Gresham Gets Education In Adirondack NASCAR Camping World East Event NEW BREMEN, NY (August 2, 2009) -- Max Gresham got a season's worth of experience in one race Saturday driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Camping World Series East...
Gresham Gets Education In Adirondack NASCAR Camping World East Event
NEW BREMEN, NY (August 2, 2009) -- Max Gresham got a season's worth of experience in one race Saturday driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Camping World Series East Toyota to a 16th-place finish in the Edge Hotel 150 at Adirondack International Speedway.
"We were fast, sideways and backwards, so I guess we had everything covered" said Gresham. "It wasn't the finish we wanted or expected, but I learned a lot and got a lot of experience. That's what this Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Development Program is all about. I know what I learned at Adirondack will help me down the road, so while I wanted to finish better, I'm not disappointed with our finish either."
Gresham, just 16 and a star in the American Speed Association Southeast Asphalt Tour ranks with two wins this season, was making his second start in the potent JGR Toyota Camry after wheeling his way to a fifth-place finish in his NCWSE debut at South Boston (VA) Speedway in May.
"We were fast in practice, but we didn't make a mock qualifying run and I kind of lost it thanks to the combination of new tires and changing track conditions," said Gresham. "We wound up starting 14th, which isn't where we wanted to start and not an indication as to just how good our car was."
Gresham and his Gresham & Associates sponsored red and black Camry spent the early laps of the 150-circuit event on the New Bremen, NY half-mile oval trying to work his way into the Top-10. By Lap 50, the Woodward Academy high school junior had done just that when the tricky Adirondack track jumped up and bit him.
"We were coming through the pack pretty good when I hooked the left-front tire in the grass in Turn 2 and lost the car," said Gresham of his Lap 51 spin. "We were about 10th at the time and I wound up losing a lap. We made a pit stop and the crew made some adjustments that made us the fastest car on the track -- about a tenth of a second a lap faster than the leader and almost three-tenths quicker than the rest of the field. The guys really put a lot of time into the car and made it very fast. We had a Top-5 car and they sure didn't deserve a 16th-place finish."
Despite the less than expected result, Gresham was still positive about the experience and was looking forward to his next turn behind the wheel of the JGR Driver Development ride.
"I can't complain," said Gresham. "We had a really fast car. I had a lot of fun passing a lot of cars. I'm new to this kind of car and series, so it was a real challenge. I'm learning and I can't wait to get another chance when we go to Iowa Speedway next month. The Gibbs guys have pretty much won every time they've gone there, so they have a great set-up for the car. I know we're going to be fast and maybe I can get my first NASCAR Camping World Series East win there."