Martinsville II: Mike Bliss race report

Bliss drives Coors Light Dodge to top-15 finish. No. 40 car remains fourth in owner's points. MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 21, 2002) - Mike Bliss drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a 14th place finish in the Old Dominion 500 ...

Bliss drives Coors Light Dodge to top-15 finish.
No. 40 car remains fourth in owner's points.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 21, 2002) - Mike Bliss drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a 14th place finish in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The No. 40 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entry remains fourth in championship owner's points.

Mike Bliss served as a replacement driver in the Coors Light Dodge for one race only. Jamie McMurray will resume driving responsibilities in Atlanta subbing for the injured Sterling Marlin. Bliss drives the No. 16 IWX Motor Freight/Knights Inn Chevrolet full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He has led the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship point standings since the Michigan 200 on July 27.

Bliss started the 500-mile short track race in 27th position and raced in the top-25 for the first 100 laps. Early on, Bliss radioed in stating that the car was tight in the corners. Although the Coors Light Dodge was tight, Bliss ran lap times quicker than the leader when he had a clean track.

In the next 100 laps, Bliss worked his way into the top-20 and began racing in 16th to 18th positions. Consistent pit stops gave Bliss good track positions on restarts. The Coors Light pit crew performed three 14.5-seconds or less pit stops in a row.

After lap 150, Bliss said that the car was getting very loose due to the adjustments and track conditions. Bliss consistently kept the Coors Light Dodge in the top-20 and moved into the top-15 on lap 250. He race there for the next half of the race and took the checkered flag in 14th place.

"It was a battle. The car was a little bit tight in, and then it was a little loose, so we just kept fighting it," Bliss said after the race. "I got passed with two laps to go, but we ended up 14th, so that's not too bad. This is a good bunch of guys. It was a good car, but we were a little off and never were able to get good track position."

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford, won the Old Dominion 500. Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2002.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Jamie McMurray , Mike Bliss , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing