Gresham Survives NASCAR K&N Pro Series Slugfest at Lee USA LEE, NH (JULY 30, 2010) -- About the best thing that happened to Max Gresham in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series 125 at Lee USA Speedway is that he survived the carnage. A victim of several...
Gresham Survives NASCAR K&N Pro Series Slugfest at Lee USA
LEE, NH (JULY 30, 2010) -- About the best thing that happened to Max Gresham in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series 125 at Lee USA Speedway is that he survived the carnage.
A victim of several incidents -- the last one coming on the final lap -- Gresham and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Toyota Camry limped to a 16th-place finish in the motorized slugfest.
"It was just crazy out there, real crazy," Gresham stated after the race. "Guys were just driving out of their minds."
Gresham's struggles started early Friday turning in just the 22nd-fastest time out of 24 cars in the final practice session. In qualifying, it was a different story as the 17-year-old Griffin, GA driver grabbed the third spot on the race grid with a lap of 15.591 seconds (86.588 miles per hour average).
Gresham's qualifying lap was nearly a full second faster than he had practiced in the final session.
At the drop of the green flag, Gresham settled into the third spot behind leaders Kevin Swindell and Eddie MacDonald and stayed there through the first caution flag of the race on Lap 33. All wasn't well with Gresham's Toyota, however, as his car had developed a handling problem in the corners. That caused the Woodward Academy senior student to fall back in the field to seventh before the second yellow flag of the race waived on Lap 47.
Gresham then saw his chances of winning a third NASCAR K&N Pro Series race this season dashed on the restart when he managed to drive through a wreck involving four of the leaders in front of him. Unfortunately, NASCAR officials deemed Gresham to be part of the incident and put him to the tail end of the field on the ensuing restart on Lap 61.
Now in 17th- place and mired back in the pack, Gresham had trouble trying to break free of the congestion on the tight .375-mile Lee USA Speedway oval. Additional caution flags on Laps 74 and 88 also made it tough to gain spots as the race quickly wound down to its conclusion.
Over the final 30 circuits, Gresham did his best to move up in the field. Another wreck -- this one on Lap 108 - involved several of the leaders as they battled through Turn 2. That allowed Gresham to slide back into the 10th position with just over 15 laps remaining.
Yet another fender bender -- this one a six-car tangle -- brought the race to a halt with a red flag on Lap 116. When the race finally went back to green-flag conditions after a 17-minute delay, Gresham saw any chances of salvaging a good finish get crushed when he got spun out coming off of Turn 4 on the final lap. "The car is pretty messed up," said Gresham. "We battled really hard to get a good finish and I think we were going to finish sixth. Then I get dumped coming to the checkered flag. It was a totally frustrating race, but I just have to put it behind me."
Next up for Max Gresham will be his fourth career ARCA start -- this one coming in the Berlin ARCA 200 at Berlin Speedway in Marne, MI on Sunday, August 8. The last time Gresham competed in an ARCA race, he wheeled his No. 71 Gresham Motorsports Toyota to a win in the Tim Richmond Memorial 200 at Mansfield (OH) Speedway on July 17.
Gresham's next NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race will be at Gresham Motorsports Park on Saturday, August 28. The event at his family-owned track will mark the first time NASCAR has visited the Jefferson, GA half-mile oval since 1987.