DENVER, NC - Max Gresham felt like he was riding a wild bull almost from the start of Friday night's WinStar World Casino 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Unlike the eight seconds the Lone Star State rodeo stars have to endure, however, his ride in the No. 8 AmWINS Group Chevrolet lasted 1 hour, 45 minutes, 07 seconds, and every second was a rough one.
After starting 14th, Gresham wrangled with an ill-handling Chevrolet to finish 22nd, five laps down, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race.
"It was a wild ride," the 20-year old Gresham said. "I knew something was wrong on the fourth lap. Our AmWINS Group Chevrolet was loose. It was bad through the corners, and coming off of Turn 3. It was a handful. It just kept getting worse and worse."
With a caution on Lap 43, crew chief Chris Showalter brought the Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) blue and black machine for review under the caution flag to fix the reported "seven" (out of ten) in looseness. During that pit stop the team took on four tires, more fuel, made adjustments to the air pressure, and made a down track bar adjustment trying to make a more workable ride for the Milner, Georgia, native.
His Eddie Sharp Racing team found a broken suspension spring after the race. The spring failure made the truck want to drift to the right in the corners at one of the fastest speedways on the schedule.
"All things considered it could have been worse," Gresham said. "Everyone on this Eddie Sharp Racing team worked hard so we could finish the race. You never want to finish 22nd, but crashing the truck would have been worse. It was a rough night, and I am proud of my guys who never gave up."
Gresham got as high as 14th in the running order before a vibration signaled an end to any hopes of winning. After that, the team concentrated more on surviving on the 1.5-mile, quad-oval speedway.
"I gave it all I had, and it took all of that just to hang onto it," Gresham said. "We had a broken shock, which we believe failed in the first few laps of the race. We'll get it back to the shop, figure out why it happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Then we'll get ready for Kentucky."
Gresham and Eddie Sharp Racing will make their next start June 27 in the UNOH 225 at the Kentucky Speedway. Unlike Texas, where bucking broncos and wild bulls are common, Kentucky is known more for its sleek thoroughbreds.
Exactly the type of ride Max Gresham wants this time around.