Like his dad Steve Grissom, Kyle Grissom straps into a race car with the big picture in mind. As the end of July nears the younger Grissom finds himself fighting for championships, provisional spots and victories in several regions.
“This is the busiest I have ever been,” admitted the 25-year-old from Concord, North Carolina. “I have run more races this season than I have before.”
Grissom has run the balance of the CARS Tour, all but one Southern Super Series events and all the Blizzard Series races at Five Flags Speedway (FL). In addition, he’s working on Late Model Stock cars with driver Rodney Sterling.
“It seems like we are at a race track every week,” said Grissom. “Even when I am not behind the wheel we are gaining knowledge for the next race. It’s been a year full of racing, but it’s been fun. ”
While racing in two different regions, Grissom has been dealt a different hand of cards each week he shows up to a race track. The Deep South tracks are mostly half-mile high speed facilities, while the tracks in the Carolinas are tighter and shorter making Grissom’s season a full test of all his abilities.
In the Carolina region Grissom has finished all six CARS Tour races inside the top 10 and is only eight points back in the CARS Super Late Model Tour championship standings. Grissom has been close to victory and could be a force down the stretch if he gets a win.
“It’s tough to say where we are at our best,” added Grissom. “I have run the tracks on the CARS tour and we are strong, but we have learned how to race the best in the south and we have been able to win and get good results. That was why we went south last year because we wanted to race the best.”
Racing for championships is in Grissom’s blood as his father won two big championships in his career. The elder Grissom was the All Pro Champion in 1985 and then what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series champion in 1992. Steve won two races in each division during the championship season. The key thing was he kept finishing like Kyle nowadays.
“We won a PASS title a few years back and we want to do it again,” said the younger Grissom. “We are racing in two of the toughest divisions we can for Super Late Models. My dad and my family are a big part of making this work.”
In the Southern Super Series, Grissom is ninth in points as he looks to maintain a top 10 finish for a potential Snowball Derby provisional. The top 10 qualify for the possibility of getting the spot, but the driver highest in the standings has the guarantee unless he qualifies on time.
Grissom is doing the same in the Blizzard Series as he sits sixth in points after winning the first race of the season. A top 10 there would also mean a possible starting spot in the Snowball Derby.
“We got that one win at Pensacola and we had hoped it would lead to more,” said Grissom. “At this point we have not been able to repeat that, but we are working at it each week. We have been competitive and that’s where you have to start.”
Outside of touring, the end of the year big shows will be on his mind as the Snowball Derby bookends the 2015 season and Grissom hopes to improve on his 10th-place run from a year ago.
“Winning championships may be out the question at this point, but finishing well down there to get points is important,” said Grissom. “I know how easy it is to miss the Snowball Derby and we don’t want to have that happen again. When we set our schedule this year we wanted to make all the Blizzard races for that very reason, to have something in our back pocket for getting into the show.”
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com