In what seems like a year plagued with bad luck, Max Gresham loses the battle with the Monster in the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway. The tough outing netted Gresham a 30th-place finish in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the "Monster Mile."
After leading the charge for most of the final practice session on Thursday at the 1-mile oval, Gresham and his No. 24 Made In USA Brand team were fired up for Friday morning's time trials. As a result, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender posted his best start of the 2012 season, a 14th-place starting position for the 13th Annual NCWTS event later that evening.
In the opening laps of the 200-lap event, Gresham complained of a tight handling Chevrolet Silverado and would lose a few spots to the leaders. As the laps clicked off, Gresham began to feel a difference in his Made In USA Brand machine and the rookie moved up the leader board from 19th to 15th.
However, an accident in turn-four on lap 29 resulted in contact with another competitor and right front splitter damage on the No. 24 machine. Crew chief, Terry "Richie" Snyder was forced to bring the red, white and blue Chevrolet down pit road to work on the damage. When racing resumed on lap 32, Gresham was scored 25th.
Just 27 laps later, running 23rd, Gresham tagged the wall and was forced to bring his No. 24 Made In USA Brand Chevrolet down pit road for four tires and fuel. However, the damage was so extensive that the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender was forced behind the wall for a broken radiator.
After spending more than 30 laps behind the wall for repairs, Gresham returned to the event just past the half-way point scored 30th.
Unfortunately, a flat right front tire on lap 129 sent Gresham into the outside safer barrier exiting turn-four. With extensive damage to the right side, the No. 24 Made In USA Brand team was credited with a DNF, and a 30th-place finish, 59 laps down to race winner, Todd Bodine.
Max Gresham Quotes:
"We had really high hopes heading into this weekend. I really like Dover and we had a fast truck in practice on Thursday when it was sunny and hot outside. With the cloud cover and temperature drop at the start of the race, I was really tight. Once I got the right-front splitter damage this No. 24 Made In USA Brand Chevrolet was never really right after that. We had two right-front tires go down at two separate times which ultimately ended our night. I hate it for my guys, they worked really hard to get me back out on the track and I'm really proud of everyone on this Made In USA Brand team. We will regroup and rebound for Texas."