Road America: Mike Bliss race report

SHEBOYGAN CHEVROLET/KEY MOTORSPORTS PRODUCE SOLID ROAD AMERICA EFFORT PRIOR TO ON-TRACK MISFORTUNE IN BUCYRUS 200 The Sheboygan Chevrolet No. 40 Key Motorsports entry, driven by Mike Bliss in Saturday's crash-marred Bucyrus 200 at Wisconsin's ...

SHEBOYGAN CHEVROLET/KEY MOTORSPORTS PRODUCE SOLID ROAD AMERICA EFFORT PRIOR TO ON-TRACK MISFORTUNE IN BUCYRUS 200

The Sheboygan Chevrolet No. 40 Key Motorsports entry, driven by Mike Bliss in Saturday's crash-marred Bucyrus 200 at Wisconsin's Road America, began the 200-mile journey on the 4.048-mile course from a mid-pack starting position in a field that featured more "rookie" talent, by NASCAR standards, than any Nationwide Series event in recent memory, a factor that would contribute to a short day for the Key Motorsports team.

Arriving at the historic Road America facility with a new, immaculately prepared Sheboygan Chevrolet sponsored No. 40, Bliss qualified 26th on the grid after making a total of 9 practice laps during the four scheduled sessions that took place Thursday and Friday. The seasoned veteran posted laps that maintained a top-20 presence on the leader board throughout both of Friday's practice sessions.

Bliss carefully moved the Sheboygan Chevrolet/Key Motorsports No. 40 up through the field from the drop of the green flag, gaining five positions in the first ten laps of the 50-lap contest. Choosing not to pit during a lap 12 caution, brought out for an accident involving Antonio Perez and Chris Cook, placed Bliss on the outside of row one for the restart on lap 14. Without the advantage of new tires on the No. 40 Chevrolet, Bliss quickly moved to 10th in the running order as the Oregon native was able to hold a top-20 position on the scoreboard until being caught up in a nine-car altercation on lap 29.

The lap 29 "Big One" forced a red-flag condition, halting the race for 31 minutes while track workers cleared the racing surface. Restarting 24th on the field, Bliss would complete nine more circuits before being offered a choice of nowhere to go by the 99 and 23 cars, who tangled on lap 38, ending the day with a 31st place finish for Bliss and the Key Motorsports crew.

DATA GATHERING - While the Key Motorsports team were unable to accomplish their on-track goal of a top-15 finish at Road America, the weekend did provide a host of data collected by the organization that will be used to enhance their future road course efforts. Team owner Curtis Key is committed to continued improvement of every aspect of the racing enterprise he created nearly 20 years ago. "We have been working on our road course program, acquiring new equipment, building for the future of our team. We were able to collect information at Road America that will benefit us going forward," explained Curtis Key.

NEW CAR PERFORMANCE - The Key Motorsports team will work for improvement on the new Chevrolet road course car used at Road America over the weekend but is satisfied with the performance of the car in it's first outing. "The car drove good and is a good car. We picked up on some things this weekend and that should help us the next time out," commented Bliss.

OWNER POINTS - Key Motorsports maintains a top-25 position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series owner point standings with 15 of the 35 races on the 2010 schedule completed.

NEXT UP - Mike Bliss will be back in the seat of the Key Motorsports Chevrolet next Saturday, June 26, 2010 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

-source: key motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Mike Bliss , Chris Cook