Max Gresham won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship by finishing third in the season finale at Dover International Speedway, hanging on to the finish with a wobbly tire.
Darrell Wallace Jr. won the Dover 150 leading the last six laps of the race
Darrell Wallace Jr. won the Dover 150 leading the last six laps of the race after Brett Moffitt crashed on lap 146 and set up a green-white-checkered flag finish.
Max Gresham won the 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship
Moffitt, who came into the race at Dover only 21 points behind Gresham for the lead in the K&N Pro Series East standings, was leading when he cut a tire and crashed into the turn four wall. Gresham was running in third place and had a six-point lead over Moffitt at the time of the accident.
With Moffitt out of the race, Gresham completed the final laps conservatively. He moved into second place on the final restart, but let Dale Quarterly pass him in the closing laps. Gresham told his crew over the radio that he felt a tire vibation. But he finished the race and completed every lap of every race on the K&N Pro Series East schedule.
"I've never been happier to finish third in my life," Gresham said. "Those last 10, 15 laps, I definitely had a bad vibration. I wasn't sure what it was. That green-white-checkered before it, I was just shaking the car. I knew something wasn't right. It was a good thing I didn't have to race for position at that time. I could just ride the last three laps out and not have to worry about it."
Moffitt, who was in search of his third straight K&N Pro Series East win at Dover, ended up in 21st place and in third place in the final K&N Pro Series East standings, 86 points behind Gresham.
Max Gresham won two races and four poles en route to his first K&N Pro Series East championship
Wallace was able to leap frog Moffitt into second place in the K&N Pro Series East standings. He won for the third time this season and for the fifth time in his K&N Pro Series East career. Wallace won races at Richmond International Raceway in April and the inaugural East Series race at Columbus Motor Speedway in July.
Wallace, who also won the pole for the race at Dover, dedicated the win to his uncle, who died over the weekend.
"It was an emotional win," said Wallace, "losing my uncle this past Saturday, so it was tough. I put his name over my name on the door and he was riding shotgun with us and put us in Victory Lane. I love him, miss him already."
Gresham, a developmental driver from Joe Gibbs Racing, won two races and four poles en route to his first K&N Pro Series East championship. He won races at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia in June and at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.
"This has been the best season I've ever had," Gresham said. "It will be a good one for the record books for a long time for myself. We started off the season not as strong as we wanted but we had a run of 10 top fives. And you can't ask for anything better than that. ... I can't be any happier than to be part of such a great organization and it's just been a great year for us."
He became the first driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win the K&N Pro Series East championship since Joey Logano won it in 2007.
"It means everything in the world right now," said Gresham. "To be a NASCAR champion is pretty much the only thing I wanted to do when I started racing and now I am. Hopefully there's more to come in the future. This one's as sweet as can be right now."
Gresham will continue his NASCAR season with Turn One Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. He will try to qualify for three races, and will make his debut at Las Vegas Motorspeedway on Oct. 15.
"I'd venture to say you'll be seeing him in the Nationwide Series and more than likely Cup here in the future," said Steve DeSouza, Joe Gibbs Racing vice president of Nationwide Series and driver development. "He's done a great job. He's a quick student."
Alex Bowman finished 23rd in the race a Dover and won the K&N Pro Series East Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
The Dover 150 will be broadcast on Speed tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
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