EARLY ACCIDENT ENDS HOPES OF WINNING FOR GRESHAM IN NASCAR TOYOTA ALL-STAR SHOWDOWN
IRWINDALE, CA (January 30, 2011) -- Max Gresham had his sights set on being at the front of the pack when the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale took the checkered flag.
Evidently, some of his fellow competitors wanted to be there sooner.
"I guess some people in front of us got a little too racy too soon," said Gresham after being knocked out of the high-profile short track race on Lap 27 of the 225-circuit event. "One guy hit another and they all started wrecking. I thought I had an open hole to get to through the wreck okay, but it closed up before I could ever make it. That made it a pretty disappointing night for everyone on this Dave Davis Motorsports Team. They worked very hard all weekend and in the weeks leading up to this race and I can't thank them enough for that. The car was awesome and we had a great shot at winning. Now it's junk."
Gresham was officially credited with a 34th-place finish in the final running order.
Gresham's Davis Motorsports Dodge Charger was anything but junk throughout the weekend qualifying sixth and turning in the second fastest lap of the entire race prior to the incident. Content to find a hole and ride in the early going, Gresham saw the event turn into a version of 'car wars' early with a pair of quick cautions.
"Guys were driving way over their heads and dive bombing the corners," Gresham stated. "It was way too early in the race to be doing that kind of stuff."
Restarting in the outside line in eighth position after the second caution, Gresham saw his chances of finishing - much less winning - get mangled as the field roared off into Turn 1 only to get tangled up for a third time in a three-wide melee.
"We had a great car for the first 25 laps," said Gresham, who was making his first-ever appearance at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. "It's sad to say this is the way it turned out, but hopefully we'll get another shot at doing this someday. I like Irwindale. It's a tough place but a very cool track. Like I said, I hope I get the chance to come back out here and race again someday."
In the meantime, Gresham will be concentrating on several racing initiatives this season. Included in the mix will be trip to Daytona International Speedway in two weeks to watch the Venturini Motorsports Team in action in the Automobile Club Of America (ARCA) race. Gresham will compete in five ARCA superspeedway races in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota later this season.
Gresham, who will turn 18 on April 30, is also planning on competing in select NASCAR Truck and Nationwide events in 2011.