Max Gresham is one of the up-and-coming stars in the world of stock car racing. In 2010, the Griffin, Georgia native compiled two NASCAR K&N East Series wins for Joe Gibbs Racing, as well as an ARCA victory for his family-owned race team.
With that success under his belt, the 17-year old is primed for even more in 2011.
Because of his K&N East Series triumphs a year ago, Gresham is locked into the most prestigious short-track race in America; the Toyota All-Star Showdown. The annual event has introduced stars to NASCAR, such as Gresham’s JGR teammate Joey Logano, for the past several years.
With that out of the way, all that’s left for Gresham to do is go out next Saturday night, January 29th, and race his fenders off at Irwindale Speedway. But before that, Max was kind enough to talk about the Showdown, what it means to be a part of it, and what’s up for 2011:
Ben: First off, as an up-and-coming driver, what does it mean for you to be in the most prestigious short-track race in America?
Max Gresham: To be in the “Daytona 500″ of short track races, is a great feeling. I’m excited to be in a race that so many great race car drivers have been in! It’s a great opportunity to go to Irwindale and drive for Dave Davis Motorsports in the #03 car! I can’t wait to see how I mesh with the team and how fast the car will be!
Ben: You call this the “Daytona 500″ of short-track races, and the Daytona 500 is known by many as the “Super Bowl of NASCAR”. What makes a race like the Toyota All Star Showdown so special and prestigious?
Max Gresham: It’s the combination of all the greatest drivers of the two series(K&N East Series and K&N West Series) combined. There are also so many eyes on the race watching it just makes it a super special event with all the history. It’s just the biggest race of the East and West Series races and its just super special!
Ben: A few years ago, Joey Logano made his big splash in this race, taking the checkers in 2008(and again last year). Now he’s a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star. In your mind, who(including yourself) has the best chance to emerge from this race as the next Joey Logano?
Max Gresham: There are going to be a lot of great drivers in the race this year and it’s hard to say who will be the next Joey Logano, but I think my chances are just as good as anyone else’s.
Ben: What would winning this race mean to you, and how would it rank among your other racing victories?
Max Gresham: If I was to win this race it would mean an awful lot to myself and everything that I have been working towards. It would rank right up there with my ARCA win this past year with my family-owned race team!
Ben: I remember when you won that. It was a great win and I know it was huge for you and your family. Finally, this isn’t related to the Showdown but I have to ask, what are your plans for the 2011 season? Are there any Truck or Nationwide races on the slate?
Max Gresham: As of now we don’t have any thing firmed up yet, but we have been talking to a couple teams and we are working hard to finalize some things!
Ben: Alright Max, sounds good! It’s been a pleasure getting to interview you once again. Hopefully we’ll get to hear from you a few more times this year. Best of luck to you on the 29th and throughout the 2011 season. Take care and God bless!
You can catch Max Gresham and all the young stars in the Toyota All Star Showdown LIVE on Speed, January 29th beginning at 10:00 P.M. Eastern time!