BUSCH: Mike Bliss finds ride for Texas

Bliss finds Busch ride for Texas By Marty Smith NASCAR Online FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2000) Mike Bliss finished 33rd in this season's Daytona 500. Mike Bliss, who was relieved of his driving duties by NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner...

Bliss finds Busch ride for Texas By Marty Smith NASCAR Online FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2000) Mike Bliss finished 33rd in this season's Daytona 500. Mike Bliss, who was relieved of his driving duties by NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner A.J. Foyt three weeks ago after failing to qualify the No. 14 Conseco Pontiac in three straight events, has resurfaced in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. Bliss will attempt to qualify the No. 19 Yellow Freight Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday's Albertson's 300. Bud Pole Qualifying gets underway Thursday at 3:45 p.m. ET.

For now, the deal is a one-race agreement, but could blossom into a more permanent deal in the future. Jamie Skinner ran the car last week in the Cheez-It 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, finishing 41st after being collected in an accident on lap 40 of 250.

Skinner's father, NASCAR Winston Cup Series star Mike Skinner, qualified for just two of the first five races, and finished 43rd and 33rd, respectively, at Daytona and Darlington the two times he was fast enough to make the field.

Thus, Bliss has been summoned to pump some life into a fledgling program.

"We're just focusing on this weekend right now, nothing more," said Bliss, who finished 33rd in the Daytona 500. "When we return to North Carolina on Sunday, we'll sit down and consider the future at that time. We're just intent on making the show and getting a good finish."

That would certainly be a worthy birthday gift for Bliss, who turns 35 on April 5.

"It would be great to simply get back on my feet, back on solid ground with a good ride that allows me to be competitive and record good finishes," he said. "Now that would be a good gift."

Bliss enjoyed much success over the past two seasons in Jack Roush's No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. During that time, he won three races, notched 11 top-5s and 22 top-10s. In order to enjoy such success in the future, Bliss knows he must reaffirm that he can compete. This weekend will be the first step in that direction, and with little time to prepare, that could prove very difficult.

"We've got a lot to cover in a short amount of time," Bliss said. "I sat down with (crew chief) Christian Lovendahl this week and more than anything we discussed how the tire we're using will affect our set-up of the car. It's a tire that frees the car up more, but it's always good to start out a little loose at Texas because your car can change quite a bit during the race."

The Albertson's 300 will be broadcast live on CBS and PRN on Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. ET.

-nascar.com-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Mike Skinner , Mike Bliss , Jack Roush , A.J. Foyt