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Max Gresham Puts Wraps On Birthday Weekend Tripleheader

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.

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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.

Gresham to Haul FedEx Freight in Short-Track Showdown

Max Gresham To Haul The Freight For FedEx In Denny Hamlin Short-Track Showdown At Richmond

Max Gresham hopes he can absolutely, positively haul the freight as part of Team FedEx for Denny Hamlin’s Fourth-Annual Short-Track Showdown at Richmond (VA) International Raceway on Thursday, April 28.

Gresham will join NASCAR Sprint Cup star Hamlin, NASCAR Nationwide Series great Curtis Markham, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series rival Darrell Wallace, Jr. as one of the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers sponsored by FedEx in the race.

“It’s going to be awesome to have FedEx on board and be part of Team FedEx for this race,” said Gresham, who will pilot the No. 71 FedEx Freight Late Model Stock Car in the event. “It’s going to be a big night for everyone, especially the fans and all the charities that benefit from the Denny Hamlin Foundation.”

Meanwhile, Hamlin will race the FedEx Express colors in the race while Markham will be decked out with a FedEx Office paint job. Wallace, Jr. will complete the quartet of FedEx supported cars in the charity event with FedEx Ground decals.

FedEx Corporation provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx employs more than 275,000 employees and contractors worldwide. FedEx Corporation provides strategic direction and consolidated financial reporting for the operating companies that compete collectively under the FedEx name worldwide: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Office, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Trade Networks, FedEx SupplyChain and FedEx Services.

To learn more about FedEx, please visit www.FedEx.com.

The Fourth Annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown will feature to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano and 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. All the competitors – including Gresham – will be driving Late Model Stock Cars in the event.

“This is a really big deal for me,” said Gresham, who will also drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota stocker in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Blue Ox 100 at Richmond earlier in the day. “I get to race with all the big names in NASCAR before my 18th birthday. To get a head start and be able to race against those guys is going to be great. I’m looking forward to going to Richmond International Raceway and running a Late Model there. It’s going to be real fast. It’s going to wide open and I am really looking forward to it.”

Hamlin’s Short-Track Showdown will benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Richmond, VA, Victory Junction Gang Camp and the NASCAR Foundation.

The Fourth-Annual Denny Hamlin Short-Track Showdown from Richmond will be telecast live on SPEED at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, April 28.

For more information about – or to make a donation to – the Denny Hamlin Foundation, please log on to www.dennyhamlinfoundation.com.

For more information about Max Gresham, please access www.MaxGresham.com. You can also follow Max Gresham on Twitter @Max Gresham and on Facebook at Max Gresham Fan Page.

Additional information about the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR K&N Pro Series effort can be viewed at www.JoeGibbsRacing.com.

Kelly Bires to drive for JGR

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 14, 2011) – Joe Gibbs Racing, Inc. announced today that Kelly Bires will drive two races for its No. 18 NASCAR Nationwide Series team as part of a partnership with International Comfort Products, LLC (“ICP”), a leader in the heating and cooling systems industry, with its brands Arcoaire®, Comfortmaker®, Day & Night®, Heil®, Keeprite®, and Tempstar® brands.

Bires will be behind the wheel of JGR’s No. 18 Toyota on April 29 at Richmond International Raceway and June 4 at Chicagoland Speedway.

“We look forward to having Kelly and ICP on board with us in Richmond and Chicago,” said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Kelly is a driver with a bright future in our sport and the 18 team is excited to have him on board as they compete for their third straight Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship.”

Bires is in his fifth season driving in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with three top-five and 12 top-ten finishes in 82 career starts. He has made four starts so far in 2011. Bires has five career starts in Richmond with a best finish of 11th in 2009 and has made three career starts in Chicago with a best finish of 12th during the 2008 season.

“This is exactly the type of partnership ICP needs to build its relationships with our dealers,” Brian Cash, Marketing Manager, with ICP explained. “Kelly is a terrific young man and fantastic shoe in the car. Like our dealers, he has earned his way through every step of his career; we feel he represents our company and our customers well. ICP was founded on a standard of excellence and Kelly shares those same values with us.”

This is Bires fourth year of involvement with ICP and also marks the reunion of ICP with Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff. “Jason was the crew chief for Casey Atwood in 1999, our first year of involvement in NASCAR.” stated Edward Winston, Area Sales Manager with ICP, “Jason brought us to the winner circle back then, hopefully we will be back there again!.

“I’m thrilled to continue the partnership with ICP and have this opportunity to race for JGR,” said Bires. “ICP and its dealers have stuck with me through the tough times and I am really looking forward to a good run with the No. 18 team. Obviously this team has experienced a lot of success over the past few years and it’s exciting to have a chance to contribute to their season.”

About International Comfort Products, LLC
International Comfort Products, LLC, is a leading North American manufacturer of quality residential and light commercial gas furnaces, split-system air conditioners, package air conditioners, split-system heat pumps, package heat pumps, package gas/electric combination units and oil furnaces. Major brands include Heil®, Tempstar®, Comfortmaker®, Arcoaire®, KeepRite® and Day & Night™.

For more information about ICP and its products and services, visit www.icpusa.com.

Strong Qualifying Run in CA

All three Joe Gibbs Racing entries will start from inside the top ten when the green flag waves to start the Auto Club 400 Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.

The rains fell early today in Fontana, CA, but when officials were finally able to get the track dry it would be Denny Hamlin leading JGR’s efforts by qualifying his No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota in the second position. Hamlin posted a lap of 39.073 seconds and just narrowly missed the top spot.

“It’s been a good day,” said Hamlin. “Focusing on qualifying and things like that, I’ve really never worked so hard to work on just one lap before as much as I have this week. I’m trying to get better. Last week we had issues at Bristol and that was because we qualified bad. We can’t put ourselves in the middle of the pack every weekend. We’re trying to slowly work to get better at qualifying and I felt like I’m taking steps to do that.”

Meanwhile Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, was just behind his teammate with an impressive lap of 39.102 seconds to earn the third position.

“It was more surprising than anything else,” Logano said of his qualifying lap. “I didn’t think it was that great of a lap. I had a terrible time getting up to speed coming to the green. Thought that kind of set me up for a bad lap. I had a better (turns) one and two than I had in practice — so I’m excited about that. It was good. I’m excited about it.”

Kyle Busch managed an impressive effort despite an accident in the day’s only and abbreviated practice session that forced the team to bring out the backup car. Busch, who had hit a wet spot on the track that would result in contact with the wall, would earn the ninth position for the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota with a lap of 39.241 seconds.

“I just can’t say enough about these guys on this Interstate Batteries Camry this weekend so far,” said Busch. “Just today, I mean we waited (the rain) out. We had the car all ready to go and all of the sudden the first lap out I decided the guys didn’t have enough work today. So, we had to come in and get the backup out and we went through everything trying to make sure we had a good enough car just to get a lap on it at least in practice. Guys did a great job there and hustled along pretty well. Made some changes there for qualifying and got it pretty close to where we needed it. That’s good enough. That’s solid enough that we’ll take that and wherever it winds up and we can race them from there on Sunday.”

Juan Pablo Montoya of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing captured the pole with a lap of 38.992.

Denny Hamlin Charity Race at RIR

Late Model Stock Car Event Scheduled for Thursday, April 28, Following the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race

Richmond, VA (March 22, 2011)—Richmond International Raceway and Chesterfield, VA native Denny Hamlin are joining forces to run the fourth annual Short Track Showdown to benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation on Thursday night, April 28 at America’s Premiere Short Track.  The event will feature more than eight NASCAR drivers and celebrities battling it out on the ¾-mile track with some of the best local Late Model Stock Car drivers.

Always trying to be on the cutting edge of technology, Richmond International Raceway brought Tuesday’s announcement to fans live on the track’s Facebook page.  One of the first times a motorsports facility has delivered a major announcement live on the Internet, fans were even invited to submit questions for Hamlin and Fritz to answer.

“This is a great partnership with our hometown driver, Denny Hamlin,” said Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz.  “We’re excited to be the new home of the Short Track Showdown and hope to help Denny grow this event into a premiere charity race.”

The addition of the Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway means the race weekend will now feature four events for race fans to enjoy.  The charity race will be a one-day show, featuring practice and qualifying prior to the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.  The Short Track Showdown will run immediately following the Blue Ox 100, making for an exciting Thursday at Richmond International Raceway.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to run our Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway,” said Hamlin. “The event has grown every year and we’ve been so fortunate to raise support through my foundation for some outstanding organizations. The competition will be intense with several Cup drivers signed on, as well as a few racing celebrities and of course several outstanding local short track drivers. It’s going to be a great night of racing with the opportunity to help a lot of people.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and other NASCAR celebrities currently scheduled to run in the Short Track Showdown include Denny, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Hermie Sadler and Clay Campbell – Martinsville Speedway president.

Proceeds from the Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway will benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation, a 501 C (3) started to raise funds for individuals and families suffering from cystic fibrosis.  The foundation supports organizations like The Children’s Hospital of Richmond, St. Jude’s Hospital and Victory Junction.

Tickets are available now for the excitement on Thursday, April 28th.  All seats are general admission and $25.  Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.  Tickets include the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 30th, now is the time. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223). Don’t miss the return of hometown favorite Denny Hamlin, defending series champion Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and all of your favorite stars of the Sprint Cup Series.

The weekend also includes the Friday, April 29th BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race “under the lights.” Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne, Virginia native Elliott Sadler and the full-time Nationwide Series drivers will mix it up with Sprint Cup drivers running double-duty. Tickets start at $30 in advance, and children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission. For tickets and information, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).

About Richmond International Raceway:

Richmond International Raceway, known as America’s Premier Short Track, offers exciting night racing action and a commitment to the fan experience. One of the most popular facilities among drivers and fans in all of motorsports, Richmond International Raceway annually hosts all of its major events—two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, two NASCAR Nationwide Series events and one NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race—under the lights on its ¾-mile D-Shaped oval. The unique layout consistently produces the thrill of side-by-side racing, coupled with high enough speeds for a superspeedway feel. Combined with first-class amenities (including the state-of-the-art Video Scoring Tower) and a focus on the fans, guests at Richmond International Raceway can expect to experience what “Racing Perfection” truly is. For tickets to events at Richmond International Raceway, call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com online.Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RIRInsider.

About the Denny Hamlin Foundation:

The Denny Hamlin Foundation was created by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Denny Hamlin to aid in raising awareness and funding for Cystic Fibrosis research and treatment, as well as to support other not for profit corporations that focus on aiding children with debilitating illnesses.  You can find the Denny Hamlin Foundation online at www.dennyhamlinfoundation.org and on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/dennyhamlinfoundation.