Heated confrontations are nothing new in the world of NASCAR, as emotions often run high on the track, but Max Papis found himself on the receiving end of a slap from an unexpected assailant following the Camping World Truck Series race in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on Sunday. Papis says he was slapped by fellow driver Mike Skeen's girlfriend, according to Marty Smith of ESPN.com.
The woman who slapped Papis has been identified as Kelly Heaphy, per Lee Spencer of Fox Sports.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 9:25 a.m. ET
Max Papis says there was a communication breakdown and that the slap from Mike Skeen's girlfriend did not dislocate his jaw:
Just to clarify my English my jaw was never dislocated I used that to say it was moved around and sprained ( not from around here guys!)— Max Papis (@maxpapis) September 3, 2013
---End of update---
Papis and Skeen were battling for third place late in the race, but they ultimately wrecked, which resulted in Papis finishing sixth and Skeen finishing 13th. Ordinarily, Papis and Skeen might have gotten into a shouting match or even a physical altercation after the race, but Heaphy took matters into her own hands.
As seen in this video courtesy of Queers4Gears on Twitter, she walked up to Papis following the race and absolutely walloped him on his left cheek.
Here's Max getting slapped https://t.co/nAHqS7UGvj— Queers4Gears (@queers4gears) September 1, 2013
Papis told Smith that he didn't know what to make of the situation as it happened, and it resulted in his jaw getting dislocated as well:
This crazy lady comes shouting at me, and I had no idea, didn't even understand her, she just started shouting. And all the sudden, she took a full hand -- and she slapped me so hard. I'm not kidding. My jaw got dislocated and my left ear is still ringing, big time.
Much to Papis' credit, he took the slap and didn't retaliate; as he later said on Twitter, he wanted to keep the situation between him and Skeen.
And by the way .... Even if she deserved I will not hit a Lady and it was just between 2 racers not between me and him no other that is it— Max Papis (@maxpapis) September 2, 2013
Papis didn't waste an opportunity to take some shots at Skeen over Twitter during the aftermath, though, as he accused the driver of cowering when he confronted him following the incident.
Just to make ull laugh #6 driver was such a chicken when I stop on his side ask to come out of car he lowered down his visor,#NOMAN— Max Papis (@maxpapis) September 2, 2013
How should Mike Skeen be punished for the actions of his girlfriend?
While neither Heaphy nor Skeen have commented publicly on the situation, Papis has done enough talking for both of them:
It needs to stay between the drivers. I think NASCAR should do something about it. I don't even like that [Skeen's] team member pulled me out of the truck, much less this lady slapping me. Drivers can have arguments with each other -- but it shouldn't affect what other people do.
It remains to be seen what type of action NASCAR will take, if any, but it seems likely that something will be done. The safety of the drivers on the track has long been NASCAR's No. 1 priority, but it needs to ensure that they are equally safe off it.
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