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NASCAR Winston Cup Series UAW-GM Quality 500 Preview: #41, Steve Grissom

1 October 1997

 #41 Steve Grissom, Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 UAW-GM Quality 500 Advance
 Charlotte Motor Speedway
CONCORD, NC - Steve Grissom and the Larry Hedrick Motorsports/Kodiak Racing 
Team approach this week's UAW-GM Quality 500 race at Charlotte with renewed 
dedication, fervor and optimism for a return to the type of performance 
they had been producing since mid-season. 

In one of those "That's Racin'" scenarios, what looked to be another good 
second-half run this season by Grissom was nipped in the bud at 
Martinsville in Monday's rain-delayed Hanes 500 race. 

Although Grissom had started that race in 40th-place, the #41 Kodiak 
Chevrolet was running smoothly, and with his driving talents as well as 
some good pit strategy, he had earned seventh place in the running order by 
lap 146 of the 500-lap event. 

But wisps of smoke began appearing from the exhaust pipes as the engine 
became overheated. He pitted under green on lap 198 for the crew to cool 
the engine down with water, but the engine stalled and big plume of smoke 
from the car announced that their day was done. It was only the second time 
this season that the team had suffered an engine failure. 

Grissom slid three spots to 24th-place in the Winston Cup Championship 
point standings with his 40th-place finish in the race, so Charlotte thus 
becomes the place for a chance to rebound and get back in the upward groove 
he and the Kodiak Team have been experiencing in recent races. 

The Alabama native will be at the wheel of the same #41 Monte Carlo that he 
ran to an 11th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte in May. 
That in itself is enough reason for a lot of team optimism. 

Said Grissom, "The Charlotte car is a real good race car, one that I like 
to drive because it runs so strong and smooth. Besides, Charley (Pressley, 
crew chief) and the Kodiak Team have a good set-up in their books for the 
Charlotte track. 

"I've only been to Charlotte one time with this team, and that was back in 
May, but you can just tell how confident everyone is, knowing they've got a 
good car, a strong engine and a set-up that should work well. It ran 
extremely well in the 600, and I see no reason why it shouldn't perform as 
well or better this time."

Added Grissom, "We also ran the same car this year at Texas and both races at 
Michigan. We started near the back of the field at Texas and finished 17th in 

"Charlotte is one of the tracks I feel really comfortable on and that means 
a lot as far as confidence goes. With that, we're looking to be challengers 
for the win this week at Charlotte, or at least post a very high finish."

Grissom continued, "Last week was like several we've had this year, when we 
were running really strong and making great headway during the race, then 
something would happen beyond our control that prevented us from having a 
strong finish. That hurts, especially when  you know you've got the 
equipment and the great pit work by the team to be a real contender, a 
strong factor in the race.

"We're looking to get back to better consistency and more steady 
improvement here at Charlotte," said Grissom. "We feel like we still have 
the chance to gain some more positions in the points standings before the 
year ends and that's how we plan to approach this week's race at Charlotte, 
as well as at Talladega, Rockingham and the rest of them."

By Muhleman Marketing