NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA 400 Preview: #41, Steve Grissom
17 September 1997
#41 Steve Grissom, Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA 400 Advance Dover Downs International Speedway WITH PERFORMANCE, POINTS STANDING AND CONFIDENCE ALL RISING, GRISSOM READY TO CHALLENGE DOVER DOVER, DE - Steve Grissom's fourth-place finish at New Hampshire last Sunday was another indication of the steadily rising performance of the Kodiak Racing Team as the 1997 season begins to head toward a conclusion. With increasing confidence, Grissom and the team now take a bead on producing another good run and high finish at Dover in this week's MBNA 400 race. "It's hard to explain how my confidence has grown this year," Grissom stated. "The same with all the Kodiak Team members. We're pumped up. We believe in each other, and that's making a lot of difference. You can see it in our performances the last few weeks." Said Grissom, "We've had some really competitive cars most of the season. Our second half is getting better race after race. It comes back to the ability and the potential of this team. This is a good group of guys. We felt all we needed to start coming together was some time, and our communication has gotten a lot better." About the track that has gained a reputation as "The Monster Mile," Grissom said, "Dover is a good track for us We were running in the top-10 there in June and looked like we might post a top-10, or even a top-five finish, but I let the car get away from me one time and I went up and tagged the wall. After repairs, we finished the race, but except for that little mistake, I think we would have been a force." Added Grissom, "We're really looking forward to seeing what we can do at Dover this time. It's a track I've had some success on in the past. I didn't win there in the Busch Series, but we had a bunch of top fives and top-10s. "The guys are really putting together some strong #41 Kodiak Chevrolet race cars and engines for the races, and I know we'll have a good car this week at Dover." Grissom continued, "Our pit stops have made a big difference in our better performances, too. The guys have put in a lot of extra time at the shop, after hours, trying to make those pit stops first and error-free. We had an especially good practice session this week. "A lot of different things have to come together for the whole team effort to become more successful, and I believe we are showing strong improvement in every one of those things. If we can continue to improve like we have, these next few races should be exciting. We're still trying to find our way to the winner's circle, but maybe that's not too far off." The fourth-place showing for Grissom last Sunday tied his career-high finish of fourth place, which he also accomplished at New Hampshire this past July. It also marked the third time in the last nine races that Grissom and the Kodiak Team have recorded top-five finishes. He posted a fifth-place showing at Bristol a few weeks ago. Tack on a ninth-place finish for Grissom at Watkins Glen, and he has four top-10 finishes in the past nine races. Those kind of statistics have resulted in a steady climb up the points ladder in the second half of the season. In mid-June, Grissom was in 31st place in the points standings. Now he is 22nd position and climbing toward a possible end-of-the-season top-20 ranking. He has risen five spots in the standings in the last four races. He vaulted three positions in points at Bristol, from 27th to 24th, and jumped two more spots at New Hampshire, from 24th to 22nd. Grissom is only 23 points (2,433 - 2,410) from 21st-place Ricky Craven in the points standings after 25 races, and 20th-place Bobby Hamilton is just 47 points (2,457 - 2,410) ahead. Another top showing at Dover could further thrust Grissom up the points ladder, with tracks he feels confident on to follow, Martinsville and Charlotte. With performance, consistency and results on the rise for Grissom and the Kodiak Team. It's an interesting, energetic and exciting time, and they want to make the most of it in these last few races." By Muhleman Marketing, Inc.