MIAMI (February 23, 2000) -- Steve Grissom may be a newcomer in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition, but expect to see the Alabama driver battling for the checkered flag in Saturday's Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead-Miami ...
MIAMI (February 23, 2000) -- Steve Grissom may be a newcomer in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition, but expect to see the Alabama driver battling for the checkered flag in Saturday's Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The 1993 NASCAR Busch Series champion joined forces with Richard Petty in the No. 43 Dodge for the 2000 campaign. Grissom finished second to Jeff Burton in the race for the 1994 Winston Cup rookie of the year award. Throughout his Winston Cup career, he has 17 top-10 finishes in 136 races, added to 11 victories and four poles in his 232 career Busch Series starts.
"This is a great opportunity," said Grissom. "It's a complete team, with complete equipment. All the pieces are here to contend for the championship. It's up to me to put the puzzle together.
"We're very pumped up and ready to race at Homestead," Grissom continued. "It's neat to be involved with Petty Enterprises. We've got a good team, and we're ready. No doubt about it, we're going to have a good race Saturday. The trucks drive good and handle good, and that makes for exciting racing. It will definitely be one to watch."
From the driver's seat, Grissom feels racing a truck is very similar to racing a stock car. Setting up the truck is the biggest challenge.
"Homestead's a pretty challenging race track. You've really got to have the truck set up just right, but we feel we're up to the challenge. Driving a truck is about the same as driving a stock car, but setting it up is a lot different. Fortunately, Petty Enterprises has been in the Craftsman Truck Series since it started and knows what to do. That makes my job easier."
Grissom is one of several familiar faces with new teams in the chase to win the Florida Dodge Dealers 400. Jimmy Hensley, former pilot of the Petty Dodge, will drive for Team Rensi, veteran of the Busch Series. Champ car owner John Menard purchased the equipment campaigned by Richard Childress Racing, and will have Bryan Reffner at the wheel.
Look for many new contenders -- all chasing Jack Sprague, who is seeking his third Craftsman Truck crown, and 1999 Miami winner Mike Wallace, who opened the 2000 campaign with an impressive victory at Daytona.
Saturday's racing begins with the Miami 150 for the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series at 1:30 p.m., with the Florida Dodge Dealers 400 taking the green flag at 3:30 p.m. Unreserved grandstand tickets for Saturday's event cost $25, with children 12 and under $15. Practice for both races begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, with qualifying beginning at 3 p.m. Friday tickets cost $10, with children 12 and under admitted free. For additional information or ticket orders, call (305) 230-RACE, or visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.