Bliss to drive ...
Bliss to drive #40 Coors Light Dodge in Martinsville.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 15, 2002) - Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that Mike Bliss will drive the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Bliss will be in the car for one race only; Jamie McMurray will resume driving responsibilities in Atlanta.
"I am excited to be given this opportunity to race for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in Martinsville," Bliss said. "This team has gone through a lot this season and I hope I can contribute to their success. After Jamie's win last weekend, I have some big shoes to fill but I'm confident in this team."
"Although Sterling is out for the remainder of the season, the team is still in the hunt for the owner's championship and I'm looking forward to assisting them in obtaining that goal," Bliss added. "This is a first rate team and I'm looking forward to a great run at Martinsville."
Mike 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 has competed in seven races at Martinsville, scoring one pole in 1999, two top-5 and four top-10 finishes. He has an average finish of 8.33 at Martinsville Speedway and he is sixth in series money won at the track with $66,775.
Jamie McMurray, who is replacing Sterling Marlin in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge, will not be able to race in the Old Dominion 500 due to prior commitments with his Busch Series team. McMurray is currently ninth in NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division championship point standings.
"Coming into this situation, we knew that I could not race in the Winston Cup event at Martinsville," McMurray said. "My first priority is racing the No. 27 Williams Travel Centers car for Brewco Motorsports. We are ninth in points right now and looking for a strong championship finish. I'll be back in the 40 car in Atlanta and I look forward to continue gaining experience with the Chip Ganassi Racing team for next season when I'll be in the Havoline Dodge."
Despite McMurray's victory Sunday in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, McMurray is keeping his commitment to his Busch Series team and will not compete in Martinsville this weekend.