Max Gresham, driver of the No.8 AmWINS Group, Inc. Chevrolet for Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR), finished 13th in his first race at the Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) on Saturdayin for the Pocono Mountains 125.
The 20-year-old driver was so excited at the end of the race, he couldn’t remember if the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series planned to return to the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” again this year.
“A 13th-place finish, that’s not bad,” Gresham said to his crew chief Chris Showalter. “Do we come back here again?”
Inclement weather at the Pocono Raceway forced the cancellation of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, but did not put a damper on Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 125. The starting lineup was set by speeds from the first practice session, placing the Eddie Sharp Racing driver 17th heading into the 50-lap shootout.
A gamble by crew chief Chris Showalter to go with two tires on his final pit stop allowed Gresham to gain much-needed track position, and he finished the Pocono Mountains 125 in the 13th position.
The Saturday afternoon skies gave way early enough to have a beautiful day for racing. The track conditions, however, would be extremely different from the single practice session on Friday. During the race, the No. 8 Eddie Sharp Racing team made both track bar and air pressure adjustments on pit stops to help Gresham with the handling on the AmWINS Chevrolet Silverado.
Gresham’s crew chief, Showalter, and his spotter Lorin Rainer, decided to bring in their driver for two right-side tires making the final pit stop of the day on Lap 45. The quick and flawless work by the AmWINS pit crew helped Gresham gain three positions. Additionally, the benefit of two cautions in the last 10-laps gave the Gresham the advantage of fresh tires for the restarts, giving him the edge to pass five trucks in the final laps.
The Milner, Georgia, driver said he was happy with the way his Chevrolet Silverado performed in the final 10 laps.
“We just needed a few more laps and we would have had another Top 10 finish,” Gresham said.
The 13th-place finish helped Gresham improve to 16th in the current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, just four points from 15th.
Gresham is in his first full season of racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
With half of the season in the books, Eddie Sharp Racing is taking what they’ve learned thus far, and will apply it to the remaining races to figure out optimal strategies looking forward to continue the progress and strides they have made this season.
“But all in all, it was a good race for our AmWINS Chevrolet,” Gresham said. “We keep getting better and better each week.”
Gresham’s next chance will come Saturday, August 17 at the Michigan National Guard 200 at the Michigan International Speedway.
Max Gresham PR
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