Max Papis answers fan questions about driving technique


Max Papis has raced everywhere.

The Italian driver is one of the few who has had the privilege to race in NASCAR’s many levels, IndyCar, CART, the American Le Mans Series, Formula One and the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series.

As a result, though he’s not the most successful driver, he has an immense library of knowledge to share with the curious. That’s what he did with a Q&A for, a website powered by Honda.

Here are three of the best insights Papis had to share with fans.

Q: Of the major series that you have driven, how would you compare them with one another? How would you rank them (NASCAR, F1, Sports Car…) concerning difficulty in learning to drive, or the talent of your competitors?

Papis: The thing I can tell you is that for sure the most demanding cars that I have driven were the Champ Cars. The Miller Lite car that I drove for many years was definitely the series that I got the most satisfaction from because to be champion you had to be a complete driver. You went from driving on a short track at Nazareth one weekend to driving Long Beach, then Michigan, then Toronto and then Laguna Seca …. NASCAR to me is nowadays the most competitive series that I have been in. Those drivers that are involved are not just great oval drivers but they are great drivers overall and they are definitely the best American racers.

Q: When you were first starting out as a professional racing driver who were your first sponsors and how did you get them?

Papis:  I was paid to race karts when I was 16 or 17, but then I wasn’t paid to race again until I was 24 or 25. I found all my own sponsors, I picked up the Yellow Pages and I called every single company that could have some thing to do with the sport of racing in a 500 mile radius. I went to visit all of them one by one to try to create interest and maybe out of 1,000 companies I was able to find two who believed in me as a person and who would support me … In my young career I definitely drove more miles on the road trying to pursue sponsors and talk to companies than what I did driving my race car.

Q: I recently did a hot lap as a passenger in a GT car with a pro driver. He was very fast. I noticed his hands made many quick corrections – they never stopped moving. Is this a particular style of driving or just what is needed when driving at the very limit?

Papis: There is no such thing as a ‘correct’ driving style. Driving is like walking – everyone does it in a different way. There are drivers who are extremely fast and on the limit but look super smooth and there are other drivers that are fast and on the limit that are very reactive. In racing you can achieve your goals driving the car in very different ways. Obviously having fast hands always helps because it is a great way to recover out of tough situations. That has been one of my characteristics since the beginning of my career, but there are guys who look like they are going to the grocery store and instead they are running super fast laps.

Read the rest of the Q&A at

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Power Rankings after Detroit
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Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points