JEFFERSON, GA – A apparent mechanical failure while leading short-circuited Max Gresham's effort to win the Beau Slocumb Memorial 208 Saturday at Gresham Motorsports Park (GMP).
Gresham was at the point on Lap 148 of the 208-circuit event when his No. 18 Ronnie Sanders-owned Pro Late Model stock car veered into the outside retaining wall. The crash ended the night for the 18-year-old Griffin, GA driver saddling him with 14th position in the final running order.
Gresham, who pilots the No. 24 Made In USA Brand Chevrolet for Joe Denette Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, served early notice he'd be one of the competitors to beat in the race posting the fastest lap in Saturday' first practice on the GMP half-mile.
Eventually, Gresham would qualify fifth with a lap of 16.884-seconds and continued his strong performance running in the top-10 despite a tight handling condition throughout the first 100-lap segment of the race.
A pit stop for adjustments during the break lit a fire under Gresham's mount as he quickly took over the runner-up spot on Lap 102. Two laps later, Gresham roared into the lead and built as much as a straightaway advantage before the caution flew on Lap 146.
Shortly after the restart, Gresham's car lurched into the outside wall dashing any hopes of winning the race named in honor of Slocumb – a fellow Georgia racer and close personal friend of Gresham - who passed away last year after an extended illness.
Gresham will now return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) action in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham (NC) Speedway on Sunday, April 15.
Practice for the event – the first NASCAR race at 'The Rock' since the 2004 – will begin on Friday, April 13 at Noon Eastern Time. Gates open at 9 a.m. and grandstand admission is free.
Also on Friday, Gresham will sign autographs at 'Thuderfest' – a free fan event in Harrington Square in downtown Rockingham. That day-long event gets underway at 11 a.m. and will feature live music, a kid zone and the NCWTS driver autograph session at 7 p.m.
Saturday's activities at Rockingham include Truck Series practice at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. with qualifying set for 3:35 p.m.