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NASCAR Winston Cup Goody's Headache Powders 500 Preview: #41, Steve Grissom

21 August 1997

 #41 Steve Grissom, Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Goody's Headache Powders 500 Advance
 Bristol Motor Speedway

BRISTOL, TN - Elation or frustration might be one way participants
would describe the high-banked, short track known as Bristol Motor
Speedway.  Practically every Winston Cup driver has experienced both
emotions during their careers at that half-mile, high-speed oval.

Kodiak driver Steve Grissom definitely has been one of those whom
Bristol has both befriended and upended emotionally.

The Alabama driver has experienced the high emotions of victory at
Bristol.  He won both Busch Series races there in 1995. Grissom also
has tasted bitter disappointment at Bristol.

One of the big disappointments came during this spring's Food City 500
Winston Cup race. He had earned a top-10 starting spot during the
qualifying session and started the race in ninth place. Grissom's #41
Kodiak Chevrolet was strong and competitive and he was a factor
throughout the race, running solidly in the top-10, and seemed
destined for a second-straight top-10 finish in 1997 (He finished 10th
the weekend before at the new Texas Motor Speedway).

The vagaries of racing at Bristol struck him down though. Grissom had
run as high as seventh and seemed destined for a possible top-five
showing, but with just 59 laps to go, he was an on-track victim of a
tussle between Geoff Bodine and Jimmy Spencer, who were not even
contenders. Grissom was tagged, spun around and crashed into the turn
one wall, and the #41 Kodiak Monte Carlo was damaged too much for him
to get back into the race. The result was a 32nd-place finish.

But what was even more frustrating for Grissom and the Kodiak Team,
was that in the incident, he suffered a broken right foot, which
definitely had its impact on the team's performance for the next
several races.

Now Grissom and the Kodiak Team return to Bristol with hopes lady luck
has a big smile for them this week in the Goody's Headache Powders

Said Grissom, "You've got to have a lot of luck at Bristol. When
something happens, it happens quick. There's not much time for
reaction. You can easily get swept up in somebody else's
problems. That's what happened to us in April.

"We had a great run going, but ended up in the wall," stated
Grissom. "It was the hardest lick I've had in a long, long time, and
it broke a bone in my foot, which took some time to heal.

"Still, that's how racing goes sometimes in Bristol," continued
Grissom.  "That car was so badly banged up, we don't use it to race
anymore. It's out back of the shop, and we're thinking about repairing
it enough to use as a pit-stop practice car."

Grissom said, "This week, we'll be using the same car we ran at Dover
and at Texas this year. We were running in the top-10 at Dover, and
spun out which cost us, and then we finished 10th in it at Texas, so
we know it's a good race car. With the way we qualified and ran at
Bristol in the spring, we feel sure we have the right set-up
combination to make another good run.

"To race well at Bristol the car has got to handle the high banks,"
said Grissom. "With the heavy traffic and the high speeds, it's tough
to pass on that track, so the car has got to be right."

About racing under the lights, Grissom said, "There's always a lot of
excitement there, doubly so at night when you can see the sparks
flying as the cars bottom out. And the brakes can glow bright orange
or red on some cars. That kind of racing excites the fans.

"Some drivers prefer not to race at Bristol, just because it's
Bristol," Grissom added. "Maybe they've had tough times there. But,
me, I enjoy the close, tight competition there. I like the challenge
of the track and seeing what you can do against the top short-track

"Sure, I've had problems at Bristol, but I've had some good times,
too. It's all part of racing. I'm ready. Let's go."

Grissom could make some big headway in the points with a top finish at
Bristol this week. He's 27th in the Winston Cup Championship point
standings, but is only 25 points (1,893-1,868) behind 26th-place Brett
Bodine, and just 30 points (1,898-1,868) from 25th place Ward
Burton. Mike Skinner, in 24th place, is within reach, too. He's 39
points (1,907-1,868) ahead of Grissom.

With 11 races to go in 1997, there's still a good chance to post some
good finishes and make a dramatic climb in the points standings before
the season ends, and that's the aim of Grissom and the Kodiak Team in
this second half of the season.

By Muhleman Marketing