Grubb fires back from surgery with a vengeance By Marty Smith MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (Jan. 28, 2000) Heading into NASCAR 2000, Wayne Grubb can see a major difference in the No. 83 Link-Belt Chevrolet race team -- literally. On Jan. 10,...
Grubb fires back from surgery with a vengeance By Marty Smith
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (Jan. 28, 2000) Heading into NASCAR 2000, Wayne Grubb can see a major difference in the No. 83 Link-Belt Chevrolet race team -- literally. On Jan. 10, Grubb, a lifelong wearer of prescription eyeglasses, underwent Lasik corrective eye surgery at the Virginia Eye Institute in Richmond. 24 hours later, he had unaided 20/20 vision for the first time in some 15 years.
"It's just awesome, I can't even tell you how much I'm loving it," said Grubb, at 23 the older of two racing brothers in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. "It's an unbelievable difference. Just the comfort in the helmet alone is worth it all. I'm still looking for my glasses every time I put my helmet on -- it's hard to break old habits like that.
"It was crazy. I went in for the appointment and the next day I had 20/20 vision. I could see everything. It's just awesome. I've been wearing glasses since 5th or 6th grade, so it's awesome."
And that's not the only thing that has Grubb fired up about NASCAR 2000. After a tumultuous 1999 campaign that nearly saw the family-owned team disintegrate, 2000 promises to be a much more productive and, thus, bountiful season.
1999 got so bad that Grubb surrendered his ride to veteran Jimmy Hensley late in the year. The experience he gained from that, although humbling, was one of the best decisions of his life. During his time out of the seat, he interacted with other teams to learn how they dealt with various situations and how to best attack certain issues.
Now, he's ready to attack the NASCAR Busch Series with a vengeance. He's also healthy after recovering from racing injuries incurred in 1999.
"We're gonna run a full deal with me driving this year," Grubb said. "We've made a lot of changes around here that really needed to be made. We didn't know what we were doing last year, to be honest. Bobby (King, crew chief) was doing everything -- and I mean everything.
"Things he shouldn't have even been worrying about, he was having to deal with. This year, we got Franklin Butler on as team manager, so Bobby can worry about race setups and things that this race team needs to succeed. That's what we really needed. He was saying the other day how it's unbelievable how much pressure has been taken off him now."
Likewise for the entire Grubb Motorsports organization, which over the winter has gone from an unorganized group of individuals to a focused, goal-oriented group.
"Things are so much better around here this year," Grubb said. "There's just so much more morale in the shop, between the guys. It's just a whole new feel, and that's something we needed. Last year, our focuses weren't where they needed to be."
Grubb had a Bud Pole, a top-5 and two top-10 finishes in 1998 in just 16 races. Last season he had no top-10s in 17 races.
"It was a real bad season last year, a season to forget," he said, "but this year's a whole new season and a new outlook for Grubb Motorsports. We're real excited. I think we're going to be competitive this year. I'm not saying we're ready to sit on any poles or anything, but we'll be competitive. We'll just have to see what happens."
Finally, seeing what happens won't be any problem for Grubb.
"I see better now than I ever did with glasses," Grubb said following the surgery. "Dr. Sarkowski and his team did a great job. This is absolutely the best thing I've ever done."