Friday night was a lesson in patience and perseverance for Max Gresham as he fought for progress throughout the WinStar World Casino 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. After a strong qualifying effort of fifth place, Gresham struggled with handling issues throughout the long day, but he and the No. 8 Sharp-Gallaher Racing team fought hard to claim an 18th-place finish.
Gresham had to manhandle a truck that was loose on entry into the track's 24-degree banked corners, and tight center off during every lap around the 1.5-mile oval. His No. 8 Leviton / Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet Silverado was stubborn in its progress, but Gresham and crew chief Chris Showalter stayed the course and the duo continuously worked on the green and blue machine under the Texas stars.
After taking the green flag the Milner, Ga., native surged from fifth to second in pursuit of the leader, but by Lap five he reported to the No. 8 Sharp-Gallaher Racing team that he was a little free. Unable to run on the bottom, Gresham began a fall in the ranks.
Gresham dropped to eighth before the first caution flag of the race waved on Lap 25. Under caution, Showalter provided his driver with four tires, fuel, air pressure and track bar adjustments. The team also had to remove grass from the grill of the No. 8 Leviton / Made in USA Brand Chevrolet, and the added time on pit road cost the team positions. Gresham restarted the event in 17th-place, on Lap 29.
"You are doing a really good job with what you are doing off of (Turn) two," said spotter Lorin Ranier to his driver. "Keep running high."
Gresham was moving back towards the front of the pack, capturing ninth place at Lap 60, when a second caution flag waved. Receiving four new tires, fuel and a few adjustments to tighten up the Chevrolet Silverado, Gresham returned to the field in the 15th position.
He dropped from his fifth-place starting spot to 11th before the halfway mark of the 147-lap race.
The team made its final pit stop under caution on Lap 100, and Showalter called for a tweak to the tire pressure. With four scuffed Goodyears and a full tank of fuel, Gresham was set to go the distance with no more stops.
Gresham rallied yet again, rising to 12th by Lap 110, but as the race entered the final laps, a long green-flag run ensued, and the No. 8 Leviton / Made in USA Brand team began to slip back through the field.
Gresham crossed the finish line in 18th -place for the 20th of 22 races this season.
"Despite the finish, I'd like to thank Leviton and the Made in USA Brand for their support this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway," Gresham said. "I was happy we could start up front for their first race with our No. 8 Sharp-Gallaher Racing team."