MARTINSVILLE TAKES THE AIR OUT OF MAX GRESHAM'S NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST WIN STREAK MARTINSVILLE, VA (June 6, 2010) -- Max Gresham headed into Sunday's UNOH 200 at Martinsville Speedway looking for his third-straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East...
MARTINSVILLE TAKES THE AIR OUT OF MAX GRESHAM'S NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST WIN STREAK
MARTINSVILLE, VA (June 6, 2010) -- Max Gresham headed into Sunday's UNOH 200 at Martinsville Speedway looking for his third-straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory. Gresham had the car to do it -- he just didn't have the luck.
[Right%20Front%201300.jpg] "It's a real shame that such a fast car didn't finish any better than it did today," said Gresham after soldiering his way to a 17th-place finish. "We had a tire go down around Lap 30. That got us a couple laps down and after that, we were just racing to stay out of trouble and get the best finish possible. There's nothing you can about something like that. It's a racing deal."
Gresham's first-ever racing experience at the venerable .526-mile Martinsville oval had plenty of challenges, the biggest being learning the fast way around the track in practice.
"It took me a little time to learn this place," said Gresham, who qualified 16th with a lap of 20.792 seconds. "We were pretty dialed in by qualifying and our warm up lap on our qualifying run would have put us fifth quick. Then I overdrove the car into the corner on the first qualifying lap and even though we had a better second lap, we wound up 16th."
At the drop of the green flag, Gresham and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota set their sights on the front of the pack quickly moving to 12th in the running order. Gresham's march to the front literally ran out of air on Lap 29 when a right-front flat tire had him headed to pit road for a green-flag pit stop.
Quick work by the Gibbs crew had Gresham back on track in an instant. Still, Gresham lost two laps because of the unscheduled stop. Another pit stop a couple of laps later, this one under caution, surrendered another lap to the leaders putting Gresham in 28th place and survival mode for the rest of the event.
"We were really fast," said Gresham. "It was tough riding behind other cars knowing how fast this Joe Gibbs Racing car was today. I had to keep trying not to run all over people. When you are three laps down like we were, you just have to keep your head and not get into of other people's trouble."
Using that strategy, Gresham managed to miss several accidents throughout the remainder of the race. The 17-year-old Griffin, GA driver, who entered Sunday's Martinsville event at the NKNPSE championship point's leader, couldn't avoid the rain that pelted the speedway cutting the race short at Lap 175.
"I like this track," said Gresham of the Martinsville oval. "I can't wait to come back. I wish I knew before the race what I know now about the track. It's definitely a track that teaches you how to control and save your car. Even though we didn't get the finish we wanted, it was a big learning experience for me and the team. I know it will benefit us later this season."
Gresham will next head to Hew Hampshire Motor Speedway and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event on Friday, June 25.