FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 12, 1995
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Steve Grissom knew it would take a little time to get adjusted. And boy, has he adjusted.
The former NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division Champion, showed a lot of promise last season, his f first on the NASCAR Winston Cup tour. But the team struggled at times, looking for an identity, guidance and for a long time, a sponsor.
Now the team claims all three in addition to one of the rising stars on NASCAR's premier series. And Grissom has been rising a lot lately. Through the field that is.
Seven races into the season, the native of Gadsden, Ala. , leads the AP Parts Meets the Challenge Award standings. The award, in the form of $2,000, is given to the eligible driver who makes up the most positions, start to finish, in each NASCAR Winston Cup race. A driver scores points - - one for each position made up -- only on the week he is the winner of the award. At the end of the season, the driver who has the most points will take home an extra $30,000.
Like most drivers, however, Grissom looks at those numbers as a mixed blessing.
"It's kind of a Catch-22," said Grissom, who has won the award twice this season and leads Ward Burton 51-32. "If at the end of the day, you get an extra $2,000, it probably means you've had a pretty satisfying day. You've worked your way through the field and had a pretty good finish. Problem is, if you're winning this award a lot, it means you aren't starting races very well and that's something we obviously have to work on."
Buddy Parrott, the crew chief for Steve Grissom who helped lead Rusty Wallace to 19 wins in 1993-94, said that part will come.
"I'm more concerned with where we finish races than where we start them right now, and we're doing that pretty well right now," Parrott said.
"We've worked hard to put together solid finishes and we've done that. I don't want to lose sight of qualifying, but race finishes pay the points. "
Parrott will never lose sight of qualifying. Earlier in the season, Grissom missed the Richmond race when all the eligible provisionals had been taken when it got to Grissom.
"We've worked hard to get back up into the points so that won't happen again," Parrott said, standing ninth in the NASCAR Winston Cup points in only six races. That's ahead of 22 drivers who have run in all seven. "We're going to make mistakes. But if we make them on Friday and have to make up a ton of positions on Sunday, it's kind of a neat deal to get an extra two grand for it."