The Martinsville Speedway started hosting NASCAR races in 1949 - 45 years before Max Gresham was born, and though the sport has evolved throughout the years, the track's popularity among drivers has stayed the same. They love the track, the history, the rush, and they love Martinsville's famous hotdogs.
"I don't care how old you are, Martinsville Speedway is the kind of challenge every racer likes," the 19-year-old driver said. "It's a throwback to the days when you had to wrestle with the car, wrestle with traffic and wrestle with the race track. It's got everything a driver wants. That's why so many drivers respect the track."
Gresham will be back in the No. 8 Made In USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet for Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR).
In commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Eddie Sharp Racing teams will "go pink" for the 200-lap event at Martinsville Speedway. Gresham will run a special pink paint scheme in honor of his grandmother, Mary Jane Siggins, who is a breast cancer survivor. The change to a Pink Silverado paint scheme had the full support of his partner, the Made In USA Brand, as well as Eddie Sharp Racing.
Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race will be the third career start for Gresham at Martinsville with the series, including a 19th-place finish there on March 31 for Joe Dennette Racing. He also has one NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start at the historic track, finishing 14th.
"Martinsville is like running a drag race, making a sharp u-turn, and then running another drag race before making another u-turn - and we'll do that 200 times," Gresham said. "Everyone will be fighting to get to the bottom because it's the shortest way around. The problem is, when you get 36 trucks on the track at the same time and they're all trying to get to the same piece of real estate, it triggers a lot of beating and banging. The fans love it. You know you're going to get hit. The key is to be the one giving out more of the hits, not taking them."
Gresham has plenty of experience on half-mile short tracks. He drove in a Late Model feature a week ago at his family's Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia.
The team hopes that having the familiarity of a recent test session last week at Gresham Motorsports Park will pay off for Gresham this weekend. Gresham put the No. 8 through its paces under the watchful eye of crew chief Chris Showalter in preparation for this week's short-track action.
"I love short-track racing and I love Martinsville. That feeling will never get old," Gresham said. "We feel very good about going there with our Made In USA Brand Chevrolet. Hopefully we can create our own little bit of history there."
Saturday's Kroger 200 will be the third of five selected starts for Gresham this season with Eddie Sharp Racing. Other scheduled starts will be at the Texas Motor Speedway and the season-ending race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Max Gresham PR