MWR names Bliss for Martinsville

MWR ANNOUNCES MIKE BLISS TO PILOT NO. 00 CHAMPION MORTGAGE TOYOTA AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY CORNELIUS, N.C. (October 13, 2008) -- Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announces Mike Bliss will attempt to qualify and race the No. 00 Champion Mortgage ...

MWR ANNOUNCES MIKE BLISS TO PILOT NO. 00 CHAMPION MORTGAGE TOYOTA AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

CORNELIUS, N.C. (October 13, 2008) -- Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announces Mike Bliss will attempt to qualify and race the No. 00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Tums QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Bliss follows Kenny Wallace and AJ Allmendinger with the same agenda of repositioning the MWR team inside the top 35 owner points standings.

"The biggest deal for us is going to be on Friday afternoon when we attempt to qualify," said Bliss, who has one top-five and five top-10 NSCS finishes in his career. "We have to do that first. Once we are in the race, I know the game. They have got to get back in the top 35. I know that I can't do anything stupid and I need to try to do the best I can and more. It's one of those deals where if a guy is going to cut you off, you may have to let off one time to keep from being knocked out of the race."

"I'm just really looking forward to this weekend," continued Bliss, who finished 30th in his last attempt (April 2007) at Martinsville in a NSCS event . "When I walked into MWR for the first time, I was really impressed with facility. I couldn't believe how nice the place was. I think the last time I was there was when it was a movie theater. MWR took over the building and turned the place into Raceworld USA. Not only is their operation impressive, but MWR is getting pretty good. This is a big accomplishment for Michael Waltrip and his teams are doing a good job."

In eight starts at Martinsville, Bliss's best NSCS start is 15th (April 2005) and his best finish is 14th (October 2002). In 10 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) starts at the .526-mile oval, he has one pole (April 1999), three top-five and six top-10 finishes.

"I like Martinsville and I like short tracks in general," said Bliss, who has a total of 13 wins, 18 pole awards, 61 top-five and 107 top-10 finishes in the NCTS and one win, three pole awards, 20 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

In the most recent NSCS event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, AJ Allmendinger was behind the wheel and finished 43rd (accident). Prior to that, Kenny Wallace scored the No. 00 Champion Mortgage Toyota team's best finish with 12th-place at Talladega Superspeedway. Now, the team is currently 63 points out of 35th-place in the owner points standings entering Martinsville Speedway with Bliss.

"I watched the Cup race at Lowe's and I felt bad for everyone when AJ wrecked and I know he did too," Bliss said. "They lost some ground there. We've just got to work harder. We'll do our best this weekend to gain some ground on reclaiming a top 35 spot."

Live coverage of the TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, October 19th begins at 1 p.m. ET on ABC and MRN Radio.

-credit: mwr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kenny Wallace , Mike Bliss
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing