CONCORD, N.C. - Like everyone else, Max Gresham was enthralled by the way last Sunday's race ended at the Phoenix International Raceway, with big wrecks, a fight and a lot of controversy surrounding the finish.
But when he goes to the Homestead-Miami Speedway with the No. 8 Made In USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet Silverado, his mind will be focused on reliable performance.
"I watched in disbelief like everyone else at the way the NASCAR Sprint Cup race ended last week," Gresham acknowledged. "I'm sure it's going to bring a lot of that drama to Homestead for the final racing weekend of the year.
"Our plan at Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR), is to be drama-free. There's so much going on with all three championships going down to the wire. For us, the only issue that matters is building on our last two races and heading into the off-season with a lot of drive."
This will be Gresham's second career start at the season finale in Homestead,Fla. In 2011, after qualifying 26th, he ran competitively for the most of the day but a fuel pump issue slowed him down, and he ended the race in 31st place.
Gresham, 19, will be completing the fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race in a selected schedule with Eddie Sharp Racing. The team has finished 11th and 12th in the past two races, passing a total of 19 cars compared to their starting positions in both races.
Despite not being a participant in this year's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship, Gresham and his Eddie Sharp Racing team have demonstrated that they belong with the series' elite.
"In our last two races I've really gained a lot of confidence," the Georgia native recalled. "Chris Showalter (crew chief) has really been on top of his changes during the race and everyone else on his Eddie Sharp Racing team has been on top of their game building these trucks. We're going to Homestead with a strong foundation, and we plan to build on it."
"It's not easy to accomplish so much in just five races, but we did it," Showalter said. "We've come so far in a very short period of time. We've built on our success one lap at a time. We have some very attainable goals for Homestead."
As well, Gresham completed his Certified Insurance Specialist program last week passing his test, which will allow him to work with his family's business, Gresham & Associates, Inc.
"I'm proud to be able to continue a proud family tradition," Gresham said. "I'm also proud that I've been able to chart my own course that includes both racing and my family's business. It's ambitious, for sure, but it's something that I've prepared for my entire life."