Gresham Rolls To Third-Place Finish In Iowa NASCAR Camping World West Event NEWTON, IA (September 7, 2009) -- Max Gresham proved he was ready for bigger and better things rolling to a third-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Series West...
Gresham Rolls To Third-Place Finish In Iowa NASCAR Camping World West Event
NEWTON, IA (September 7, 2009) -- Max Gresham proved he was ready for bigger and better things rolling to a third-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Series West Central Iowa Building And Construction Trades 125 at Iowa Speedway Friday.
"We had an amazing run," said Gresham, who wheeled the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry in the event. "Everything pretty much went right. The car was really fast. I couldn't ask for much more. The guys at Joe Gibbs Racing put a lot of work into our car and I can't thank them enough. "
Gresham -- who had never raced on a track larger than a half-mile in length - initially had trouble finding the fast way around the 7/8-mile Iowa oval in practice. Solid work for his JGR mates, however, eventually got the 16-year-old driver up to speed and ready for qualifying.
"We struggled in practice," Gresham stated. "We alternated between tight and loose and we had trouble finding the right balance in the car. Then, the guys made some adjustments for qualifying and the race and those changes were right on because we were really good [Crew%201300.jpg] after that. The combination of having a really good engine and having the car be so fast was a blast for me."
Gresham, 19th in the final practice, qualified fifth with a time of 24.157 (130.397 miles per hour average) and quickly showed he was ready to race taking over the third position on the first lap of the 125-circuit test.
The 11th-grade student at Woodward Academy in College Park, GA ran as high as second before staging a furious battle with local favorite Brett Moffit for third place over the final laps.
"I think we raced the No. 4 (Moffit) car the final 15 laps or so," said Gresham. "I wasn't sure how things were going to turn out, but I knew if I kept running the high line, I would have a good chance of beating him for third. My car would just rocket off the top of the corner I could really pull him down the straightaway.
"I really have to give it to Brett," Gresham continued. "He really raced me clean. We were side-by-side for a lot of laps and he we never touched once. We put on a great show for the fans and had a great time doing it too. It doesn't get better than that. Third place is a great finish for me and this Joe Gibbs Racing team. That's especially true because this was the first time I ever raced here. I couldn't be happier right now."
Gresham's solid effort marked his second Top-5 finish in just three career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Series this season as part of the Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Development Program. It also had the young driver looking forward to his next NCWS test in the JGR Toyota Camry in the Heluva Good Fall 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday, September 18.
"I'm a lot more confident now going to New Hampshire," said Gresham. "I wasn't real sure how I might do on a one-mile track, but after racing here at Iowa on a bigger track, I feel like I can handle it. I feel like I am ready to take on New Hampshire and do well there. I believe we can go to New Hampshire, run as well as we have everywhere else and maybe even contend for the win. I can't wait to get back in the car again."
Before Gresham and his JGR Gresham Motorsports Park/World Crown 300 sponsored red and black Toyota Camry head to New Hampshire for the Friday, September 18 event, there's some other business to take care of at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA this Saturday, September 12. That's when Gresham will wheel his familiar No. 7-11 late model in an American Speed Association/Georgia Asphalt Series event.
"I'm looking forward to the Lanier race and getting back with my Gresham Motorsports team," said Gresham. "We've had a ton of rainouts and cancellations this year and I know they are really ready to race. I've got a lot of laps at Lanier and we're going there looking to win."