Graves eager to help son By Brett Borden DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 18, 1999) Fred Graves isn't one to follow the herd when it comes to life's decisions. Case in point, last season. As crew chief of the No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet driven by...
Graves eager to help son By Brett Borden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 18, 1999) Fred Graves isn't one to follow the herd when it comes to life's decisions. Case in point, last season. As crew chief of the No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet driven by Ron Hornaday in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Graves had a major part in a championship season. The natural thing to do would be to come back and defend that championship, right?
Not exactly. Graves decided he would spend the 1999 season helping son Andy out with the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet driven by Terry Labonte in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. He now makes suggestions more than tough decisions, and he likes it that way.
"It's a real challenge," Graves said. "I've always been one to want a challenge in life. And to get a chance to help my son and do the things that I like to do is just great. I enjoy Winston Cup. Everybody said 'you won't like the pressure over there' but I enjoy it.
"I handle pressure pretty well. It's a little bit different but it's fine, too. I just need to learn the team and learn everybody's roles and their abilities first before I can really give too much advice. These guys are pretty well trained in what they do and I'm just kind of a pretty good observer right now."
As for Labonte, who won a NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship in 1996 with Gary DeHart turning the wrenches, adding Graves to the team was a no-brainer. It was the chance to add a lot of experience to an already strong team.
"I think (adding Fred) is going to be a big help to us," said Labonte. "I think Fred is going to add a lot as far as really being able to help Andy and myself on some things. Maybe some things that we overlooked a little bit last year.
"I don't know, I'm not going to put all the load on his shoulders because we've got a lot of good people here but I think he's going to be a great addition to our team and we're real excited about having him here."
Source: NASCAR Online