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Mar 30

Climbing in the Truck Series Standings, Bodine and Crew Look Forward to Martinsville with Tundra

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


Climbing in the Truck Series Standings, Bodine and Crew Look Forward to Martinsville with Tundra

  • Bodine is Third Driver in Truck Series History to Win Multiple Titles, and Clinch Early
  • Bodine Owns 21 Truck Series wins with Germain Racing and 36 NASCAR career wins
  • His career-best finish at Martinsville is 2nd (2007, 2009)

March 30, 2011 (Mooresville, N.C.) - As Martinsville Speedway gets its turn on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule this weekend, Todd Bodine and the No. 30 Tundra team are looking forward to continuing to build on what they had at the Virginia short-track last fall when the Chemung, NY, native led 83 laps en route to a third-place finish.

“We finished third but we had a really good truck. I got out run on tires at the end—we had like 50 laps more on our tires than anybody. We understood that. It’s what we did to get track position and take a chance. We ran really well. It definitely helps this Tundra team going back to Martinsville,” said Bodine.

The team seems to have the pieces put together. Bodine hopes this weekend could signal the end of Germain Racing’s nil in the win column in the short-track category.

“We’ve run well at Martinsville, just never got it done. The guys have done a great job putting a truck together that’s specific for Martinsville. Hopefully we can use it the best we can and finally get it done,” explained Bodine.

Bodine will race chassis GR-016. The truck is new to Germain Racing this year. It debuted in race number three as a No. 62 Tundra for teammate Gaughan.

“This week the guys have prepared GR-016 as the chassis for the No. 30 Tundra. It will be our first time using the truck as a 30, but, we are confident it’s the best choice for the Martinsville race weekend. We learned a lot about Martinsville last fall, and certainly we hope to build on that this weekend,” said Hillman Jr.

Bodine has competed in 14 Truck Series events at Martinsville—he is one of many NASCAR drivers to have made their first career start at the track. This Saturday he’ll compete in his 169th Truck Series race when he fires up the Tundra for the fourth race of the 2011 season. Bodine has 732 NASCAR career starts to date.

Watch Bodine in the No. 30 Tundra on on Saturday, April 2nd, at Martinsville Speedway. The action starts on SPEED with practice airing at 2:00 PM ET on Friday. Qualifying is on air at 10:30 AM Saturday followed by racing at 2:00 PM—all on SPEED. 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 or become a fan on Facebook:

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





Mar 30

Lofton Ready for Martinsville Racing

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

Justin Lofton, No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra

Track: Martinsville Speedway

Event: Kroger 250

When: Saturday, April 2, 2 PM (Eastern)

Broadcast information: 1:30 PM (Eastern) SPEED

Last Time Out: Justin Lofton qualified 17th for the Too Tough to Tame 200 in Darlington during the tour's last race three weeks ago. The outing started out with a big obstacle after a multi-truck wreck broke out on the very first lap of the event. Lofton unfortunately got caught up in the melee, suffering front end damage, but the Ryan Fugle led No. 77 Lofton Cattle team worked on Lofton's battered Toyota Tundra, repairing the damage and handling issues. Lofton held up his end of the bargain too, picking off positions through the very last lap of competition. The checkered flag waved with Lofton driving home in the 13th position.

Two Wheel Time: Lofton got his start racing when he was just 12 years old. But rather than four wheels, Lofton flexed his competitive muscle on two wheels, racing mountain bikes. Though full bodied, four-wheeled, horse-powered machines are now his thing, Lofton still enjoys hitting the trails on two wheels. During the break in NCWTS competition, Lofton took advantage of the time away from the track by relaxing at home and hitting the trails with his truck chief Doug Powers.

Lofton at Martinsville: Lofton will make his third start at Martinsville this Saturday during the Kroger 250. His first trip to the paperclip-shaped track ended early after contact from a lapped truck forced him to the garage area for repairs. His return visit to the .0526-mile oval last fall was a competitive one after he qualified just outside of the top-10 in 11th, and finished a solid 13th.

Lofton Loves Short Tracks: Lofton, the 2009 ARCA Racing Series champion earned the honor after claiming six race wins. Three of them were on tracks measuring a half-mile or less. In 2010 during his rookie season in trucks, Lofton tallied six runs within the top 15 on tracks measuring a mile or less, including a solid fifth place run at the challenging, high banked, half-mile in Bristol.

Truck Information: Lofton will race chassis GR102. It is a brand new truck that has not yet seen race action. However, the team tested the truck at the Motor Mile before heading to Martinsville.

Lofton on Martinsville: "I'm so excited about heading to Martinsville this week. It's a fun short track and you really have to be on your game there because things happen so fast. If you can stay out of trouble, you can come home with a solid finish. I feel like we have some momentum rolling after Darlington. The guys were relentless working on the truck there and it paid off with a good finish. We hope to keep adding to it."

Crew Chief Ryan "Rudy" Fugle on Martinsville: "Martinsville is a historic track that I am excited to go to. It is one of those races on the Truck schedule that all of the teams want to win. I am real excited to get back to racing after having the last few weeks off."




Amanda Brahler

Justin Lofton Media Relations

Email: -

Mar 29

Zach Germain and East Series Drivers Visited Shriners Hospital

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

See Video Highlight from Greenville: Zach Germain and East Series Drivers Visited Shriners Hospital

Mar 28


Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , GEICO , Casey Mears , Bootie Barker


Fontana, CA (March 27, 2011) – Casey Mears and the GEICO Racing team arrived in Southern California with Top 35 visions in their minds.  For the first time in the three-year history of the GEICO NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program, both GEICO and Germain Racing have ventured into unchartered territory where they now find themselves sitting in the Top 35 in the Owner Point standings.  Top 35 status guarantees the Germain Racing team a position in each race, providing they maintain their position. 

They would need to record a decent finish in Fontana to maintain their current status and allow the GEICO team to be locked in at Martinsville next week. 

Friday’s opening practice session in Fontana proved unspectacular, as Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry sat 37th at the close of practice.  Undaunted, Mears took to the two-mile oval for qualifying on Friday afternoon and turned heads when he paced the two-mile facility in just 39.592-seconds, at a rate of speed of 181.855 miles per hour.  Aside from securing the 25th starting position in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Mears was the fastest ‘go or go home car’ in the qualifying session. 

Mears then tore into Fontana for final practice on Saturday and shot the #13 GEICO Camry to the top of the chart and sat 19th when the session concluded. 

Rain threatened the Fontana area on Sunday morning and drizzle plagued the area until around 10:00 AM (PT) when it finally dissipated and allowed for track drying to begin.  The racing gods would smile upon Southern California and allow for an on-time green flag at 12:16 PM (PT). 

Mears started 25th, but quickly began to battle the racecar.  By Lap 3, Mears had dropped to 27th and reported to crew chief Bootie Barker that his GEICO Camry was tight and would not turn.  He fell as low as 35th before scheduled green flag pit stops got underway and forced the #13 GEICO Camry down pit road for service on Lap 34.  The Germain Racing pit crew quickly outfitted Mears with four fresh tires, a full tank of fuel and adjustments before returning him to the racing surface in the 32nd position. 

The adjustments would serve as little assistance to Mears, as just two laps later he once again radioed to Barker: “The front end just doesn’t want to work.”

Mears and Barker would win the occasional battle, but the war continued and Lap 163 found Mears still at odds with an ill-handling racecar while running in the 30th position.  As the laps wound down, Barker ordered Mears to pit road for the final pit stop of the day on Lap 185 after a caution came out for a Bobby Labonte crash.  Barker instructed the GEICO pit crew to make the necessary adjustments to give Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry a shot at a better finish.

Barker’s orders did not go unheeded and Mears restarted P32 with just nine laps remaining in the 200-lap race.  Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry made quick work of the cars of David Gilliland and Trevor Bayne in the final laps en route to a 29th place finish under gray skies and cool temperatures. 

Shortly after the checkered flag waved, Barker announced to the GEICO team that they were in the Top 35 in the 2011 Owner Standings, which means they will be locked into the race next week in Martinsville.  Barker also noted that this is the first time in GEICO’s three-year Sprint Cup Series involvement that the team would officially be ‘locked in’, a big stride for a team that three years ago did not even have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. 

“Today was frustrating, but we kept fighting and salvaged a decent finish,” Mears said after climbing from his #13 GEICO Camry.  “The nice thing is that we were able to give GEICO the opportunity to be locked into the race next week because we have worked really hard this year and put ourselves in the Top 35.  I am proud of all of these guys on this GEICO team because regardless of what happens we keep our heads and stay focused.”

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will go short-track racing for the second time in three weeks when they travel to Martinsville, VA, next weekend.

Mears and the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry will hit the half-mile paper-clipped shaped oval for the opening practice session at 12:30 PM (EDT) on Friday, April 1st.  Qualifying will follow on Saturday, April 2nd, at 12:10 PM (EDT).

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is on Sunday, April 3rd, and it will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:00 PM (EDT).  The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the live radio broadcast.

To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit:

You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter:

Please visit the Casey Mears Facebook fan page:


- PMI -


Contact: Doug Barnette, Player Management International



Mar 23

Germain Prepared for NKNPSE Season Opener at Greenville

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

Germain Prepared for NKNPSE Season Opener at Greenville


NASCAR Night with Charlotte Bobcats and

Shriners Hospital Visit are Highlights Leading into Race Weekend


Mooresville, N.C. (03-23-2011) – This time last year, Zach Germain was looking forward to the start of his NASCAR racing career. The Columbus, OH, native, saw the Greenville-Pickens Speedway season debut as a test on so many levels. Now he looks forward to the kick off of his sophomore season with a sense of preparation and confidence. But, he still knows he and the No. 24 Germain Racing Camry team will be tested when the green flag waves on Saturday night.


“I was able to learn a ton in the ten K&N Pro Series races last year. There certainly is a difference between going into Greenville-Pickens Speedway last year and this year. Last year, I’d never raced this car or raced the track. That said, I think Greenville is going to be an all new experience for this No. 24 Germain Racing Camry team,” said Germain.


The goals have changed for the sophomore driver, who began last season focused on finishing races. This year, he and crew chief Jamie Jones expect top-ten performances.


“Our biggest goal this year it is to become a top-ten team. If we can do that, we’ve become successful. We need to practice in the top-ten, qualify and run in the top-ten. We saw in the off-season that we can run with the best teams, and, our goal is to do that every week this year,” said crew chief Jamie Jones.


Germain tested his new No. 24 Germain Racing Camry at Greenville last week. He realized then how the work he and his team did in the off-season, and the addition of NASCAR champion David Green to the spotter’s stand, have changed his vantage point leading into Saturday’s South Carolina race.


“Before we got to Greenville for the test, I had my ideas of what I expected. I had to laugh because it was still a new experience. I didn’t remember the track surface as being that rugged and, because my laps were much more aggressive than last season, our car was pretty loose off of turns two and four,” smiled the Miami University graduate. “There was some peer pressure there with so many other K&N Pro Series teams at the track for the test session, but, over the hundreds of laps we logged, I really got to see how I’ve changed as a driver.”


Green first worked with Germain in Phoenix last year.


“David has been great at helping me become more confident and aggressive. Last year, it was all about ‘defense.’ This year, we have our cautiously aggressive team motto, and, David helps me understand the different points when I should be thinking of passes and when I should not” said Germain.


Before Germain gets to see the Greenville fans again, he’ll make a couple other appearances. Wednesday night he will sign autographs at NASCAR Night at the Charlotte Bobcats game. On Friday morning, Germain will visit Shriners Hospital for Children—aside from the waving of the green flag on Saturday night, Germain considers this stop possibly the favorite part of his race weekend.


Zach Germain is on Twitter @ZachGermain and Facebook ( Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at or become a fan on Facebook:




Media Contact: Lori Smith, Germain Racing 704-651-0606 (M) or


Mar 21

Tough Luck Strikes Casey Mears at Bristol Motor Speedway

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , Lincoln Welders , Germain Racing , GEICO Racing , Casey Mears , Bootie Barker

Tough Luck Strikes Casey Mears at Bristol Motor Speedway

Mechanical Failure Relegates GEICO Racing Team to 37th-Place Finish



BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 21, 2011) – Coming off the first off-weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Racing team were refreshed and ready to battle the bullring known as Bristol Motor Speedway – a short track known for bumping and banging. 


On Friday afternoon, after two solid practice sessions, Mears took to the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” for his qualifying attempt. The car of Dave Blaney, who qualified prior to Mears, blew an oil pump, causing oil fluid to cover the track. Unfortunately, Mears’ laps were hindered by this situation, relegating the GEICO Toyota Camry to the 43rd starting position for Sunday’s 500-lap race.


The green flag flew on The Jeff Byrd 500 under sunshine in the Tennessee Mountains. Mears patiently began his trek to the front of the field, understanding that to finish well, you must first finish. The first caution of the afternoon slowed the pace on lap 29 for a multi-car accident on the frontstretch. Mears did a great job of avoiding the wreck and moved into the 34th position. The California native was instructed to stay out by crew chief Bootie Barker, allowing Mears to restart from 22nd-place.


A competition caution came on lap 52 for the teams to check tire wear on their Goodyear rubber as a right-side tire change was mandated on Saturday, prior to the final practice sessions. Barker brought Mears to the attention of his GEICO crew for four tires, fuel, and adjustments as the No. 13 Toyota needed more rear grip. Restarting on lap 57 from the 27th position, Mears allowed the laps to clock off during a long caution-free run.


Mears drove his way into the top-25 as the third yellow flew on lap 130. The adjustments made during the previous pit stop helped the GEICO Camry, so Mears brought his Toyota to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel, with no changes to the handling.


Despite holding his spot inside the top-25, problems struck Mears on lap 158, when his Toyota would shut off in the corners. Mears successfully switched batteries while continuing to make laps, but the problem was persistent forcing the team to come to the garage for repairs. After changing batteries and working on the electrical interiors, Mears returned to the track, however the issue was not fixed. The GEICO crew then changed additional mechanical parts before solving the issue.


Mears returned to track on lap 229.  Unfortunately, the tough luck cost the Germain Racing team 72 laps and placed the No. 13 in the 38th position. The team was unable to make up any spots, due to the number of laps down, until lap 410 when problems forced Dennis Setzer out of the race. The GEICO Racing team never gave up and continued to log laps and work on their Camry. Mears clocked lap times just as fast as the leaders in the final 100 laps of the race, despite damage to his machine. The checkered flag flew with Mears and the GEICO team in 37th-place.


The tremendous effort shown by the entire GEICO team allowed Mears and the No. 13 Toyota to remain inside the top-35 in the Owner Point Championship Standings, one point to the good over 36th-place owner Tommy Baldwin. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return to the West Coast, as the fifth race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California will take place on Sunday, March 27, 2011.





Contact: Samantha Jones, Player Management International




Mar 16

Gaughan Loved Trip to Darlington, Despite Tough Breaks

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing

Mooresville, N.C. (03-15-2011) – Saturday night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took on the track Too Tough to Tame – Darlington Raceway. The South Carolina track is home to high speed racing and a fair share of run-in’s with the retaining walls. Brendan Gaughan hadn’t raced at the track in seven years, but, he says the return was all he expected – just not the result he wanted for the Germain Racing No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra.


“Darlington was everything I wanted. We were fast. We were a top-5 Tundra. I got spun early and drove back from 30th place all the way up to eighth. The South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra passed everyone to do it. We had a great truck. The 62 team made great pit stop decisions,” said Gaughan, explaining everything that went right before the team’s Darlington luck came to a halt, resulting in a 25th-place finish. “In the end, on a restart, someone brake-checked the field and me and two other trucks got the damage. It took us out of position with 20 to go and made me a spectator.”


Heading into the Darlington weekend, Gaughan and crew chief Bryan Berry decided to take a different approach to their practice strategy. The new strategy worked and Gaughan looks forward to seeing more improvements as the team fully adjusts to the new strategy.


“In first practice, we were 11th quick. Our goal was to unload off the trailer and post a qualifying speed in our first run out. It’s a work in progress, but we went faster. We still improved our times as the practice session went on and the tires got older, but, we laid down some stronger lap times earlier in practice,” explained Gaughan.


The change in philosophy is one that Gaughan looks forward to continuing to embrace.


“I need to lay down faster laps early in practice. At Darlington, I didn’t stripe it on lap 2 and we went into practice and did what we needed to do. We had good practices. We aren’t sure why we weren’t better in qualifying, but that’s all part of the learning process in changing our practice strategy,” said Gaughan, who had wanted a much better qualifying position than the 23rd spot that he earned. “I really thought we were better, but that isn’t what hurt us. We still had a great race in the South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra and we have a lot to build on for racing at Martinsville.”


The next race for Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra is April 2nd at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA. Gaughan will participate in the track’s Grub-N-Rub ticket and hospitality package offered by SPEED. Saturday morning, Gaughan will be part of a breakfast with fans who have purchased the Grub-n-Rub package for the Martinsville race weekend.


Gaughan holds eight Truck Series victories to go along with his two K&N Pro Series West championship titles. Follow Gaughan at or on Twitter @Brendan62.


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 or follow the team on Twitter @GermainRacing.


About South Point…The South Point ( 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.

Mar 16

Bodine Gets Third with Tundra at Darlington

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing , GEICO

Mooresville, N.C. (03-15-2011) – Returning to the winner’s circle at Darlington Raceway was clearly the priority of the No. 30 Tundra team and Germain Racing driver Todd Bodine. The team unloaded a chassis that ranked eighth in first practice and fourth after final practice. From a qualifying position of 12th, Bodine set his sights on the front of the field and enjoyed the147-laps of Darlington’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race – with just a quick detour first.


“The truck was good. Unfortunately right there at the start, don’t really know what happened at the start of the race with the left front tire, but it was vibrating really bad so we elected to come in and change it. We had to start in the rear basically,” said Bodine of the unplanned pit stop too early in the night. “We had a great truck. The Tundra did everything I needed it to do. That was a lot of fun racing like that. It was Darlington and she’s back --she’s tough underneath.”


Bodine says Darlington’s four year-old racing surface is slowly revealing some of the grit of years past, and the surface played into what was a very fun competition for the Truck Series drivers in Saturday’s race. Bodine faced a restart just three laps before the race was set to conclude. He was up against eventual race winner, Kasey Kahne, and veteran Truck Series racer and fellow champion, Ron Hornaday Jr.


“When you have a situation like that and the position I was in, running second, you want to win and you want to pass him. That’s what we’re all here for, but the way our season has been going, we had to get to the checkered flag. I gave it a shot and got sucked around, got loose and all that so we finished third. The main thing was just don’t wreck -- just don’t cause a wreck, don’t do something dumb. We’re all here being professionals trying to race and put on a show. We did and it was another great show in the Truck Series as usual. If you remember what I said earlier in the race day about the veterans and what’s going to happen at the end -- we were right there, the guys I said. Kasey (Kahne), Elliott (Sadler), Ron (Hornaday) and me. That’s typical Darlington,” said Bodine.


As excited as he was about the racing action and his team’s performance, Bodine was also beaming about Truck Series fans at Darlington.


“It was a great race. I am so happy for Darlington Raceway -- look at the crowd we got. This tells you what the Truck Series is about. These fans are hardcore, they came out here on a Saturday night just to watch trucks race,” smiled Bodine, who didn’t forget the folks watching SPEED at home, either. “Everybody at home -- we appreciate you watching. Trucks are the greatest race and I’m loving it.”


After three of 25 races, Bodine ranks seventh in the Truck Series points standings. Bodine races the No. 30 Tundra next at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA, on April 2nd.


Follow Germain Racing on Twitter @GermainRacing or on the web at or become a fan on Facebook:


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







Mar 15

Lofton, No. 77 Team Un-phased By Darlington Challenges, Rally, Impress With 13th Place Finish

Posted by lori in Sherwin Williams , Germain Racing


 Darlington Raceway has a reputation for being one of NASCAR's toughest race tracks. But the No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra team refused to relent to its challenges on Saturday, overcoming numerous obstacles in the Too Tough to Tame 200, and finishing with an impressive 13th place finish.

"The guys on this team worked nonstop all day. We had a rough start in practice but they thrashed on it and we got it turned around for qualifying. We had a good starting spot, but there's not much you can do when trucks scatter on the start. There was nowhere to go there and we suffered a bit of damage, but the guys fixed it up as best as they could and we kept digging," Lofton said.

Knowing that he had no points to rely on in order to make the event, Lofton and the No. 77 Lofton Cattle team showed no signs of concern early on after suffering through a spin and a "Darlington stripe" in both morning practice sessions. Instead, they simply worked harder, getting the truck ready for the afternoon qualifying run.

The hard work paid off, as Lofton laid down the 17th fastest speed, securing a solid starting spot for the race. Once the green flag waved however, more trouble found Lofton.

As the field got up to speed on the first lap, contact near the front of the field ignited a melee, collecting at least seven damaged race trucks, including Lofton's No. 77 Toyota.

Lofton radioed to crew chief Ryan Fugle that the wheel was off in addition to the cosmetic damage. He made multiple stops down pit road under the caution flag, with the crew repairing as much as they could before being forced to send him back on track for the restart.

Despite battling an ill-handling machine, Lofton maintained a spot on the lead lap through the third caution flag on lap 26. The yellow allowed him to make another trip to pit road. The crew swapped out right side tires and fixed the alignment. Lofton took the restart from the 30th position.

With a repaired truck, Lofton settled in behind the wheel, and consistently clicked off positions lap after lap.

By the time the yellow waved on lap 90, Lofton showed in the 13th position. At that time, Fugle called him to pit road. The crew worked their magic, laying down a solid four-tire change, gaining a position. Some leaders however, opted for two tires, leaving Lofton 12th for the restart.

Three more caution flags waved through the final 50 laps of the race, with spotter Mark Green calling Lofton through multiple near misses.

Lofton took advantage of one of those yellows, making his final pit stop of the night on lap 120. After taking on an air pressure adjustment, two tires, and fuel, Lofton rejoined the race in 17th.

With only three laps remaining following the final restart on lap 144, Lofton flexed his muscle, wheeling his battered, yet strong No. 77 Lofton Cattle Toyota Tundra to a solid 13th place finish.

"I can't thank my guys enough. Rudy (crew chief Ryan Fugle) is such a great motivator. He stayed positive, laid out a plan to get the truck fixed, and kept me focused. It feels great to leave Darlington with a 13th place finish after the challenges we faced all day," Lofton added.

After Darlington, Lofton picked up eight spots to 15th in the driver point standings. The No. 77 team will next hit the track on April 2 at Martinsville Speedway.

For more on Justin Lofton, visit and on Twitter, @jlracing.




Amanda Brahler

Justin Lofton Media Relations

Email: -


Mar 15

Max Papis Overcomes Obstacles for Top-20 Finish at Darlington Raceway

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


 The GEICO Racing Team Battles Back from Three Laps Down at The Lady In Black


 DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 13, 2011) – Known as the track that’s ‘Too Tough To Tame’, Darlington Raceway proves to be a challenge for most teams that take on the historic asphalt track. Max Papis and the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra team relished the opportunity to face ‘The Lady In Black’ as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rolled into town for the third stop of the 2011 season.


 Another one day show for the Truck Series saw Papis and his Germain Racing team practice, qualify, and race all in a jam-packed schedule. After two and half hours of practice under the morning sun, Papis was confident in the set-up package in his GEICO Toyota. Without 2010 championship points to guarantee a spot in the 36-truck field, the Como, Italy native once again had to solidify his place in the Too Tough To Tame 200 with his qualifying attempt. With the temperature rising, Papis clocked a solid lap time of 28.798 seconds, placing the Gecko in the 18th starting position.


 The green flag waved on the 147-lap race and immediately ‘The Lady’ struck, as a multi-truck accident collected Papis in turns one and two on the first lap. The No. 9 GEICO Toyota was hit on both the left and right sides of the truck, causing a lack of sideforce for the remainder of the event. Crew chief Randy Goss called his driver to pit road numerous times to repair the damage, change four tires, add Sunoco fuel, and make adjustments. The field restarted on lap five, with Papis scored in the 34th position. Three quick cautions were displayed over the next 35 circuits, as Mad Max had driven his way up to 26th-place.


 On the lap 41 restart, the field checked up in front of the GEICO Tundra forcing Papis to pass trucks in front of him prior to crossing the start-finish line. Despite his attempt to avoid a wreck, a ‘pass-through’ penalty was assessed to the driver for this action. Having to drive down pit road under green flag conditions on lap 45, Papis lost three laps to the leaders and became mired back in the 33rd position. A caution for debris slowed the field on lap 59, allowing Papis to stay out and take the wave around to get one of the laps back.


 Restarting on lap 63, Papis, two laps down, continued to remain optimistic while running in 32nd-place and unable to gain positions on the track. Clocking consistent lap times, another yellow flag was brought out on lap 74. Goss brought Papis back down pit road for four fresh tires, an air pressure adjustment to help the tight handling condition, and fuel. The Italian took the green flag on lap 79 from the 30th position. A short 10 laps later, the seventh caution slowed the pace, allowing Papis to take the wave around once again to receive another lap back. Running in the 28th position, Mad Max was the only truck one lap down to the leaders and in position for the Lucky Dog Award on the next caution.


 That timely caution came just two laps later for a major wreck on the frontstretch, which caused a red flag period for clean up to take place. Once the red flag was lifted, Goss radioed for Papis to come back to the attention of his GEICO crew for four tires, fuel, and additional air pressure adjustments. The resilient nature of the Gecko was shown as the team retained their position back on the lead lap. Mad Max was on a mission to make up lost ground with 40 laps remaining in the race. By lap 107, Papis had battled his way into the 21st position.


 Another debris caution was brought out on lap 119 and Papis returned to pit road for the final time of the evening for two right side tires and a wedge bolt adjustment as the GEICO Toyota was still fighting a tight condition. On lap 123, Papis restarted from 20th-place and drove his way into the top-15 in a 10-lap period. The final yellow flag came on lap 141, setting the stage for a three-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Unfortunately on the restart, the field stacked up again and drivers passed Papis in order to avoid an accident. This caused Mad Max three spots and left the GEICO team with an 18th-place finish.


 “It was a tough night for the GEICO Racing team, but we came back to get a top-20 finish in the end,” said Papis, after the race. “Darlington is a very demanding track for the driver and we got caught up in that wreck on lap one. The guys kept working on it and we got back on the lead lap, which we wanted to do from the beginning when we got behind. We also had that penalty in the middle of the race for passing before the start-finish line. That was very frustrating because I was just dodging trucks to not cause a big pile-up. We will take another good finish though and head to Martinsville in a couple weeks. I think we will have a very strong Toyota Tundra when we hit the track.”


 The tremendous effort shown by the entire No. 9 team has allowed Papis to remain inside the top-10 in the Truck Series Driver Championship Point Standings. Papis sits in the ninth position, only five points behind eighth-place Austin Dillon. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take a three-week break before returning to action at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday, April 2nd.







Contact: Samantha Jones