Max Gresham will start 2nd at the drop of the green flag in tomorrow’s Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. With the runner-up start, it marks the 5th time Gresham has started inside the top-ten through the NCWTS 2013 season.
Talladega couldn’t come at a better time for Gresham as his season has been mired with defeat and confusion. The 2.66 mile oval in Talladega, Alabama is one of the few tracks that gives chances for underfunded teams to crash the party of higher ranked teams. Sharp-Gallaher and Gresham will be looking to take advantage of that chance this weekend.
“The biggest thing about Talladega is staying out of trouble,” the 20-year-old driver for Sharp-Gallaher Racing said. “The tapered spacer bunches up the field because nobody has the power to pull away from the pack. When you’re racing side-by-side, 10 trucks deep, a little mistake by somebody else generally turns into a big accident for the rest.”
Staying out of trouble will be key for Gresham, as he has 17-starts this year with 4 DNF’s. Starting up front should play into Max’s hands as he won’t be forced to ride middle of the pack unless he slips up.
Gresham will be driving a Chevrolet Silverado that originally came from Kevin Harvick Inc.’s fleet, but has been active in the Sharp-Gallaher Racing stable since 2012. It will be the first time Gresham has driven the truck in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
“Everyone goes to Talladega with a game plan,” crew chief Chris Showalter said. “We have our plan, too. Our first priority is to be smart and stay out of trouble. While there are certain risks with running in big packs of traffic, there are benefits, too. You can go from the back of the pack to the front in a lap or two. So there’s no real reason to be in the middle.”
Despite having prior knowledge at Daytona Superspeedway, the Stockbridge, Georgia native has never competed on the high banks of Talladega.
“Talladega is also close to home for me, so I know I will have a lot of support from my friends and family in the stands.”
Gresham knows he can’t get overexcited in the car and cost himself a victory. The 20-year-old needs to buckle down and focus on getting to the last few laps and then focus on coming out the victor.