With 16 rookies in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, there are sure to be plenty of first-time winners.
Max Gresham became the second rookie in a row to win an East Series race this year
Max Gresham led the final 13 laps of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Max Gresham became the second rookie to win an East Series race, dominating at South Boston Speedway in Virginia on April 3.
He became the second rookie in a row to win an East Series race this year. He was making his second career East Series start at South Boston. Last year, he finished impressively in fifth place at South Boston in his East Series debut.
This time around, he had the car to beat, winning the pole and leading all but four laps of the 150-lap race.
The next NASCAR K&N Pro Series race is at Iowa Speedway on May 23
"It's been a great day here," Gresham said after winning the race. "I've got to thank Joe Gibbs and Toyota for putting such a great car together, and my crew chief Mike Sibley. The whole team was just excellent."
He led the first 30 laps of the race before yielding to Brett Moffitt for two laps. Gresham regained the lead on lap 33 and held it for the next 101 laps and four caution periods.
Cole Whitt took the lead briefly for two laps, 135 and 136, but Gresham led the final 13 laps.
"We definitely put a great car out there and we were fast the whole race," Gresham said.
Gresham and Whitt battled for the lead over the final 15 laps of the race.
"The last 20 laps was a lot of fun," Gresham said. "I've got to thank Cole Whitt for racing me clean."
Gresham bounced back after a 23rd place finish in the East Series season opener at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. He is seventh in the East Series standings after two races.
Whitt posted his second runner-up finish in a row and has the lead in the East Series standings. Even though he challenged for the win against Gresham in the closing laps of the South Boston race, Whitt said afterward that he had his hands full with Ryan Truex to secure the second-place spot.
"I got to the outside of (Gresham) -- I think twice; I think we would have had him the first time if the yellow didn't come out," Whitt said. "That made it a little bit tougher. And then I had to fight Ryan off. That was a good battle. I got back to the outside of (Gresham) one last time at the end and he was pushing us up. It's short track racing. He was doing his job, just like I was doing mine. I have to congratulate him."
Whitt has a 25-point lead over rookie Ryan Gifford in the East Series standings. The next race is at Iowa Speedway on May 23.
"We were here to get a good run and come out with the points lead," Whitt said. "That's what we came in here to do."
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