that said, look at Justin Lofton. He was having a great run. I gotta stop helping him. I told him the trick to getting around here and he learned it too well. Unfortunately he got caught up in a wreck,” said Bodine, tipping his cap to up and coming fellow Tundra driver Lofton. “Timothy (Peters) is another great example. He did a lot of testing here but he’s never raced here. To come out here and be able to do what he did tells you what kind of driver he is. Experience of knowing the little things that make you go fast and the little things that make you go slow, that means a lot. Timmy (Peters) had a good truck that allowed him to go fast. But, yes, experience is definitely a big part of running well at Darlington, along with great Toyota race trucks.”

This season, the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra team has had only three “bad” weekends. This consistency, earning three victories, eleven top-fives and twelve top-tens in 15 races has been the driving force behind Bodine’s lock-down on the series championship standings since May. However, the 2006 Truck Series title-winner is quick to point out, that there are too many variables to count this 2010 “title match” as over, despite his 231-point lead.

“There’s just too many variables in racing. Too many things that you can’t control that can take you out of it. Here at Germain Racing, we concentrate on controlling our own fate of what happens within our grasp. You can’t control everybody else’s truck and where you are on the track if you get caught up in somebody else’s mess. It’s never over. We’re not going to approach it that way. We gotta keep doing the things we know how to do and control the things within in our control and try to control our destiny,” said Bodine, who has driven for Germain Racing’s No. 30 team for all of his 20 Truck Series wins, including the 2006 championship.

If you blink, you’ll miss it. Bristol Motor Speedway is next on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule – Wednesday, August 18th. Watch the coverage live on SPEED! Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a Facebook fan.

When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

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Aug 16
2010

Germain Racing is Gearing up for Bodine to Race the No. 30 Valvoline Tundra at Bristol on Wednesday Night

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

 - Bodine Leads Truck Series Championship Battle by 231-point margin

 - Has Earned Three Wins this season, 20 in his Truck Series Career

 - Germain Racing has 21 Truck Series Victories and Eight Pole Awards

August 16, 2010 (Mooresville, N.C.) - In June, when Germain Racing was heading to Texas, the team announced their new partnership with Valvoline. To give that announcement some extra energy, Todd Bodine drove the Valvoline logo into victory lane at Fort Worth, capturing his first win of the 2010 season. Since then, Bodine and the No. 30 Tundra team of Germain Racing have collected two more victories and they are looking very forward to having the Valvoline logo back on board this week at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“Having Valvoline join the Germain Racing team has been a great partnership. Bristol is our first race with Valvoline as the primary sponsor on the No. 30 Valvoline Tundra. The truck looks great and we think it will look even better running up front, under the lights, at Bristol ,” said Bodine, who has competed in 37 NASCAR races at Bristol, scoring two victories in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and three top-five finishes in five Truck Series starts.

Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. will lead the Germain Racing team into battle on Wednesday at Bristol. The team will race chassis TRD-106, which last saw action this season at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

“What this team has accomplished this season has been a testament to the commitment of everyone that works at Germain Racing, Toyota and Triad. We hope to continue to get results that truly measure up to the extra efforts that everyone has put in to make this No. 30 Valvoline Tundra team what it is today. We are heading to Bristol with one thought in mind, and that is to get the Valvoline logo back into some victory lane photographs,” said Hillman.

With a 231-point lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, two wins in a row and three wins total along with a pole award this season, Hillman has been asked if it’s time to start focusing on winning the Truck Series title rather than being aggressive and going for the wins.

“With the equipment we have, it would be a shame to tell our driver he can’t put his Toyota Tundra out front. So, no, we aren’t changing our strategy. Germain Racing will put the No. 30 Valvoline Tundra on track at Bristol with the goal to win the race. It’s the best way to get the most points and the best way to thank Valvoline, Toyota, Triad and everyone back at the shop for all the work they put into this truck,” said Hillman.

Watch Bodine the No. 30 Valvoline Tundra on Wednesday, August 18th at Bristol Motor Speedway. Qualifying will be on SPEED at 4:30 PM ET, with race coverage starting at 7:30 PM. Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a Facebook fan.

About Valvoline: Valvoline, a brand of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), has been serving American motorists longer than any other motor oil. The Valvoline family of products includes Eagle One® appearance products, Car Brite® car restoration products, Zerex® antifreeze, SynPower® performance products and MaxLife® products created for higher-mileage engines. With more than 850 locations throughout the United States, Valvoline Instant Oil Change® is a leader in serving the quick lube market.

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®  Registered trademark of Ashland or its subsidiaries

Aug 09
2010

PAPIS HONORS MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER WHILE RACING THE GLEN

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

#13 GEICO Camry ends up 22nd in NASCAR’s final road course race of the 2010 season

Watkins Glen, NY (August 8, 2010) – A year ago, Max Papis left Watkins Glen smiling ear-to-ear after recording an 8th place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. He was all business when he arrived back in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York for practice on Friday, hoping to once again put the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry up front.  
 
In addition to his attention to racing, he also carried a heavy heart, as he honored United States Marine Corporal Jason Dunham, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for diving on a grenade in Iraq to save members of his unit in 2004.  The Marine’s name appeared on a decal located on the C-Post of Papis’ #13 GEICO Camry.  Corporal Dunham’s father was also in attendance during the entire weekend and when Papis saw him, he immediately gave him a hug and thanked him for what his son had done for our country.
 
Papis showed visible emotion when speaking of Corporal Dunham.
 
“What we’re doing this weekend is just racing, but what these guys are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq is life or death.  It is serious and it affects so many of our families in the U.S., and it moves me to see this man be so strong after his son gave his life to protect our country.” Papis said.
 
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ opening practice session found Papis shooting straight to the top of the speed charts.  By its conclusion, the #13 GEICO Camry rested 24th on the chart, and third among the ‘go or go home’ cars.  The GEICO team would experience a setback when a transmission issue forced the team to rebuild a transmission in the middle of the final practice session.  The Germain Racing team masterfully returned Papis to the racetrack in record time.  Despite the setback, Papis put the #13 GEICO Camry 16th on the speed chart, and fastest among the ‘go or go home’ cars, when the session ended.
 
After qualifying 28th, Papis quickly picked up four positions before the close of the opening lap of the race.  Papis then made his way into the 23rd position before he radioed to crew chief Bootie Barker that the car was tight and that he had some ‘wheelhop’.  Barker assured Papis they would make adjustments to the #13 GEICO Camry during the first pit stop.
 
Papis brought the #13 GEICO Camry down pit road under green flag conditions on Lap 26 for the team’s first stop of the day.  The Germain Racing pit crew quickly provided Papis with four fresh Goodyear racing tires, a tank of Sunoco racing fuel and adjustments before returning him to the racing surface.  Unfortunately, just two laps later, the event’s first caution flag of the day would be displayed, causing the GEICO team to go a lap down. Barker would order Papis to take advantage of the ‘wave around’ rule and the #13 GEICO Camry quickly returned to the lead lap.
 
The adjustments must have favored Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry because by Lap 61 they had moved into 10th position, while just a lap later they were sitting in 7th.  On Lap 70, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin found themselves tangled up, bringing out the caution flag.  Papis received rear end damage to the #13 GEICO Camry in the melee. Consequently, he was relegated to restarting 19th on Lap 75.  With just 15 laps remaining, Papis fought hard to hold his position, but would ultimately record a 22nd place finish under perfect skies in upstate New York.  
 
“Our GEICO team worked really hard this weekend and we were competitive, but we battled a few issues,” Papis said.  “All things considered I’m happy to get out of here with a 22nd place finish.  I can’t thank Bootie (Barker, crew chief) and the guys on this Germain Racing team enough for all of their support and hard work this weekend.  We kept fighting and never quit, so I’m proud of what we accomplished.”
 
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 

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Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International
  Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com  


 

 

Aug 02
2010

Pocono Race Just Too Short for Bodine and Germain.com Tundra

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

 

Mooresville, N.C. (08-02-2010) – With the love Todd Bodine has for the area and the race track, 500 laps might not have been enough for him to get his fill of “The Tricky Triangle” known as Pocono Raceway. Certainly, the 50 scheduled race laps for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at the Long Pond, PA, tri-oval were far too few for the division points leader.

 

“The Germain.com Tundra was really good today. We ran up front and were able to lead some laps. I think the race was just way too short. It was a good show for the fans, it just needed to be longer,” said Bodine, who led the Pocono Mountains 125 and spent the majority of the 50-lap event racing among the top-five trucks.

 

Pocono Raceway produced intense, high-speed battles throughout the 125-mile event. At lap 42, Bodine was in a heated battle for 5th-place. After some bumping and rubbing, Bodine found himself sliding through the infield grass and bringing out the fourth caution flag of the race.

 

“It was just a racing deal.  We had a good truck and were running up front with a shot to win. We had some contact with the 3 truck.  I know Austin (Dillon) didn’t mean it, it’s just one of those deals -- racing accidents,” said Bodine, who restarted in 24th place, narrowly missed a huge crash with three laps to go, then finished 12th.

 

As thrilling as Bodine’s bumpy slide through the grass was, the wreck he narrowly missed was what people were talking about with him after the race.

 

“All I was thinking about was getting the Germain.com Tundra back up front with the leaders. I thought, if I had 75 laps, I could do it. I guess while I was driving and thinking I had a very close call. It happened behind me, so I didn’t see it, but a few people have told me we were very close to getting caught up in someone else’s wreck with three to go,” said Bodine, who picked off an easy dozen trucks in the final laps of the race to finish 12th.

 

Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. was pleased with the Truck Series debut at Pocono.

 

“There were a lot of unknowns going into this race because Pocono was new to the Truck Series and we had some rules changes for the event. The race turned out to be a great race for the Truck Series fans, and our No. 30 Germain.com Tundra was a contender for the win. We were able to recover from the spin through the grass and get a decent finish, which is a great testament to how Germain Racing works as a team and we never give up,” said Hillman.

 

The 12th place finish at Pocono kept Bodine 149 points in front of his nearest competitor in the Truck Series championship standings. Fellow Tundra driver Aric Almirola still trails Bodine as the Truck Series heads into race no. 14 at Nashville Superspeedway on August 7th. Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a Facebook fan.

 

When shopping for your new or used car or truck, head directly to Germain.com to find the perfect vehicle or visit your local Germain dealer in Ohio, Florida, or Arkansas. Germain.com is part of Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive retail network with 21 dealerships and more than 60 years of experience.

 

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Jul 28
2010

PAPIS PADS RESUME WITH BRICKYARD START; POCONO ON DECK

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Indianapolis, IN (July 25, 2010) – It is not a secret that Max Papis is considered to be one of the top racecar drivers in the world, boasting a resume that consists of the most prestigious racing events globally.  This weekend, Papis was looking to add the Brickyard 400 to that list.  
 
A year ago, a dejected Papis departed Indianapolis Motor Speedway just shy of qualifying for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the famed Brickyard.  From the time his #13 GEICO Toyota Camry was unloaded this weekend, everyone knew that this year would tell a different tale.  Papis and the Gecko immediately established their presence in the opening practice session when they shot straight to the top of the speed charts and sat third, behind only Juan Pablo Montoya and Jimmy Johnson.
 
As the pressure mounted heading into the qualifying session on Saturday morning, Papis handled it with a veteran’s calm.  He climbed into the #13 GEICO Camry and promptly turned a lap that placed him comfortably in the field for Sunday’s Brickyard 400. He toured the historic facility in just 50.386 seconds, at a rate of speed of 178.621 miles per hour, making him the third fastest ‘go or go home’ car.  Papis and the GEICO Camry would start 35th on the grid, just behind Joey Logano and just ahead of 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Bobby Labonte.
 
After several extremely hot days in the Indianapolis area, Sunday presented the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-80’s.  While the weather was nice the opening lap of the Brickyard 400 would prove to be more harsh.  
 
After the green flag was displayed, the field headed into Turn 2 and quickly found themselves in a crash that involved nearly ten cars. Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry would escape nearly unscathed, but would sustain some damage to the left rear of the racecar.  Also, a large amount of grass was sucked into the radiator, causing the engine temperature to rise. After several trips down pit road, the Germain Racing crew would get the car repaired and return the engine to its normal temperature.
 
Restarting the race in the 37th position on Lap 8, Papis would quickly move the #13 GEICO Camry forward.  He reached 34th by Lap 10 and then dipped into the Top 30 by Lap 13.  After hitting the Top 25 on Lap 15, Papis was on fire…. literally.  The grass that had been sucked into the engine finally caused the engine to overheat and fire and smoke bellowed from the GEICO Camry forcing it to the garage for the remainder of the afternoon.  Papis would be relegated to a 43rd place finish.
 
“We do not deserve this, no one deserves this,” said an emotional Papis. “We worked so hard this weekend and the GEICO Camry was so fast.  We were definitely headed for a Top 10 today.  You could see how fast we were, so it’s frustrating to have this happen.  I feel bad for all the guys on this GEICO crew who have worked so hard.  We just don’t deserve this.”
 
Despite the setback at the Brickyard 400, Papis still places himself among racing’s elite with his start on Sunday.  He has now competed in the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  Not bad for a guy from a small village in Northern Italy.  
Next up for Papis and the GEICO Racing team is Long Pond, PA.
 
Papis and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the 2.5-mile tri-oval of Pocono Raceway for the opening practice session at 12:00 PM (EDT) on Friday, July 30th.  Qualifying will follow at 3:40 PM (EDT).
 
The Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, August 1st, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT), while the Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio broadcast.
 
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 

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Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International
Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com  


 

 

Jul 19
2010

PAPIS 15TH AT GATEWAY; PREPARING TO SEEK REVENGE AT INDY

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

 

Madison, IL (July 17, 2010) – Max Papis rolled into Gateway International Raceway looking to make an impressive debut at the track that sits in the shadows of the historic St. Louis Arch.  While the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took the weekend off, Papis hopped into the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra for this weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race to gain additional seat time.
 
GEICO’s gecko must have felt at home given the high temperatures that blanketed the 1.25-mile oval.  The intense heat did not distract Papis, as he sat 16th and 19th in the two practice sessions.  He then qualified the #9 GEICO Tundra 21st after hustling around the uniquely shaped oval in just 34.418 seconds, at a rate of speed of 130.746 miles per hour.
 
Initially scheduled for Friday night, a power outage would force the CampingWorld200.com to be postponed to Saturday afternoon. While the night sky on Friday night would have shielded the track from the blazing temperatures, Saturday afternoon would present conditions that would drive the track temperatures upward near 140 degrees.
 
When the green flag was displayed on Saturday afternoon, things heated up quickly on the racetrack.  Papis and the #9 GEICO Tundra quickly picked up four positions and slid into the 17th spot by the close of Lap 3.  Soon thereafter, he narrowly avoided peril when Stacy Compton and Mario Gosselin got together on Lap 14, bringing out the yellow flag.  After restarting P15 on Lap 16, Papis and the GEICO Tundra soon found their way into 14th position by Lap 19.
 
While he dropped to 20th for a few laps, Papis quickly returned the #9 GEICO Tundra to the front of the field.  He ran solidly in the Top 15 and remained on the lead lap for the duration of the afternoon, even dipping into the Top 10 at one point.  When the race came to a close after a hot, grueling Midwestern afternoon, Papis and the GEICO team came home on the lead lap in 15th place.  
 
“We had a solid afternoon here at Gateway and it was good to get out of here with a Top 15 for the GEICO team,” Papis said.  “It was extremely hot, but that’s the reason I train so hard everyday, so I am prepared for days like this.  I’m looking forward to getting to Indy next week and redeeming myself from last year when we missed the race.  We’re focused on making it happen at the Brickyard for GEICO and for this Germain Racing team.”
 
Next up for Papis and the GEICO Racing team is the Brickyard in Indianapolis, IN.  Papis has had a love/hate relationship with the historic racetrack over the past few years. In 2006, he pulled off a remarkable finish driving for Eddie Cheever in the Indy 500, while 2008 found him missing the world’s biggest race after a devastating crash.  Then, in 2009, Indy got the best of him again when it precluded him from making his NASCAR debut after he fell short of qualifying for the Brickyard 400.
 
Papis and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will begin their road to redemption when they hit the 2.5-mile oval of Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the opening practice session at 2:00 PM (EDT) on Friday, July 23rd.  Qualifying will take place on Saturday morning at 10:10 AM (EDT).
 
The Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, July 25th, and it will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT), while the IMS Radio Network will carry the live radio broadcast.
 
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 

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Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International
Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com  Web Site:  www.pmifirm.com <http://www.pmifirm.com/>

Jul 12
2010

SPLIT DECISION: Germain Chases His NASCAR Dream With Determination

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

K&N Pro Series rookie embracing the stock-car challenge By Travis Barrett, Special to NASCARHomeTracks.com
July 10, 2010 - 11:37am

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Decisions, decisions. For Zach Germain, there really was no decision to be made.

"Race cars or sell cars?" the Bexley, Ohio, native recalled of weighing his future options late in the summer of 2009. "It was the easiest decision I've ever had to make."

As the son of Steve Germain, who owns Germain Motor Company with his brothers, the 25-year-old Zach got a relatively late start in racing. Despite Germain Motorsports fielding entries in each of NASCAR's top three national series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks -- there was very little pressure on Zach Germain to pursue a racing career.

In fact, he says, there was none.

"It was definitely me putting the pressure on everybody else to get into racing," he said. "The more I've been around it, I've wanted to pursue it more and more."

2010_NKNPS_Feature_Zach_Germain_headshot_200As hard as it is to believe, Zach Germain -- a rookie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2010 -- is just four years into his career as a driver. He spent parts of three seasons in Legends cars at Columbus Motor Speedway near his hometown, and then in 2009 competed full-time at that track in its Super Late Model division.

Germain said he only got started in racing when his family did. And despite Germain Racing's success in places like the Camping World Truck Series, the organization is still a relative newcomer to NASCAR.

"We're pretty new when you compare us to the other bigger teams in the sport," Germain said. "We got started in NASCAR in 2004, and I didn't start racing myself until 2006.

"It wasn't something that I set out to do when I was younger. But I saw my family getting into NASCAR and that got me thinking. I've always had a fascination with cars from very early on."

And while some of the other drivers he races against in the K&N Pro Series have been racing since they were seven or eight years old, Germain hasn't. Which is not to say he had no experience behind the wheel of a car.

It just wasn't a race car.

"I've been driving cars around the parking lot since I was a kid," Germain said as he started laughing. "When I was 12 years old, I could drive a manual (shift). I wasn't out racing go-karts like Cole Whitt or some of the others, but I was running '100-lap races' on a new car lot.

"Instead of running into walls, I was running into other new cars."

Germain always viewed his future in the family business of selling cars. When he headed off to Miami (Ohio) University, he'd still never turned a competitive lap behind the wheel of a stock car. In fact, it wasn't until he was well on his way to earning a political science degree that he ended up racing Legends.

Germain figured racing would be something fun on the side while he looked at heading to law school, following in the footsteps of his older sister.

In a strange twist of fate, though, a broken hand and wrist in 2008 -- suffered while racing his Legend car -- sidelined Germain for half that season. It was then that he realized how difficult it was to sit on the sidelines and not race.

The next season, he was in a Super Late Model. He finished seventh in Columbus Motor Speedway's standings in 2009. This year, he jumped into the deep end of a racing career with both feet.

"I just knew that if I was really going to do this, I needed to pursue it to a much greater degree than I  was," said Germain, who has one top-10 in five races this season in the No. 24 Germain.com Toyota. "I knew that if I hadn't have poured myself into it, I always would have looked back later on and wondered, 'What if?'"

This year, Germain packed up and moved to Mooresville, N.C., -- the NASCAR hub -- and cleared out a conference room above the race shop where his cars are prepared. That's where he lives now. Every morning, he's up at 6:45 and joins the guys 15 minutes later working on the team’s K&N Series cars.

For a driver sporting a trademark 'faux-hawk' atop his head -- a strip of hair spiked tall along the middle of his head -- image is, well, everything.

"I know that there are some drivers in the past in this sport who haven't had the best, well ..." Germain pauses, choosing his words carefully, perhaps to draw from that political science background. "Let's just say, some teams would rather not have drivers around because they're not the hardest workers in the world.

"I wasn't going to let them say that about me. I don't want people to ever be able to hold it against me that I'm the son of the team owner with all the money, and I'm lackadaisical and not approaching everything like it matters. ... Sometimes I think that makes me work even harder at this."

Germain feels that being older than most traditional rookies gives him a maturity to understand the bigger picture. That maturity also helps with a steep learning curve.

"It's definitely a learning curve," Germain said. "And I know I've made mistakes at a much higher level than I probably should have. Unfortunately, that's the truth -- I just haven't had the seat time at the local tracks over the years. But everyone's been really gracious with me and supportive, and I feel like as long as I don't make the same mistakes twice, they'll continue to help me and be supportive.

"Every type of car I've raced -- going from Legends to Super Late Models, from Super Late Models to the K&N cars -- it's been night and day different. Every lap I get more and more comfortable and learn a lot. I've learned a tremendous amount in five races. Look at Iowa Speedway -- the biggest track I'd ever been on and I wrecked early. But I learned a lot, and I wish I could go back now and try again."

Despite the trials and tribulations, Germain is as committed to racing as ever.

"There is nothing better than racing cars," said Germain, who has no timetable for a graduation from the K&N Pro Series but has an ultimate goal of racing a Camping World Truck. "The rush, the atmosphere, all of it is unbelievable to me.

"I told my dad the other day and he laughed at me, but I'm living the dream. I'm so fortunate to be able to put things on hold for a while and chase my dream like this. I'm just trying to do my part to make that happen."

###

Original Article published at: http://hometracks.nascar.com/feature/SPLIT_DECISION_Germain_Chases_His_NASCAR_Dream

Vote for Zach Germain for Most Popular Driver in the K&N Pro Series East:
http://www.nascar.com/2010/news/headlines/official/07/02/2010.most.popular.driver.voting.opens/index.html

Jun 21
2010

FOUR CAR CRASH ENDS GOOD RUN FOR PAPIS AND THE GEICO TEAM Blog title (click to edit)

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO

For Immediate Release

Sonoma, CA (June 20, 2010) – Max Papis and the GEICO Racing team arrived in Wine Country ready to capitalize on Papis’ road course experience.  While most people arrive in Sonoma to do wine tours, Papis and the #13 GEICO Camry would do a tour of their own around the 1.99-mile road course of Infineon Raceway.  This weekend posed the first of two road course races on the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.
 
A year ago, Papis and the GEICO Racing team were on the verge of recording their first Sprint Cup Series Top Five finish before Jeff Gordon made contact with the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry on the final lap, causing a punctured rear tire.  Nevertheless, Papis somehow gathered the car and salvaged a 12th place finish in the face of what could have easily been a disastrous result.  
 
Surrounded by hills and vineyards, Sonoma provides one of the most beautiful backdrops in all of auto racing.  Papis settled quickly into the majestic environment and quickly shot to the top of the speed charts during the opening practice session, putting the #13 GEICO Camry in the 12th spot, comfortably ahead of any other ‘go or go home cars’.  His closest threat was Boris Said in the 22nd position.  
 
Qualifying presented a unique set of challenges for Papis, as his wheels locked up multiple times during his trip around the racetrack.  Despite the setback, he was able to qualify comfortably for the Toyota Save Mart 350, resting 29th on the event’s starting grid, fourth fastest of the ‘go or go home’ cars, and four positions ahead of where he started a year ago.
 
Father’s Day welcomed Papis to the racetrack on Sunday and with his late father heavy on his heart, he looked to drive with great passion and take the #13 GEICO Camry to the front of the field.  Starting 29th, he picked up two positions on the opening lap of the race, but would quickly begin battling a loose racecar. Papis soon radioed to crew chief Bootie Barker, “When I go hard I feel like I’m going to fly off the track.” If Papis was handling a touch racecar no one could tell because by Lap 37 he had moved into 14th position.  
 
On Lap 43, things got interesting for Papis when Tony Stewart made contact with the rear of the #13 GEICO Camry, sending it spinning just after Turn 11.  Miraculously, Papis gathered the car and continued in the race.  On Lap 44, the GEICO Racing team made major adjustments and also outfitted the GEICO Camry with four fresh tires and a tank of Sunoco racing fuel during their scheduled green flag pit stop.  Upon leaving the pit box, Papis’ voice filled with intensity when he told his crew, “Let’s keep attacking!  I will give them hell, I promise you!”
 
By Lap 55, Papis’ lap times were nearly a second faster than the leader, Jimmy Johnson.  Unfortunately, Papis would not get the opportunity to challenge his good friend for the lead because the restart on Lap 67 found Papis being collected in a major four-car crash involving Martin Truex, Jr., Sam Hornish, Jr., and Denny Hamlin.  The #13 GEICO Camry sustained major damage and would be forced to retire with a 43rd place finish.  
 
“Today was tough because we were so much better than what you saw out there.  After that last stop, the #13 GEICO Camry was really fast, even faster than Jimmie (Johnson, the race leader),” Papis said.  “This is racing and these things happen, but the most important thing is that we were competitive and we were on our way to getting another Top 10 finish. I can’t thank the guys on this GEICO team enough for all of their hard work.  We’re getting there and we’ll keep pushing.”
 
To learn more about Max Papis and the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com <http://www.geicogarage.com>  
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/geicoracing <http://www.twitter.com/geicoracing>  

# # #


Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International
   Email: dbarnette@pmifirm.com


 


Jun 07
2010

Valvoline, Germain Join in Business and NASCAR* Racing

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Bob Germain

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 3, 2010) -- Valvoline, one of the leading brands of automotive lubricants, announced today that it has entered into a technical partnership with Germain Racing and Germain Motor Company, a top-25 automotive dealership network with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.  

Valvoline® motor oil will be the official motor oil of both entities as well as a team sponsor for Germain Racing entries in NASCAR's three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck -- and the K&N Pro East Series. The driver lineup for Germain Racing includes Max Papis (Sprint Cup), Michael Annett (Nationwide), Todd Bodine (Camping World Truck) and Zach Germain (Pro East).

The agreement calls for Valvoline to be an associate sponsor at all races Germain Racing enters and a primary sponsor at two truck races and two Nationwide races. The truck races with Valvoline primary sponsorship will be Aug. 18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The Nationwide primary-sponsored races will be Sept. 4 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Oct. 15 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.    The Valvoline/Germain Racing partnership will commence this weekend with Valvoline associate sponsorship on Bodine's No. 30 Tundra in Friday night's truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. Bodine is the points leader in the Camping World Truck Series with six top-five finishes in seven starts.     "Valvoline is very excited to be associated with Germain Racing and the Germain Motor Company," said John Scanlon, Valvoline's director of national accounts. "We have been impressed with Bob and Steve Germain's commitment to excellence and we are looking forward to a long relationship."   According to Automotive News, Germain Motor Company has grown to become a top-25 ranked automotive retail network. The company's dealerships are located in Ohio, Florida and Arkansas and cover 13 manufacturers, including four Toyota and three Lexus franchises.   "We are thrilled to represent Valvoline not only on the track but in all of the Germain dealerships," said Bob Germain Jr., president of Germain Racing and vice president of Germain Motor Company. "The quality of Valvoline products and the tremendous marketing support they offer will help us grow our automotive business on many levels. We also look forward to bringing Valvoline on board at Germain Racing. Their performance products and technical support will help us be even more competitive on the track and we look forward to taking them to victory lane."   Germain Racing joins Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports as Valvoline's NASCAR partners. The Valvoline Racing team on the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) circuit is equally impressive with partners Don Schumacher Racing, Alan Johnson Racing, Tim Wilkerson Racing and Ron Krisher Racing.     The Valvoline team of drivers, who showcase the iconic red and blue Valvoline V, are as follows:   Germain Racing, NASCAR  Max Papis  Todd Bodine  Michael Annett  Zach Germain   Richard Petty Motorsports, NASCAR  AJ Allmendinger  Kasey Kahne  Elliott Sadler   Roush Fenway Racing, NASCAR  Matt Kenseth  Greg Biffle  Carl Edwards  David Ragan  Colin Braun  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.   Alan Johnson Racing, NHRA   Larry Dixon, Top Fuel  Del Worsham, Funny Car   Don Schumacher Racing, NHRA  Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel  Cory McClenathan, Top Fuel  Antron Brown, Top Fuel  Jack Beckman, Funny Car  Ron Capps, Funny Car  Matt Hagen, Funny Car  Craig Treble, Pro Stock Motorcycle   Ron Krisher Racing, NHRA  Ron Krisher, Pro Stock   Team Wilkerson Racing, NHRA   Tim Wilkerson, Funny Car   About Valvoline Valvoline, a brand of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), has been serving American motorists longer than any other motor oil. The Valvoline family of products includes Eagle One® appearance products, Car Brite® car restoration products, Zerex® antifreeze, SynPower® performance products and MaxLife® products created for higher-mileage engines. With more than 850 locations throughout the United States, Valvoline Instant Oil Change® is a leader in serving the quick lube market.   ###  

®  Registered trademark of Ashland or its subsidiaries

* Trademark owned by a third party

Contact: David Ferroni DMF Communications 612-805-8718