It was difficult to convince Max Gresham of any personal victories Friday night at the Kentucky Speedway, especially after the No.8 Made In USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet finished 23rd in the Kentucky 201.
The Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team qualified ninth in their second start with the rookie driver, but wound up in the garage following a mid-race accident.
"Racing is a humbling experience," Gresham said. "Every time you feel like you've figured something out, something else gets you. We had a great truck. I'm disappointed we couldn't finish the race."
Gresham had contact with Timothy Peters' truck midway into the 134-lap main event. Since the team is running a selected schedule, crew chief Chris Showalter decided to keep the ESR truck off the track for the final 72 laps to avoid any further damage to the Made In USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet.
"We are not running for points, so there's no sense being out there with a damaged truck," Showalter said. "However, we made huge gains from our first race at Atlanta, so we are leaving on a positive note. I know our driver doesn't think that way, but that's normal for a driver. Max wants the very best and he's not willing to settle for anything less. As a crew chief, that's everything you want in a driver."
"I was looking to make some changes to that truck anyway," Showalter said with a smile.
Gresham had the 15th fastest time in the first practice session early Friday at the 1.5-mile quad-oval, and he was 14th-fastest in the final session. The team found a lot of speed with their adjustments before qualifying, sending the 19-year-old Georgia driver to his best qualifying effort in the NASCAR Camping World Series (NCWTS) in his young career.
"We were pretty good from the moment we unloaded," Gresham said. "And throughout the day we made it even better. We went into the race with so much confidence. I'm my toughest critic, so I hate that we didn't finish the race, and I hate it even more that when I start to figure out a track something seems to go wrong."
"I know Showalter and everyone else on our Eddie Sharp Racing team will put it back together, and by the time we get to Martinsville Speedway we will be just as fast as I was at Kentucky. We came away from Kentucky as a better race team than when we arrived. But for now, that doesn't make me feel any better. A driver is never satisfied with anything other than a victory."
Max Gresham PR