If there's one thing Max Gresham has learned in his young career in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), it is that victories are the result of continual progression.
The first step is to develop consistency. The second is to run in the top 10. The last is to be in position to take advantage of opportunity at the end of a race.
Gresham believes he and his No. 8 Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet are close to putting themselves in contention.
"I've learned this year that winning is the product of doing everything right and being in the right place at the right time at the end of the race," the former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion said as he prepared for Saturday's SFP 250 at the Kansas Speedway. "Every race is a building block. We've been able to add one block to the foundation every week. We finished on the lead lap last week at Rockingham (N.C.) at a track we felt presented the most challenges. This team is evolving every week.
"We're on the brink of being able to take advantage of openings at the end of the race," said Gresham, clearly alluding to putting Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) back in Victory Lane. With 84 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team owner Eddie Sharp has two victories, most recently at the season ending Homestead-Miami Speedway event.
Gresham wants to build on the progress the team made a week ago at Rockingham. Crew chief Chris Showalter wants to take everything the team's learned to another level.
"Every race is another brick in the foundation," Showalter said. "You keep adding bricks and you'll eventually have a solid foundation. We feel we're there now. We've been able to take our successes and shortcomings and make the best of those. Sometimes you learn more from the misses than you do from the hits. Every week we go to the race track with a better understanding of what to do and what not to do."
More so, Showalter believes Gresham continues to develop into a driver who not only can contend for a victory, but contend for a top-10 finish in the standings.
Gresham looks to build on the foundation he has built at Kansas Speedway in 2011 he sat on the pole, led 14 of 99 laps and finished fourth in his one and only ARCA Racing Series start there.
"Every race is a work in progress," Showalter said. "Making positive steps each and every race. I believe we've done that with every race we've been together."
Gresham, 19, started 23rd a year ago with Joe Denette and he finished 22nd. A year ago Gresham ran a limited schedule with Joe Denette Motorsports and then with Eddie Sharp Racing, but Saturday's race (2 p.m. ET, SPEED-TV) will be the first time Gresham and Eddie Sharp have worked together at the 1.5-mile raceway.
"I have a good feel for Kansas and I'm really excited to go back there with ESR," Gresham said. "I know what to expect from the track. I absolutely know I'm going there with a team that's capable of winning.
"I'm planning on putting on the smart mileage to get in a good spot at the end of the race. Then, it's just a matter of putting ourselves in position to win at the right time."
Max Gresham PR