Despite some obstacles Mike Bliss and his No. 19 TriStar Motorsports crew battled in the hills of Michigan on the fast two mile oval. With a little adversity Bliss and his Toyota Camry started the Alliance Truck Parts 250 from the 28thposition.
Within the first few laps, Bliss jumped into the top-20 and stayed there for 30 laps until he started feeling loose conditions with his car. “When I try to ark it in the corner I get loose,” said Bliss. Bliss came in for a green flag pit stop at lap 30 for four Goodyear tires, a track bar adjustment and fuel.
Bliss headed back to track in the 26th position to test out the adjustments his team just made. Racing up to the 16th position, 20 laps later Bliss said, “I’m still loose even when I’m by myself.”
At lap 64, a caution fell for debris. Bliss and his Crew Chief Paul Clapprood decided to take two tires and make another track bar adjustment and top their Toyota off on Sunoco race fuel.
Upon the restart Bliss was mid-pack and spun racing off of turn two. Without a caution, Bliss regained control of his No. 19 Toyota Camry and continued racing. “I’m just thankful no one hit me when I spun,” said Bliss
Another caution for debris fell soon after Bliss’ incident. Bliss and Clapprood decided to pit to take four tires, pull a tear off and make another track bar adjustment.
With 27 laps to go in the Alliance Auto Parts 250 the final caution fell. Bliss was running in the 21st position and decided to hit pit road for final adjustments. Bliss’ crew made a tire pressure adjustment, changed only two tires and took a splash of fuel.
Restarting 22nd with only 12 cars on the lead lap, Bliss held on to his ill handling Toyota and gained one spot to finish 21st at Michigan International Speedway.
“My team worked really hard this weekend; we had solid pit stops and adjustments. Even though I’m not satisfied with where we finished, I spun and brought the car home in one piece, so that’s not too bad of an effort,” said Bliss.
The finish at Michigan is Bliss’ second finish out of the top-20 this season, breaking an 11 race streak of top-15 and top-20 finishes. Bliss still maintains the 12th position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings, as he and his team look ahead to the first road course of the season; Road America.