Max Gresham came back from being one lap down to earn a 15th-place finish in his No. 8 Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) in Saturday night's American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway. The 0.875-mile oval proved to be a challenge for Gresham and his team. Gresham qualified 18th and made key adjustments throughout the race. The No. 8 Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team never gave up and the 15th-place finish gained Gresham two positions in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver points.
Gresham was upbeat when he left the Iowa Speedway. He knew his Eddie Sharp Racing crew and crew chief Chris Showalter worked tirelessly in making sure his Made in USA Brand Chevrolet finished on the lead lap.
Gresham started the 200-lap event from the 18th position and worked his way into the top 15 early in the race.
Team owner Eddie Sharp Jr., doubling as Gresham's spotter for the evening, relayed his positive message to Gresham at the drop of the green flag.
"You got momentum," Eddie Sharp Jr. said. "Let's hit our marks and drive it in."
On the first run Gresham reported back that he was tight in and tight in the center. Four fresh tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment were given to him on the first pit stop, on Lap 56 under caution. The quick work on pit road gained the 20-year old valuable spots on the track.
Gresham began his drive to the front logging laps, gaining positions when the second caution flag waved 57 laps later. Gresham brought his red, white and blue No. 8 Chevrolet to his pit crew for a wedge adjustment, four tires and fuel.
While his Made in USA Brand Chevrolet showed enough speed to get as high as 12th in the running order, traffic kept Gresham from advancing any further. The caution came out once again on Lap 121 as he was able to avoid a multi-car wreck in Turn 2 by driving to the bottom of the track. The Eddie Sharp Racing Chevrolet made it through unscathed and eventually finishing the race without a scratch.
Towards the end, Gresham was more content with his handling and was in position for the "lucky dog." On the final caution Gresham took the "wave-around" to be scored back on the lead lap.
"Despite the initial difficulty with handling, I was able to dig in and fight for every position on the racetrack, finishing the race in 15th-place," the Milner, Georgia, native said. "It was a bit of a struggle, but we figured out our issues.
"I look forward to being better in the fall at Iowa Speedway. I am proud of my guys and I was proud to drive the Made in USA Brand Chevrolet in the American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen fueled by American Ethanol."
Gresham will turn his attention to the Wednesday, July 24th truck series race at the half-mile dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio at Eldora Speedway.
"Iowa was a good, positive experience for the Made in the USA Brand team," Gresham said. "We hope to improve on that at Eldora. If we stick to our game plan, we'll do well."
Max Gresham PR