Germain Racing News

This is where you can find all of the latest news about the Germain Racing Team!
May 23
2011

Ownership Change Confirmed

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Germain Racing Confirms Ownership Change

Mooresville, NC (May 23, 2011) – As has been reported in the media, Germain Racing has had a change in ownership.  The change comes about as part of an ongoing Germain-family estate plan. Steve Germain and Rick Germain have effectively transferred their ownership interests in Germain Racing to their brother Bob Germain Jr.  Bob Germain will continue his active role in the management of Germain Racing, LLC.

"Being able to share the wins and championships we’ve earned to date with my brothers has been very special. Steve and Rick's support of the team over the last seven years has helped us build a very strong foundation at Germain Racing. I am looking forward to the continued growth and success of this race team,” stated Bob Germain, President of Germain Racing.

Germain Racing began in 2004 as a single-truck organization competing solely in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team has since earned two Truck Series championship titles and Germain Racing’s 22 victories have played a key role in Toyota’s five-year reign on the manufacturer’s championship in NCWTS.

Currently Germain Racing competes under the Toyota brand in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with sponsorship from GEICO, South Point Hotel & Casino, Valvoline, Tire Kingdom, Georgia Boot, Lofton Cattle, Lincoln Welders, Samoa Artesian Waters and Big Red. For information on how your company can join the lineup of sponsors at Germain Racing visit www.GermainRacing.com.

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Media Contact:                                                              
Lori Smith, Media Relations Manager, Germain Racing
prlorismith@gmail.com – 704-799-4300

 

 

 


May 23
2011

TOUGH BREAK RUINS MAX PAPIS’ TOP-10 RUN AT CHARLOTTE

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TOUGH BREAK RUINS MAX PAPIS’ TOP-10 RUN AT CHARLOTTE

CONCORD, N.C. (May 20, 2011) – Twenty-four weeks out of the year, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series travels around the country, racing at tracks from Daytona to Las Vegas. However, there is one race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway that every driver and team looks forward to. Instead of sleeping in hotels and being away from family, the GEICO Racing team gets to be at home, competing only miles away from the Mooresville, N.C. race shop.

Max Papis relishes the opportunity to race in front of the ‘home’ crowd. The one-day show at the 1.5-mile track started with two practice sessions where the GEICO crew tuned in the handling of the No. 9 Toyota Tundra. Optimistic entering qualifying for Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Papis laid down a lap of 30.888 seconds to place the Gecko in the 13th starting position.

Under beautiful weather conditions, Papis was ready to attack, stay out of trouble, and finish inside the top-10 at the end of 134 laps. SPEED Channel’s pit road reporter Hermie Sadler started the broadcast by spotlighting Papis and the No. 9 GEICO team for their performance so far this season, which provided an uplifting boost to the crew. Once the green flag dropped to start the event, Papis reported of a loose handling condition, causing the driver to drop back to the 20th position on lap four.

The first caution of the night came on lap nine for a spin by Papis’ Germain Racing teammate, Todd Bodine. Crew chief Randy Goss brought Papis to pit road for fuel and two rounds down on the track bar to help the loose condition. As the majority of the field stayed out, Papis restarted on lap 12 from 27th-place. In a short five laps, the GEICO Toyota was up to the 21st position.

Another caution slowed the pace on lap 21, with Papis inside the top-20. Goss called Papis back to pit road for four tires, fuel, and one round down on the track bar as the previous adjustments had helped the GEICO Tundra. Papis restarted on lap 25 from the 25th position. Over the next 25 laps, two cautions were brought out as Papis continued to gain ground on his competitors and move into 19th-place.

On lap 53, the fourth caution was displayed, as Papis returned to the attention of his GEICO crew for fuel and a right rear shock adjustment to continue to help with the loose handling in the center of the corner. Papis restarted in the 12th position on lap 59, challenging for a spot within the top-10. In one brief circuit around the Carolina track, Papis had taken over eighth-place.

Two quick cautions in 15 laps stalled Papis’ ability to continue his charge to the front. The lap 75 restart saw Papis in the seventh position and the GEICO team was hoping for a green flag run to help the No. 9 Toyota. Unfortunately, two short laps later on lap 77, Papis received racing contact in the right rear from Matt Crafton, sending the Gecko into teammate Brendan Gaughan. Heavy damage was sustained to the GEICO Toyota, but the crew resiliently repaired the truck on pit road during numerous stops to complete the race. 

Over the final 55 laps, Papis and the GEICO team continued to work on the truck when the chance became available, but the international driver was unable to pick up any spots. As the checkered flag flew, Papis crossed the finish line in the 25th position.

“It was a tough night for the GEICO team,” said Papis, after the race. “I’m extremely proud of the effort that the guys put in to build this brand new truck and it was very, very fast. We were going to have a great top-10 finish if not even higher, so it was definitely disappointing that we got contact in that wreck. Crafton came over and apologized, which was a very classy move. I said at the beginning of the year that 10% of the races in the championship were going to be nights like these and we had one. The GEICO crew will regroup and head to Kansas.”

Despite falling victim to a tough night, Papis still managed to maintain his status in the top 10 of the point standings, as he rests in the 10th position.  He sits just 10 points shy of seventh-place James Buescher. The Truck Series will take a one-week break before returning to racing action at Kansas Speedway on June 4, 2011.

To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit: www.geicogarage.com <http://www.geicogarage.com/> .

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing <http://www.twitter.com/geicoracing> .

-PMI-

 

Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International

   Email: sjones@pmifirm.com 

May 23
2011

MEARS FINISHES 12TH IN SHOWDOWN; GAINS GROUND FOR COCA-COLA 600

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MEARS FINISHES 12TH IN SHOWDOWN; GAINS GROUND FOR COCA-COLA 600

 

CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 2011) – Each weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enters a different racetrack, the pressure follows. However, with no points on the line, the Sprint All Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway is one for drivers and teams to try new setups and get a starting point for next week’s Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the 2011 season.

Casey Mears and the GEICO Racing team were prepared to race their way into the Sprint All Star main event, via the Sprint Showdown. The Showdown consisted of two 20-lap segments with a competition caution thrown by NASCAR in the middle of the segments. Only the top two finishers from the Showdown would transfer into the main All Star race.

The No. 13 GEICO Toyota Camry started the Showdown from the 11th position, as Mears laid down a solid lap of 28.278 seconds in qualifying on Friday afternoon. The first caution slowed the pace on lap three with Mears scored in the eighth position. The Bakersfield, California native radioed to Crew Chief Bootie Barker that the Gecko was “pretty darn good.” On lap nine, Mears restarted from the outside of row four before being shuffled out of position. As the first 20-lap segment came to a close, Mears held the 13th position and reported to the GEICO team that the Camry was tight to the center of the corner.

As the majority of the leaders decided to come to pit road for fresh tires during the segment break, Mears stayed on the racetrack to gain track position. The second and final 20-laps started on lap 21 with Mears in fifth-place. On the restart, the competitors with new tires behind Mears took off and the caution came on lap 28 with the GEICO Camry in the 11th position. Barker brought Mears to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment as the front end was sliding the nose.

With caution laps not counting during the second segment, Mears restarted on lap 28 from the 13th position. The final 11 laps went caution free, but with two laps remaining, Mears passed Martin Truex Jr. for 12th-place. The GEICO Toyota Camry went on to cross the finish line in that position.

“Overall we learned a decent amount for next weekend, which is the one that really counts,” said Mears after the Showdown. “Our pit stop tonight was really good and we were able to gain some information about the handling that will give us a better place to start in practice for the 600. The GEICO Camry was just too tight in the center, but we will get it fixed up and be ready to go.”

Mears and the GEICO Racing team will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway next week for the running of the Coca-Cola 600. Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Thursday, May 26th, while the race will take place on Sunday, May 29th.

 

-PMI-

 

Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International

Email: sjones@pmifirm.com

 

 

 

May 22
2011

Fast Tundra at Charlotte for Gaughan

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Gaughan’s Finish Overshadows Team’s Efforts at Charlotte

 

Concord, NC (05-21-2011) – On Friday night, the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra started from deep within the 36-truck field. Driver Brendan Gaughan was dissatisfied with the 27th-place starting spot on the grid, but it didn’t take long for him to have the opportunity to show exactly why he was disappointed. Gaughan knew his Tundra was fast, and, ten laps into the134-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, his competition knew his Tundra was fast, too.

“We were terribly fast tonight.  Our Toyota was real quick.  I think we drove ourselves to around 13th the first run and then drove ourselves into the top-10 in the second run.  We were going to have a strong night with the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra,” said Gaughan, who was very excited about the performance level of his No. 62 Toyota Tundra.

After Gaughan moved just outside the top-ten by twenty laps into the race, he and his crew were discussing strategies and considering how to get the best finish out of the night. On their first pit stop, they adjusted for a slight loose condition with a wedge adjustment. Gaughan continued to move up through the field, making it into the top-ten by lap 50. The forward progress screeched to a halt by lap 70.

“In the end, I think we lost a rear end gear is what it looks like. I knew -- my instinct was that something was broke and it was still running.  I knew to trust my instinct, I didn’t. In the end it broke in the middle of the corner. I went up (the track) and tried to just stay out of the way. I think Max (Papis) was an innocent victim there.  I guess he was trying to get underneath me and somebody pushed him into me,” said Gaughan of the second caution of the night that he was party to.  “That’s just been the luck for the Germain Racing team this year. Two teammates having nothing to do with each other, one is going to have a good night and then we bang into each other. Our Tundra, from what I understood, was real dang fast.”

Gaughan’s run through the field to the runner-up position was punctuated by a 30th finish. Gaughan ranks 12th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings after seven of 25 events.

The next race for the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra is Kansas Speedway on June 4th.

 

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May 21
2011

77 Tundra Gets Best Germain Finish of Trucks at Charlotte

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Lofton Picks Up Points, Equals Season Best Finish At Charlotte

CONCORD, N.C. -- After a night filled with carnage, Justin Lofton and the No. 77 Lofton Cattle team loaded their Toyota Tundra onto their hauler after the N.C. Education Lottery 200 in nearly pristine condition. Despite 10 caution flags on Friday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Lofton was able to run a clean race, coming home with a 13th place finish.

"We had a good night and that is exactly what we needed. We've had some rough luck to the start of the season, but now we can build off of this and carry this momentum forward," Lofton said. "The guys on this team don't give up, and it feels good to put the bad luck behind us and get this finish."

The finish equaled Lofton's season best of 13th from Darlington. He also picked up three spots in the owner point standings to 23rd, as well as two positions in the driver point standings to 20th.

Lofton started the 200-mile race from the 28th position after qualifying in the heat of the day. As the sun set and temperatures dropped, Lofton's Toyota came to life. By lap 30, Lofton had gained 10 positions.

In addition to Lofton's skills behind the wheel, the Lofton Cattle pit crew did their part, laying down stellar stops all race long. The crew also put in overtime through the race, as crew chief Ryan "Rudy" Fugle opted to top Lofton's Tundra off on fuel prior to numerous restarts. Though the plan was to watch the fuel gauge as the race reached the distance, the strategy was thrown out of the window after 47 caution laps interrupted the 134-lap race.

Under a caution flag on lap 97 Lofton pulled his Toyota down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel as the team took on their final pit stop of the night. After logging a few laps with the fresher tires on his machine, Lofton radioed to Fugle that the truck was "very drivable" and only a little loose at the exit of turn 4. At that point, Lofton showed in the 15th position.

Only one more caution flag waved over the race in the closing laps, leaving Lofton time to pick up two more positions, as he crossed the finish line in the 13th spot.

After the race, the crew looked over Lofton's machine and discovered that there was a gaping hole on the right side of the windshield. After further inspection, they found that a brake rotor from another truck had caused the damage.

"I knew something hit, but I wasn't sure what it was at the time. It knocked the air hose off of my helmet. I wondered what it was, but kept on going," Lofton said. "There was a lot of debris around the track all night. You definitely had to stay on your toes out there, or you were going to get caught up in something."

The next race for Lofton and the No. 77 Lofton Cattle team is on June 4 at Kansas Speedway.

 

Contact: Amanda Brahler
Justin Lofton Media Relations
Email:mandy@justinloftoninc.com

May 18
2011

Bodine’s 47 Career Starts May Have Him Miles Above Competition at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Bodine’s 47 Career Starts May Have Him Miles Above Competition at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Bodine is the Reigning Truck Series Champion after earning his 2nd title in 2010

Bodine Owns 21 Truck Series wins with Germain Racing and 36 NASCAR career wins

He has 47 NASCAR Career (Points-paying) Starts at CMS, 7 in NCWTS

Bodine has top-10 finishes in Cup, NNS and Trucks, and has led laps in each division

2010 Was Bodine’s best NCWTS finish at CMS—2nd place w/Best start, 2009, 4th

May 17, 2011 (Mooresville, N.C.) - Germain Racing has long been established as the benchmark for performance at 1.5-mile race tracks. The team has earned 22 victories, 21 of which are credited specifically to Todd Bodine and the No. 30 Germain.com crew. Of those victories, 17 fall within the ‘intermediate’ track or speedway category. Add to that the fact that no other driver entered in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has raced more laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway than Bodine, and you have a team feeling confident, and maybe a bit overdue.

“Charlotte Motor Speedway is a track I’ve always liked. We’ve run well in the past. We need to get the whole package together and get the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra into victory lane. There’s no reason we can’t do it. Our luck at Charlotte has been horrible but our performance has been good. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” said Bodine, who finished second at Charlotte last May, and has collected two third-place finishes there in the Truck Series.

In addition to Bodine’s 47 NASCAR career points-paying starts, the Chemung, NY, native has raced in the All Star event, winning the preliminary race, and has competed in the now-defunct Sportsman Series. Bodine has even raced against Jeff Gordon in a Legends Cars match race at Charlotte.

Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., of Lockport, NY, long ago adopted Mooresville, NC, as his new home and loves Charlotte race weeks for the opportunity to compete and be home—at the same time.

“Charlotte racing is awesome because for me it means I get to be at home, spending extra time with my family. Winning in front of the home crowd would be a great way to head into the summer stretch,” said Hillman, whose crew has prepared chassis TRD-131 to race this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bodine concurs that being home is a huge perk of racing at Charlotte.

“My favorite part of racing Charlotte might be sleeping in my own bed,” smiled Bodine.

Bodine is ranked 9th in Truck Series championship points after six of 25 races.

Watch Bodine in the No. 30 Germain.com Tundra on Friday, May 20th, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. SPEED’s coverage begins with practice at 9:30 AM and 10:20 AM Eastern, followed by qualifying at 4:00 pm, the NCWTS Setup at 7:30 and live racing at 8:00 PM. Can’t get to a television? Tune your radio to your local MRN affiliate.

Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at Germainracing.com or become a fan on Facebook: Facebook.com/pages/Germain-Racing/198863890135.

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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May 18
2011

Charlotte Kicks Off Big Window of Opportunity for Gaughan and No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra Team

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Charlotte Kicks Off Big Window of Opportunity for Gaughan and No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra Team

Gaughan drives the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra

He is an 8-time winner in the Truck Series

He holds two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship Titles

Gaughan won in the GT class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year

Gaughan has 5 NCWTS races at Charlotte with two top-5 starts and three top-10 finishes

Mooresville, N.C. (May 17, 2011) - People that know Brendan Gaughan know he has an enthusiasm level that many people can only muster on special occasions. Gaughan’s huge grin actually gets bigger when you mention a track like Charlotte Motor Speedway to the Las Vegas native. He has collected eight wins in his Truck Series career, four from Charlotte’s 1.5-mile sister track, Texas Motor Speedway. Gaughan is thrilled to get to the ‘big track’ section of the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule.

“Charlotte kicks off the stretch on the schedule that I had circled as the reason why I wanted to race for Germain Racing. The team has always been good on mile and a half and ‘big tracks.’ Those are the tracks that I have always loved, so, looking at Charlotte on the schedule means we’re here. I couldn’t be more excited to see how the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra will do on Friday,” said Gaughan.

Gaughan will go so far as to say he sees this stretch as an opportunity for Germain Racing to catch its stride and win some races.

“Charlotte, Kansas, Texas, Kentucky are all coming up. I think it’s a big opportunity for this No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra team, I think it’s a big opportunity for Germain Racing as a team, to win a bunch of races,” said Gaughan.

The No. 62 driver just had a strong finish at the Monster Mile and looks forward to carrying some momentum from the Dover race weekend.

“Our truck did what Germain Racing is great at doing at Dover. We turned a decent truck, a decent race, into a good finish. The No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino pit crew had great stops on pit road. We have a lot of good energy heading into my favorite part of the schedule,” said Gaughan.

Watch Gaughan’s No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra on Friday night, May 20th, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gaughan’s truck will feature a local business, Lake Norman Scuba, on the tailgate, rather than the familiar South Point Hotel & Casino logo. Gaughan is active with the Lake Norman scuba group, including working as a Divemaster.

The action from Charlotte will be shown on SPEED beginning with practice at 9:30 AM and 10:20 AM Eastern and qualifying at 4:00 PM. The “NCWTS Setup” show airs pre-race at 7:30 PM followed by live race coverage at 8:00 PM. If you’ll be away from a TV, set the DVR and tune your radio dial to your local MRN affiliate.

Germain Racing has earned two championship titles in the Truck Series. The Toyota team owns 22 victories and 9 pole awards in the series that continues to grow ratings on SPEED. For more information on Germain Racing, visit www.GermainRacing.com or follow the team on Twitter @GermainRacing.

Brendan Gaughan holds eight Truck Series victories to go along with his two K&N Pro Series West championship titles. He currently ranks 10th in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s points standings. 

Follow Gaughan at www.BrendanGaughan.com or on Twitter @Brendan62.

About South Point…The South Point (http://www.SouthPointCasino.com) is a 2,200-room resort in Las Vegas, Nevada providing affordable luxury while catering to visitors and locals alike. This casino destination features a world-class spa, bowling center, eight restaurants, showroom, equestrian arena, convention center, exhibit hall, bingo and all of the casino games that made Las Vegas famous. The South Point opened in December 2005.

 

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May 18
2011

Lofton Cattle Tundra - Charlotte Preview

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Justin Lofton, No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway 

Event: N.C. Education Lottery 200

When: Friday, May 20, 8:00 PM (Eastern)

Broadcast information: 7:30 PM (Eastern) SPEED

 

Last Time Out: Last Friday in Dover Justin Lofton and the No. 77 team had a solid run going in the Lucas Oil 200. After starting the event from the 12th position, Lofton held the position through most of the event despite the intense competition around the one-mile concrete track. With just over 20 laps remaining in the race however, Lofton's truck snapped loose off of turn 4, suffering heavy damage. The team ended the event in the 25th spot.

 

Lofton at Charlotte: Last season's NCWTS event marked Lofton's debut on the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. Despite having experience on other tracks measuring the same distance while competing in the ARCA Racing Series, the event was the first for Lofton at Charlotte. When it was all said and done, the race was a solid one for the California native. He started the event 22nd and climbed his way to an impressive 15th place finish. 

 

Out and About: Lofton will be busy around town over the next two weeks while NASCAR competition stays within the Charlotte, N.C. area. Before taking to the track on Friday for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Lofton will appear at the Wal-Mart in Concord from 6 to 7 PM. On Friday during a break in the NCWTS track schedule, Lofton will appear at the Toyota Pit Pass display from 1:30 to 2 PM. On Sunday, he will play in a charity softball game at Fieldcrest Stadium, home of the Kannapolis Intimidators. Next week, Lofton will continue making the rounds around Charlotte, appearing at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Speed Street.

 

Truck Information: Lofton will race chassis GR010, TRD122 this week at Charlotte. It is the same truck that the team raced earlier this season at Darlington, scoring a season's best 13th place finish. They last raced the truck in Nashville, finishing 16th.

 

Lofton on Charlotte: "Charlotte is a lot of fun to race. It is challenging and fast. We race on a lot of intermediate tracks but not many can compare to Charlotte. The atmosphere makes the race a little more special since most of the teams are based in the area. I'm looking forward to it."

 

Crew Chief Ryan "Rudy" Fugle on Charlotte: "Racing at Charlotte is always a lot of fun because we're close to home and all of the shop guys can come out and be a part of what they usually miss once we pack up the truck. We have a good group of guys and Justin has a lot of talent. We're looking forward to the race this week."

 

Contact

Amanda Brahler

Justin Lofton Media Relations

Email:mandy@justinloftoninc.com 

May 16
2011

Gaughan Ties Career Best Dover Finish with a Seventh-Place Run

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Gaughan Ties Career Best Dover Finish with a Seventh-Place Run

 

Mooresville, NC (May 16, 2011) – On Friday the 13th, Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra scored their best finish of the season and tied Gaughan’s career best finish at Dover International Speedway. Gaughan says the seventh-place finish can easily be attributed to a gutsy call from the pit box and great pit road performances by the South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra pit crew.

 

“Everything worked out in our favor. We were running just outside the top-ten all day long and our South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra was good. Late in the race, Bryan Berry made a gutsy two-tire call which gave us a lot of track position. It worked out that when the caution came with 20 laps to go, we had a fresh set of stickered tires available that we were able to use. We had another great pit stop, and I was able to use the four fresh tires to help this No. 62 team get its best finish of the year,” said Gaughan, summarizing his 200-laps at Dover.

 

Gaughan started 22nd and was happy with his No. 62 Tundra, but he says it wasn’t as great as his Darlington race truck. The Darlington truck, however, didn’t get as good of a result.

 

“We had a top-five Tundra at Darlington and didn’t get to show it. We had at top-15 or maybe a top-ten Tundra at Dover, but we got a good, top-ten finish out of it. So the tides have sort of equaled out for our South Point Hotel & Casino team,” said Gaughan with a signature smile.

 

Brendan Gaughan has eight career victories in the Truck Series. His performance in Dover moved him into tenth-place in the NCWTS driver’s points standings after six of 25 races. Gaughan drives one of three Germain Racing trucks currently in the top-ten in the Truck Series championship standings.

 

Next up: Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20, 2011 at 8:00 PM Eastern.

 

May 16
2011

Determination Drives Max Papis and GEICO Team to 13th-Place Finish at Dover

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Determination Drives Max Papis and GEICO Team to 13th-Place Finish at Dover

 

DOVER, Del. (May 13, 2011) – Known as the “Monster Mile,” Dover International Speedway has the reputation of a fierce animal that can grab a hold of a driver in a matter of seconds and leave teams with nothing but pieces of carnage. Max Papis and the No. 9 GEICO Racing team entered the sixth race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series looking to survive the 200-lap event and bring home a solid effort.

 

Under sunny skies in Delaware, Papis took to the concrete mile for practice with a trial setup to experiment and see if the team could gain ground on their competitors. Papis communicated to his GEICO crew that his Toyota Tundra didn’t like the particular setup, making the decision to switch to one closer to his Germain Racing teammates. Hitting the track early Friday morning for qualifying, Papis held the truck wide open around the high-banked corners to roll off from the 23rd position in the 12th Annual Lucas Oil 200.

 

Once the green flag waved, Papis looked to attack and move towards the front of the field. Unfortunately, a loose handling condition quickly plagued the driver and relegated the GEICO Toyota to the 26th position as the first caution slowed the pace on lap eight for a single-truck accident on the backstretch. Papis remained on the racetrack and restarted on lap 13 from 24th-place.

 

As the air pressure rose in his four tires, Papis radioed to Crew Chief Randy Goss that he began to feel a tight handling condition that was hindering him from turning in the corners. As leader and eventual race winner Kyle Busch was setting a blistering pace, the No. 9 GEICO Toyota fell one lap down to the leaders on lap 30. Seventeen laps later, the second caution flew on lap 47 for a spin in turn two. Papis brought his Tundra to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to help the handling. The Como, Italy native restarted on lap 51 from the 27th position.

 

Over the next 25 laps, Papis kept working his way past competitors as he looked to place himself in the Lucky Dog position. Another caution came on lap 74 for a hard-hit by Ricky Carmichael but Papis fell a couple spots short of receiving the free pass. The GEICO Toyota returned to the attention of his pit crew for four tires, fuel, and additional adjustments.

 

Restarting on lap 81, Papis took off from 24th-place, after a solid pit stop by the GEICO crew. A long, uncharacteristic green-flag run ensued for the next 75 laps, forcing all teams to pit while the racing on the track continued. On lap 125, the leaders began hitting pit road and a handful of circuits later, Goss called Papis to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to continue working on fine-tuning the No. 9 Tundra.

 

The fifth caution for debris came on lap 156 after all teams had cycled through their respective green-flag pit stops. Papis had broken into the top-20 but was still looking to regain his position on the lead lap. The GEICO Tundra returned to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments before returning to action on lap 161.

 

As the action picked up on the racetrack over the final 20 laps, four cautions slowed the pace of the race. On lap 186, Papis finally received the break he had been looking for all race long and was the recipient of the Lucky Dog Award, returning the Gecko to the lead lap. The field returned to green with nine laps remaining, with Papis scored in 18th-place. ‘Mad Max’ worked hard to pass numerous competitors to cross the finish line in the 13th position as the checkered flag flew.

 

With the determination of the GEICO team, Papis gained two positions to seventh-place in the NCWTS driver championship point standings, sitting 30 points behind sixth-place Austin Dillon. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action this Friday night, May 20th at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

 

-PMI-

 

Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International

Email: sjones@pmifirm.com