Another Top Five Finish for Gresham!
Another Top Five Boosts Gresham Into NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Points Lead
A stirring drive to the front and a solid third-place finish in the VisitHamptonVA 175 Saturday at Langley Speedway has boosted Max Gresham to the top of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship standings.
The steady finish – a sixth-straight top-five series effort for the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Toyota – vaulted Gresham to the lead in the division championship chase by a 17-point margin (1125-1,108) over his nearest challenger, Matt DiBenedetto.
“I led the points early in the season last year and later we took a pretty big downhill tumble,” said Gresham. “I’m happy to be leading the points now, but I’m more pleased with the way we have been able to do it – with top five after top-five finish. It’s given the team all kinds of confidence because we feel like we can have that kind of finish every week. Now we just need to keep working on getting more wins.”
Gresham – who won the most recent NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event – looked like he might make it back-to-back victories blasting his way from the ninth starting position to the lead on Lap 84.
“I was really surprised how fast I got to the front,” said Gresham. “I didn’t feel like I was using up the tires very much and the guys were still telling me I was the fastest car out there. I was taking it really easy, letting off early on the straight aways and not spinning the tires off the corners. As long as you kept your momentum rolling into the corner, you could pretty much do a slide job on anyone. I worked hard on making moves fast and quick. That way, I didn’t have to fight my way on the bottom too much.”
Maybe Gresham was channeling the high speeds of Michigan Speedway where he finished second in his career superspeedway debut in the ARCA RainEater Wiper Blades 200 Friday, or just the fact that Gresham’s World Crown 300/JGR Toyota was spot on, but Gresham led the next 30 laps with ease until he came under fire by early leader Sergio Pena.
The pair battled side-by-side before Pena slipped into the lead on Lap 116. Gresham then had a spirited battle with Pena and third-place runner DiBenedetto thanks to several restarts before Pena pulled away for good.
Brett Moffitt, who rallied from a flat tire earlier in the race, joined the fray and raced by both Gresham and DiBenedetto to finish second with Gresham, DiBenedetto and Chase Elliott completing the top-five finishers.
“It’s a lot of fun to race with such great competitors,” said Gresham. “Sergio drove an awesome race tonight – he had the best car at the end. They deserved that win. I enjoy racing with Matt because were close friends. We had some terrific racing tonight and when you have two cars that were as equal as ours were in this race, there’s going to be tight spots. I had a great time racing him tonight.”
Gresham has now completed all 1,060 laps contested in NKNPSE competition this season. In his last six division events, the 18-year-old driver has posted a 2.833 average finish.
“This was our sixth-straight top-five finish in the K&N Pro Series,” Gresham stated, noting there are five division races left this season. “We’ve definitely been showing the strength of our team. We’ve led just about every race recently and won at Gresham last week. I think we’re fast enough to be a threat to win every race. That’s a real credit to my Joe Gibbs Racing team.”
Saturday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East VisitHampton 175 will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED on Thursday, June 30 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
Gresham will next slip behind the wheel when he travels to Marne, MI and the Hantz Group 200 Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event at Berlin Speedway on Saturday, July 8.
Gresham’s next NASCAR K&N Pro Series race will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday, July 15. The New England 125 will go green at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
Additional information about Max Gresham can be accessed at www.MaxGresham.com.
To discuss motorsports marketing opportunities with Max Gresham, please contact J.R. Longley at JRLongley@MaxGresham.com or at 706-581-6970.