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NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dura-Lube 500 Preview: #41, Steve Grissom

30 October 1997

 #41 Steve Grissom, Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo            
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Dura-Lube 500 Presented by Kmart Advance
 Phoenix International Raceway
PHOENIX, AZ - Based on what Steve Grissom has done on NASCAR's so-called flat 
tracks this season, he and the Kodiak Racing Team have every good reason to 
think they will be competitive in this coming weekend's Dura-Lube 500 race at 
Phoenix International Raceway, the next-to-the-last race of the season. 

Said Grissom, "The biggest reason for our positive feelings about racing at 
Phoenix this week is our race car. It's been our best race car this year. We 
placed fourth in it twice at New Hampshire, and at Richmond we finished just 
out of the top-10 two times, 11th and 12th. We raced it at Martinsville this 
year, too. 

"The Phoenix track has a layout all of its own, of course, but it does have 
some similar characteristics to running at New Hampshire, and that's where 
we've had our best runs this year," added Grissom. "The car has to be able to 
handle well, as it does on most of the Winston Cup tracks, but this Kodiak 
crew has been on top of things with the handling on this type of track all 
year. That's why we think we'll have another strong run Sunday. 

"It's sort of a 'D'-shaped track, but turns one and two at Phoenix are 
tighter than the turns in three and four, so it takes a lot of adjustment in 
practice runs to try to even things out so you can handle both ends of the 
track decently all day. It's a fun track. I like running there."

With just two races left in this 1997 season, Grissom and the Kodiak Team are 
aiming for a season-ending finish in the top 20 in the Winston Cup point 
standings. They're not that far from being able to achieve that goal. 

Grissom currently is 22nd in the standings, only 22 points (2,862-2,840) from 
21st-place Jimmy Spencer and he trails 20th-place John Andretti by just 26 
points (2,876-2,840). 

Grissom and the team know that the race car has to perform well all day, and 
circumstances have to fall their way during the race as well. They can't get 
caught up in somebody else's accidents, as has happened several times this 
season when Grissom had good runs going. 

The 34-year-old Grissom said, "Pitting on the backstretch last week hurt us 
at Rockingham. We were running pretty well and we would gain positions on the 
track, only to lose them when we pitted. Still, we finished 24th, which 
wasn't too bad compared to where we qualified (37th). And we held onto our 
current points position. But we had a much better run going last week than it 
reflected in the finish. 

"We're hoping to make a much better qualifying run this week at Phoenix," 
continued Grissom. "When you get a good, solid qualifying effort and make the 
top 25 during the first round of time trials, it's hard to imagine how that 
takes the pressure off, and you and the team can then concentrate on getting 
the car all set-up and ready for the race."

Grissom said, "We need to finish this season as strong as possible. We'd like 
nothing better than to post a win before the year is out. And this Kodiak 
Team is very capable of doing that. We'll definitely be doing our best to get 
all we can, and we'll just see what happens the next two races. 

"We need a momentum builder, something that will carry right on over to next 
season," said Grissom. "We are all working to make that happen this week at 

By Muhleman Marketing