It wasn’t the race that got people talking at NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series in Bowmanville, Ontario on Sept. 1, but rather the slap that came after it. After drivers Max Papis and Mike Skeen crashed their trucks while battling for second place in the race, Skeen’s girlfriend Kelly Heaphy came up to Papis and slapped him, allegedly dislocating his jaw.
Papis made the private issue, which was caught on camera, public by sharing details of the incident on his Twitter account and, later, with ESPN.
“That deal was only between me and #6 driver we could have solved it alone …but I guess he needed some …help !!!!” Papis originally tweeted. He came back later in the day with the tweet, “I made many mistake in my life and racing but always lived up to them The one of #6 was just amateur … Without me he would be head on wall.”
But it didn’t stop there. On Sept. 2, Papis continued on his Twitter, “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 … And by the way yes my jaw was dislocated and had to go to Get fixed but NO COMPLAIN here just FYI … 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.”
As it turns out, Papis’ jaw wasn’t actually dislocated after all. On Sept. 3, the Italian driver clarified that his poor grasp on the English language led him to use the wrong word to describe his jaw situation.
“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!),” he tweets. “Still needed several CHIRO adjustment to be back in place but again NO COMPLAIN !!! Just FYI as English is not my first language ok!!!”
Papis tells ESPN, “[Drama] 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.”
Watch the slap here: