Loudon, N.H. (July 15, 2013) – Heading into New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Mike Bliss knew the challenges of racing around the flat one-mile track. What has historically been a tough track to pass presented another issue for Bliss as he battled a tight handling condition with his No. 19 Toyota Camry. Despite handling issues, Bliss qualified 20th and stayed near the top-20 for most of the 213 lap race. Racing in the 17th position in the closing laps, Bliss went on to claim his 14thtop-20 finish in 17 starts this year.
Bliss and Crew Chief Paul Clapprood tried numerous adjustments to help balance the race car during the 24th Annual CNBC Prime’s The Profit 200. In the end Bliss said “I’m not sure what to tell you to do, no matter the adjustment we make it’s still tight.”
As the laps began to dwindle down, Bliss was running in the 22nd position when Clapprood radioed “Save on gas, we are five laps short.” Bliss broke into the top-20 with 50 laps to go and held on until a caution fell for teammate Chad Hackenbracht, with two laps to go.
To ensure they would have enough fuel to make the final run to the checkered flag, Bliss hit pit road near lap 200 for a quick splash of Sunoco fuel. Returning to the track in the 20th position, Bliss was ready for the first of three green-white-checkered attempts. As cars began to run out of fuel, Bliss inched his Camry into 16th position for the final green-white-checkered restart. Losing one spot in overtime, Bliss held on to conclude the event in 17th.
“I felt like there was no satisfying my car today, everything we threw at it, it was still tight,” said Bliss. “My guys worked really hard and I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Bliss’ 17th place finish at New Hampshire marks his 14th top-20 finish of the season. Down one spot in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Point Standings to 13th, Bliss and his crew will head to the Windy City for next Sunday’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.