Max Papis to Make NASCAR Debut

Miami, Fla. (July 26, 2006) – Max Papis has had an exciting year.  He ran the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and most recently, watched his native Italy take home the World Cup title.  If that is not enough, the 2004 Grand Am Rolex Series Champion just became a father for the first time when his wife, Tatiana, gave birth to their first child, a son, Marco, on Friday, July 21st. 

Now the open-wheel and sports-car racing sensation will make his NASCAR debut on Saturday, August 12th in the NASCAR Busch Series race in Watkins Glen, NY.  Papis will pilot the #36 McGill Motorsports Chevrolet, with sponsorship from his Indy 500 sponsor, Sport Clips, All*Star Haircuts for Men & Boys. 

Papis, whose father-in-law is famed race car driver, Emerson Fittipaldi, is widely regarded as one of the most versatile race car drivers in the world.  He is excited about the opportunity to get involved in NASCAR. 

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to drive in NASCAR,” Papis said.  “I’ve been working hard for a long time to make this happen and I thank team owners John and Nancy McGill for giving me the opportunity.  He continued, “It means a lot to me that Sport Clips, who was my Indy 500 sponsor, has stepped up to support my Busch Series effort.  Sport Clips CEO Gordon Logan and I have had a great relationship and I’m looking forward to giving him a great finish.”

Papis continued, “I’ve had an exciting year this year.  I’ve run the Daytona 24 Hours race, the Indy 500, Le Mans, watched Italy win the World Cup and, the most exciting thing, watching my son, Marco, being born.  It’s a very special time in my life right now and my NASCAR debut is another great challenge.  I’m proud to represent my country, Italy, and to be the first Italian in the modern era to be in NASCAR and I’m going to work as hard as I can to make the most of the opportunity and make my country proud.  I hope to have a great weekend at The Glen.”

Papis’ father-in-law, Emerson Fittipaldi, has two Indy 500 wins and two Formula One World Championships, but Papis said he does not feel the pressure. 

“Personally, he’s one of my best friends,” said Papis, who has competed this year in both the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  “We share a lot of things, racing and non-racing.  He’s amazing, and it’s a great opportunity for me to listen to the advice of someone who’s won all over the world.  He’s a legend, but more importantly, he cares a lot about me.”

McGill Motorsports team owner, John McGill is pleased with the opportunity to have Max in the #36 car in Watkins Glen.

“This is very exciting for McGill Motorsports and we believe that having a high-profile driver like Max Papis in the car will give us the opportunity to showcase our abilities on a road course,” McGill said.  “It will also bring us extensive exposure and allow us to compete against the Cup drivers and give us the opportunity to run up front and win a race.  Max is a great person with an intense, competitive personality and we’re looking forward to working with him.” 

McGill Motorsports Crew Chief, Ricky Pearson, had this to say about Papis:

"Having a road race specialist the caliber of Max Papis at Watkins Glen is really exciting for the entire McGill Motorsports team.  We feel that Max will able to showcase both his abilities and those of our team.  He's certainly a world class racer and we feel his experience can certainly benefit our organization.”

Sport Clips was Max Papis’ sponsor on his Indianapolis 500 car in May, but they have experienced great success in the NASCAR Busch Series over the last three seasons.  In 2004, Sport Clips was in Victory Lane at Daytona with driver, Mike Wallace.  In February 2005, they sat on the Pole at Daytona with driver, Joe Nemechek, and, most recently, they are the primary sponsor of Champ Car star Paul Tracy in his 2006 NASCAR Busch Series effort.

Sport Clips Founder and CEO, Gordon Logan, was excited at another opportunity to partner with Max Papis. 

“Sport Clips is proud to partner with Max Papis for the second time this year,” Logan said.  “We had a great experience with Max in the Indy 500 and we’re proud to be able to support him in his NASCAR debut.  We have always looked for first-class teams and drivers to represent Sport Clips, and this is a winning combination.  Our 200+ Franchisees and 3,500 Stylists are looking forward to seeing the Sport Clips Car in Watkins Glen.” 

A native of Como, Italy, Papis moved up the ladder of European formulas during his late teens and early 20s before finding a Formula One test ride with Lotus and Honda in 1994. The following year, he competed in seven Formula One races with Arrows.

In 1996, Papis posted three wins in IMSA World Sports Car, then joined CART, where he won three races in five years.  Since then, Papis has been one of the top competitors in American sports-car racing. He posted an overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002, a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series championship in 2004, and class wins at the

12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona and two runner-up finishes at the 24 Hours of LeMans. Papis also drives in the Crown Royal IROC Series and does road course testing in NASCAR. 

Sport Clips, Inc. is a Georgetown, TX-based enterprise that is approaching 400 stores nationwide.  Targeting men and boys, Sport Clips provides high-quality haircuts in a fun sports environment, complete with TVs at every Stylist’s station tuned to sports.  Every Sport Clips has “guy smart” Stylists who focus on providing the highest level of service to every client.  For a location near you or for franchise information, please visit:

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