GRIFFIN, GA (May 4, 2011) – Three races in four days along a birthday and an anniversary made last weekend one that Max Gresham will never forget.
Gresham competed in the NASCAR K&N event and the Denny Hamlin Short-Track Showdown in Richmond, VA on Thursday before heading to Salem, IN for an ARCA race Sunday. Along the way, Gresham celebrated his 18th birthday and saluted his grandparents 50th-wedding anniversary.
When asked if the whole experience had worn him out right after Sunday’s ARCA race, Gresham responded “no, I’m fine, let’s go again somewhere.”
You couldn’t blame Gresham if he was just at least a little tired.
At Richmond, Gresham spent more than eight hours in a racecar and sped on foot between garage areas throughout the day.
The results were spectacular as Gresham wheeled the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the pole position, led nearly half the race, and finished fourth in the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event.
“We had an awesome lap to win the pole – two-tenths of a second faster than anyone else,” said Gresham. “It carried over into the race where we led a bunch and were fast over the first 60 laps. We ran in the top two the whole race until the car fell off really bad at the end. The finish definitely helped us in the points. Any top-five finish we can get is going to help us in the points at the end of the season.”
The solid effort jumped Gresham to seventh in the K&N East standings after three races – just 65 markers out of first.
The soon to be Woodward Academy high school graduate had little time to catch his breath as he immediately jumped into the No. 71 FedEx Freight/ARGO Group Toyota for the Hamlin ‘Showdown’ event. The race, which featured top NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Bill Elliott, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Hamlin, saw Gresham rocket from his eighth starting position to swapping the lead several times with Busch, the sport’s current top star at the race’s halfway point.
Gresham saw his shot at winning the race go up in smoke when a crash not of his making while running fourth with less than 10 laps to go saddled him with a 14th-place finish.
“It was great racing Kyle for the lead,” said Gresham. “I absolutely love Richmond. You can really have fun doing the kind of side-by-side racing that Kyle and I did. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we wanted, but our FedEX Freight/ARGO Group Toyota was definitely the fastest car here tonight. I really have to thank Jamie Yelton and Fat Head Racing for that. I had a blast, a really amazing day. I can’t wait to come back here to Richmond and race again.”
After a half-day back in his native Georgia to regroup, Gresham flew to Indiana to make his 2011 ARCA Series debut in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway. There, Gresham drove to the front by the halfway point of the race and was running fifth with a fresh set of tires waiting for him in the Venturini Motorsports pit box when a tangle with a lapped car severely damaged his No. 25 Gresham & Associates Toyota Camry.
Undaunted, the Venturini crew repaired the car in time to get Gresham back on track for a respectable 15th-place finish.
“We had a good run going and got swept up into somebody else’s mess,” said Gresham. “We led some early in the race. These Venturini Motorsports guys put a great car under me. They set up two great race cars today – one won and the other one should have won. I can’t wait to drive one of their cars again.
“This weekend was good for me,” Gresham concluded. “It showed I could drive three different cars on three different days. Hopefully, I can one day be like Kyle (Busch) and run three different cars every weekend. I can do it physically. Maybe after this weekend, some other people will see that in me.”
Gresham will now hit the testing trail with sessions at Bowman Gray Stadium , the site of an upcoming June 4 NASCAR K&N event, and he will also get some testing in at Michigan Speedway on Wednesday, May 25. The Jackson, MI two-mile oval will be the site of Gresham’s career superspeedway debut as he will wheel the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota in the ARCA RainEater Wiper Blades 200 on June 17.
Gresham’s next K&N race will be on Saturday, May 21 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. He and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota are the defending champions of the event.
To see photo galleries of Max Gresham’s weekend at Richmond and Salem, please visit the Images section of www.MaxGresham.com.
Max Gresham post-race videos from Richmond and Salem can be viewed on the YouTube section of www.MaxGresham.com.
You can also follow Max Gresham on Twitter @Max Gresham and on Facebook at Max Gresham Fan Page.