Max Gresham has a goal to finish in the Top 10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) standings at the end of the season. Friday's Lucas Oil 200 at the Dover International Speedway was a perfect example Gresham's enduring determination to reach that goal.
Although Gresham finished 28th in the race, his Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team made remarkable strides to get as many points as possible for the No. 8 Trimmer Assist Chevrolet Silverado.
"We got wrecked before the first lap was completed, but we came in to make all the repairs necessary, and went back out to get as many points as possible. It was an incredible effort for our No. 8 Trimmer Assist team," the Milner, Georgia, native said. "To get back out on the track and improve our position by eight spots says a lot about our race team.
"It would have been easy to pack up and go home. But that's not what Eddie Sharp Racing is all about."
Gresham started ninth at the Monster Mile in his career-best short track effort, but he tangled with Timothy Peters on the first lap of the race. Gresham's truck sustained significant damage to the rear end in the third turn accident.
"We decided we weren't going home after a first lap accident," crew chief Chris Showalter said. "We knew we had a good truck for the trace. We qualified in the Top 10 so we weren't going to accept a bad finish after the strides we made."
Although it took the Eddie Sharp Racing crew more than 100 laps to make repairs, Gresham eventually returned and was running lap-times equivalent to competitors on the lead lap in the final 50 laps.
"We had to make a lot of repairs to the rear end, but when we came back out we were as fast as everyone else on the track," Gresham said. "Although we're never happy with finishing 28th, we are proud of how we battled back from the first lap. We got as many points as possible. It's not the Top 10 that we expected, but we know we got everything out of Dover that was possible. The incident wasn't our fault, but we sized up our situation and decided not to pack up and go home. It was a defining moment in our season."
Despite the first-lap problems, Gresham is 19th in the truck series standings heading into next Friday's WinStar World Casino 400K at the Texas Motor Speedway.