While some in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are relieved the racing season is taking the checkered flag this Fridaynight at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Max Gresham isn't ready to slow down just yet.
Buoyed by seven-consecutive lead-lap finishes and four top-10 finishes in his first full season with Sharp-Gallaher Racing, Gresham is eager to stay behind the wheel of his No. 8 Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet for as long as possible.
"My first full-time season in the Truck Series has really been a learning experience," Gresham said. "It is amazing to see what we've accomplished from where we started from in Daytona to where we are right now."
Friday's Ford EcoBoost 200 is one last chance for Gresham to make another lasting impression this season. The 134-lap race, which takes the green flag on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, will mark his third-career start at the 1.5-mile oval.
In 2011 he started 26th and finished 31st following a fuel pump issue while driving for Stacy Compton. In last year's season finale, Gresham started 13th and finished 23rd, three laps behind winning teammate Cale Gale.
"Although Phoenix and Homestead are completely different - Phoenix is a flat track, and Homestead has variable banking - we learned some things about our Sharp-Gallaher Racing truck last week," crew chief Chris Showalter said. "Max knows what it takes to get around Homestead. We will do some things to our Chevrolet Silverado that should help him, too."
The team will use a chassis that once belonged to Kevin Harvick Inc. Ron Hornaday Jr. drove it to a victory in 2010 at Martinsville Speedway. Gresham last drove this Chevrolet to a 19th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in September, where it qualified 20th. This weekend will be the chassis' third appearance with Gresham.
"I agree with Showy [Showalter] - we learned something at Phoenix," Gresham said. "Not only can we carry over some mechanical information, but we can carry over a lot of momentum and confidence. We knew there would be some struggles in our first full-time year, but we seem to gain a little more every week.
"Now it's time to put everything together. You never stop trying to get better, even if it's the last race of the year."
Max Gresham PR