MAX GRESHAM TAKES WIN IN NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES RACE AT IOWA SPEEDWAY GRIFFIN, GA (May 24, 2010) -- Max Gresham wheeled his the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to razor-thin victory over Ty Dillon and Darrell Wallace in the NASCAR K&N Pro ...
MAX GRESHAM TAKES WIN IN NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES RACE AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
GRIFFIN, GA (May 24, 2010) -- Max Gresham wheeled his the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to razor-thin victory over Ty Dillon and Darrell Wallace in the NASCAR K&N Pro [Max%20Sib%20%201300.jpg] Series Goodyear Dealers of Iowa 200 at Iowa Speedway Sunday.
"I really didn't want to see that last restart because I had a pretty good lead," said Gresham who survived a green-white-checkered-flag finish taking the victory by a scant .039 seconds over Dillon. "We were battling with Corey LaJoie and Dillon and we were three wide heading into Turn 1 on the final lap. Dillon and I were battling really close at the checkered flag. Rubbing is racing. That was a close finish."
Gresham got the jump on the win rumbling into second place behind his JGR teammate Brett Moffitt on a Lap 180 restart. Gresham waited several laps for an opening before he was able to slip by Moffitt for the top spot with seven circuits remaining.
Dreams of a 1-2 JGR finish were dashed when Moffitt crashed two laps later leaving Gresham to survive the green-white-checkered-flag finish. There, Dillon dove to the inside of Gresham to make it three-wide as they took the white flag. Gresham then held off the furious side-by-side charge of Dillon over the final lap to take the checkered flag first by inches.
"We came here and ran really well in the West race last season," said Gresham, who finished third in the NKNPS event at Iowa last fall. "We knew we'd run well again. I had the same car that Joey (Logano) and Kyle (Busch) won with here in the past. We knew we could win again. Those guys are great drivers and that's a pretty elite group and I am thrilled to add my name to it This Joe Gibbs Racing team is great and I am very fortunate to be a part of that too."
Gresham wasn't thinking about winning earlier in the weekend when he came up 18th in Saturday's final practice round with a time of 24.25 seconds (128.834 miles per hour). On Sunday, Gresham proved he was going to be a contender picking up the pace with a 24.030 second run, good enough for sixth in the 44-car starting grid.
Gresham quickly jumped to fourth at the drop of the green flag of the 200-circuit event and stayed in the Top-5 throughout the early portion of the race. At Lap 78, Gresham pointed his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry toward pit road executing multiple pit stops for fuel and tires. The pit scramble shuffled Gresham back to 14th, but he quickly marched through the field into the Top-5 before another caution cycled him into the lead at Lap 133. Gresham then slipped back to third and waited for the race to play out in his favor over the final laps.
"We played the waiting game all day," said Gresham. "We knew we had a good car. It was just about putting ourselves in the right place at the right time of the race."
Gresham now has seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts to his credit. His victory at Iowa. Sunday was his second in a row after capturing the South Boston 150 at South Boston (VA) Speedway on April 3 and Sunday's win boosted him to the top of the NKNPSE season championship point standings.
Gresham now leads defending series champion Ryan Truex, 469-456 margin.
"Our goal at the start of the season was to win races, win the Rookie of the Year title, and win the team championship," said Gresham. "Initially, that seemed like a dream, but we are winning races and leading the points. There's a long season in front of us and who knows what will happen the rest of the way out, but there's no denying we're off to a great start."
Next up for Max Gresham will be his first-ever visit to venerable Martinsville (VA) Speedway for a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event on Sunday, June 6.