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Papis backs off claim of dislocated jaw

September 02, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Driver clarifies status on Twitter; Skeen says Papis instigated hostilities

In a series of Twitter messages Tuesday morning, Max Papis clarified that his jaw was not dislocated from the infamous slap from another driver’s girlfriend following Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Canada.

Papis said his jaw was sprained, and noted that he confused the meanings of the words "dislocated" and "sprained."

"Just FYI as English is not my first language," the Italian driver posted, in part, on the social media website.

"And with this I will conclude the #slap episode," he added.

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Papis had a late-race feud with Mike Skeen at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, after both drivers wound up in the tire barrier as they neared the checkered flag. That incident capped a series of bumps on the track over the final two laps between Papis and Skeen, a road racer making his NASCAR debut.

But it was nothing compared to what came next -- a woman later identified as Skeen’s girlfriend slapping Papis in the face, yelling “That’s what you deserve!” at the Italian driver.

Papis wrote, in part, in an earlier Twitter post: “And by the way … Even if she deserved (it) I will not hit a lady and it was just between two racers.”

Papis, a 43-year-old former open-wheel racer, has 45 career Truck Series starts. He finished sixth in the race, Skeen 13th.

Neither driver is a full-time participant in NASCAR, or likely to be entered in next week’s Truck Series event at Iowa Speedway.

Skeen, a 26-year-old native of Durham, N.C., who competes primarily in sports-car events, claimed in a Facebook post that the hostilities were instigated by Papis.

“The drama after the race was started by him,” Skeen wrote. “He tried numerous times on the cool down lap to wreck me again or drive me into other parked trucks. When we finally got behind the wall, I got out and talked to him face-to-face, but there was no reasoning with him.”

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