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QUALIFYING: Max Gresham To Lead K&N Pro Series East Field To Green Friday

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Photo: Getty Images/NASCAR

LOUDON, N.H. – Max Gresham is hoping this isn't a repeat performance for his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Gresham, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points leader, won the pole for the New England 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon. His fast lap of 29.960 seconds (127.130 mph) put him right ahead of Revolution Racing teammates Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Pena for Friday afternoon's race.

Gresham was the only driver of the 39 to take time to break both the 30-second and 127 mph plateaus.

"We had a real good run," Gresham said. "To go out kind of middle of the pack really helped us out... I drove it as hard as I could."

Gresham now has three poles on the season. He also won won at Richmond International Raceway in April – qualifying right ahead of Wallace. Wallace went on to win that race.

 

"It's a Richmond repeat on the start, so hopefully it will be a Richmond repeat on the finish," Wallace said. "We set down a pretty fast qualifying lap, but not as fast as (Gresham). They've been a strong car every race, and that's the car we're shooting for every week."

Gresham debuted at New Hampshire back in 2009, qualifying on the outside of the front row. The results haven't been good for him since, a trend he's hoping to change on Friday.

"That was a big learning experience for me (in 2009). It was the first time to come to a track at a mile, and I learned a whole lot," said Gresham, of Griffin, Ga. "I've put all those races together and hopefully learned something from them and can be there at the end."

Benny Gordon and Corey LaJoie – who broke a transmission early in practice – rounded out the Top-5 in qualifying.

Matt DiBenedetto, who won his only start at New Hampshire and was fastest in practice, qualified sixth.

– TB