DENVER, NC - Although Max Gresham will take to the Iowa Speedway for the first time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), his successful history at the track provides a boost of confidence heading in to the American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen on Saturday.
Gresham expects some of his old tricks from his NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Racing Series performances at the 0.875-mile oval will transfer to truck competition.
He is quite familiar with the Iowa Speedway. Gresham will make his fifth career start at the track, including his first in the Trucks Series, with one start in the ARCA Racing Series and three in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. He placed third in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in his debut at the track in 2009. In the ARCA Racing Series he finished 10th after qualifying fifth in July of 2010.
In 2010, Gresham won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, leading 14 of those laps at the asphalt track just outside of Des Moines, Iowa. A year later he qualified 17th and finished second, eventually winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in his third season on that tour.
He has accumulated many laps here - 701 of 701 laps completed. Gresham has finished in the top 10 in each race he has competed, including top three finishes in three of those events.
The NASCAR Camping World Series will make its first of two trips to "The Hawkeye State" this weekend. As Gresham finds it hard to accept anything less than the best, he will be focused on repeating a good performance at Iowa Speedway in the No. 8 Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet for the NCWTS American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen. The race starts at 8:30 PM. EDT on Saturday on SPEED. The weekend, which includes Frank Kimmel's Street Stock Series, starts with NCWTS practice Friday at 2 PM and qualifying Saturday afternoon at 6 PM EDT.
As Gresham and Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) head west to America's Heartland, Gresham aims to advance up the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings and hopes to get locked in the top-20 in owners' points entering the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, in order to have a guaranteed starting position.
The 20-year-old admits he has had a hard time avoiding trouble in recent races. Gresham finished third at the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 in May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and at the time was 17th in the points standings. He has dropped to 20th overall in driver points and 22nd in owners' points.
"We're just trying to get over that hump," Gresham said. "So I'm looking forward to going back to Iowa and hopefully the same thing I have been able to do in the past will happen again."
The odds are in the Milner, Georgia, native's favor at Iowa Speedway.
In eight starts this season, Gresham has one top-three finish, one top-five finish, and one top-10 finish. So, if a perfect remedy to the recent troubles existed for Gresham, it would be found in the straights and turns at Iowa Speedway.
"I've got a good feeling about this weekend," Gresham said. "Just knowing the good runs and success that I've had here, I definitely have a lot of confidence in this event."