After spending last Saturday driving through a pair of multi-truck crashes at Talladega Superspeedway and rebounding from a collision on pit road, Max Gresham knows his intensity level won't diminish during the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
While Talladega is the fastest raceway on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule and Martinsville Speedway is the slowest, Gresham and Sharp-Gallaher Racing know that everyone will still be on edge at the iconic half-mile short track.
"Even though we're going 100 mph slower than last week, there's still going to be a huge amount of intensity," the driver of the No. 8 AmWINS Group, Inc. Chevrolet said. "Believe me, there's no letdown. Short-track racing is extremely emotional. Tempers rise quickly. You're on the same edge as you are at Talladega (Superspeedway)."
In commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Gresham will "go pink" for the 200-lap event at Martinsville with a special pink and black paint scheme in honor of his grandmother and breast cancer survivor, Mary Jane Siggins. The change to a pink Silverado paint scheme has the full support of his partner, AmWINS Group, Inc., as well as Sharp-Gallaher Racing.
Gresham will make his fifth career start at Martinsville Speedway. In fact, he has more starts at the paperclip-shaped track that's been hosting NASCAR races since 1949 than on any other track on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit.
"A week ago it was all about staying out of trouble and surviving," crew chief Chris Showalter said. "At Martinsville (Speedway) it's still about staying out of trouble and survival. But at Martinsville, survival often means getting knocked around a bit. You know there's going to be a lot of beating and banging. Even the best trucks will get knocked around a little bit."
Gresham's best finish at Martinsville is 11th from a year ago. This season, in the spring event, Gresham started from the 18th position and crossed the finish line in a 30th-place finish.
"I love short-track racing," the Milner, Ga., driver said. "We know track position is very important, so we'll try to get as much work done for qualifying at the Sharp-Gallaher Racing shop before we get there."
"We finished eighth at Talladega and I feel Martinsville is a place where we can build on that performance. I'm a little more at home on a short track. I'm more in my comfort zone."
Gresham knows, however, that even in his comfort zone, it is still far from stress free.
Max Gresham PR