It's been said people do not hold grudges long in Texas. They strap on their boots and spurs and they settle things the old fashioned way.
That's the plan for Max Gresham and Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR), who will race again at Friday night's WinStar World Casino 400K at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Instead of settling an argument over whose wrangling skills are the best, 20-year old Gresham will be setting the record straight by commanding his No. 8 AmWINS Chevrolet on the asphalt.
"We had some great runs this year, but a few of those races other drivers ended our race early," Gresham said. "Texas is a great place to even some scores, and the best way to do that is beat them on the track."
Gresham doesn't intend to drive dirty against anyone in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race. After all, beating them on the race track will provide more than enough satisfaction.
The team will have the same No. 8 AmWINS Chevrolet Silverado that finished third May 17 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Texas and Charlotte both have a 1.5-mile, quad-oval layout, so a lot of what the team learned at Charlotte should carry over for Friday's 9 PM ET race.
The 167-lap race will be televised live on SPEED.
"We've really stepped up our qualifying effort, so we start races with better track position," crew chief Chris Showalter said. "We'll concentrate on that when we get to Texas, too. We've clearly had some disappointing finishes this year, but most of that was the result of somebody else's mishap. All we can do is worry about the things in our control. When we're able to do that, we've shown improvement every single week. We just have to avoid everyone else's problems."
Gresham has two career starts at the Texas Motor Speedway. He finished 21st there in the summer race of 2012 and he came back to finish 12th in the fall with Eddie Sharp Racing.
"The thing about Texas is you get a tremendous sense of speed there," he said. "The challenge is to find ways to combine the speed in your truck with the track. You have to have everything working together.
"We have a good understanding of what makes our truck fast. Better yet, we seem to gain even more knowledge with every lap we run. We'll go to Texas and race our own race. Hopefully in the process, we can finally get a little more respect from some of the veterans. We know you don't do that by running into them, you do it by beating them."
Gresham started last Saturday's race at the Dover International Speedway from the ninth spot on the starting grid, but an incident following a collision with another driver on the first lap took the team out of contention. The team spent 107 laps making repairs and Gresham returned to pick up an extra eight spots.
At the end of the day the Milner, Georgia, native is not only looking to be fast, but also accurate, aiming to finish the 250.5 mile event on the lead lap and without a mark on the No. 8 AmWINS Chevrolet.
"We won't back down; we won't quit," Gresham said. "That's the way they do it in Texas. That's the way we'll do it the rest of the season.
Max Gresham PR