After Darlington Max Papis Has Become Mad Max

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IMay 13, 2009

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 09:  Scott Speed, driver of the #87 NEMCO Toyota, crashes into Max Papis, driver of the #13 GEICO Toyota, after losing control during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 on May 9, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Darlington Raceway is known to reach out, grab drivers and end their night early. The common saying is "race the race track" and you'll survive. 

On Saturday night, 43 of NASCAR's best strapped in to try and tame The Lady in Black, including Italy's Max Papis.

Papis was making his sixth career NASCAR start and his first at Darlington and he was very excited and optimistic about it. 

Those emotions had carried over from making his first NASCAR oval race earlier this year in Las Vegas, where after qualifying his team had to repeatedly tell him to get out of the car.

He was so excited that his hands were over his face and many drivers kept coming up to congratulate him.

Saturday night, Papis was ready to not only race against NASCAR's best drivers, but race against NASCAR's best track.

Unfortunately, he got to for four laps, but it wasn't Darlington that ended his night early.

As Papis and his No. 13 Geico Toyota entered Turn One, fellow rookie Scott Speed—driving Joe Nemecheck's No. 87—drove in over his head and over Papis.

The contact from Speed sent Papis into the wall and then into the garage with a destroyed rear-end of his Toyota.

Papis remained calm as he headed back on track—34 laps down—and worked toward learning something from the Darlington Raceway.

Papis was able to pick up a few spots and finish in the 35th position, but he wasn't happy about it.

"The No. 13 Geico car was really good here tonight, but unfortunately some drivers get a little too excited and it resulted in us having to go behind the wall to repair damage to our car," he said Saturday night. 

Three days later and he's still Mad Max.

Early Tuesday he was a quest on Dave Moody's Sirius Speedway show on the Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio Channel and he expressed disbelief and frustration with both the wreck and Speed.

But Papis went on to say that he was going to now focus on the NASCAR Sprint Showdown race this Saturday night in hopes of making the All-Star race. 

However, his Twitter account shows that he is still hung up on Darlington.

At approximately 8 PM, Papis wrote: "tomorrow will do a session inhiberbaric chamber as I breath to much CO2 in Darlington thanks to Scott Speed braking by car on Lap 4."

What that most likely translates to is that when Papis hit the wall and crumpled up the Geico Toyota, for the rest of the night he was apparently inhaling carbon dioxide fumes. 

As a result, he was letting his fans know that on Wednesday he will be using ahyperbaric chamber to help elevate his oxygen levels. 

The chamber can be used for other things as well.

Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward had the one he owns in his home, shipped to Tampa for the Super Bowl to help with a knee injury.

Papis will now be using one as he said, "thanks to Scott Speed," for what Papis probably meant in saying, "breaking my car on Lap 4."

Both Speed and Papis will both be on the track at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Sprint Showdown race and Papis will not doubt remember Darlington.

Forget the wanna-be Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch rivalry, Papis and Speed may soon be stealing the headlines.

Editors note: Please do not fix any quotes as I want them to accurately portray how Max Papis wrote them.