Mike Bliss Takes Silverado To Victory Lane At Atlanta Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Claims 13th Career Win Hampton, GA - Mike Bliss, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports/Strutmasters.com Silverado, led three times for a total of 38 laps to...
Mike Bliss Takes Silverado To Victory Lane At Atlanta
Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Claims 13th Career Win
Hampton, GA - Mike Bliss, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports/Strutmasters.com Silverado, led three times for a total of 38 laps to capture the win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is the 2002 NCTS champion's 13th career win in the series, but his first since 2002.
Bliss started in the 16th position in the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 and quickly established that his Silverado was one of the fastest trucks in the 36-truck field. He took the lead for the first time on lap 34 of the 130-lap race; led again from laps 53-79 and took the lead for the final time on lap 121.
Terry Cook (Ford), Erik Darnell (Ford), David Reutimann (Toyota) and Rick Crawford (Ford) rounded out the top five.
The NCTS manufacturers' standings following today's race, No. 22 of the 25-race season, are: Toyota - 154 points (11 wins); Ford - 141 points (7 wins); Chevrolet - 111 points, (4) wins and Dodge 76 points (0 wins).
The next event is the Silverado 350 on Friday, November 3 at Texas Motor Speedway.
JOE NEMECHEK, NO. 46 Chevrolet Silverado - NOTE: Nemechek was involved in a two-truck incident on lap 42, damage to the truck was too severe to repair and return to action
"The No. 24 just lost it. It is tough. There is a bunch of rookie guys starting up front and they have to know, I am upset right now, they have to know what their trucks are going to do. (Mike) Skinner got loose, he backed out of it and got away from it. The No. 24 just came around and I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. When he went around, I was up high and I didn't have any chance of trying to swerve and just got in to him.
"I just feel bad for the Chevrolet Silverado team. Man, I am telling you, in three or four laps we were going to be leading this race. Truck was incredibly good, has been good all through practice, just really disappointed.
MIKE BLISS, No. 16 Xpress Motorsports/Strutmasters.com Silverado, Qualified 16th, Finished 1st:
"Our Chevy Silverado was fast. I couldn't believe how good it was. We went free all night but it just never pushed all night and was really good in traffic, and on old tires it just kept going. I ran the bottom the whole day, and usually you don't run the bottom, you go to the top when it slicks up but it ran good on the bottom, and our motor ran great. Mark Smith did a great job on the motors, and we have Strutmasters aboard the next three races left, so it was great. This Chevy was rock and rolling."
On error in the pits: "I was thinking not good things. I just kind of felt like we had a good enough truck, it just gave me more to fight for. It felt better to come up through the pack again and win this thing."
On returning to Victory Lane: "When I was walking out there, I was thinking, man, I haven't been here since 2002, and that is a long time. I knew we were right, we have been running well, we just needed things to go our way and it did. We deserve it, because our truck really ran good this year."
CHAD MCCUMBEE, No. 08 The GPS Store/Garmin Silverado, Qualified 28th, Finished 7th:
"I tell you what, we started in the back and we came through there, and we learned some valuable lessons watching (Ron) Hornaday and those guys slide through traffic, and I used it to my advantage once I learned it later in the race. That was exactly what I needed for the GPS Store.com/Garmin Chevrolet. Like I said, we have had a bunch of tough weeks here recently, and it kind of has the guys down a bit, and I try to keep their spirits up because I know we can come to the next couple of races and have some good runs, so that was definitely what we needed."
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, Qualified 30th, Finished 30th: NOTE - Almirola suffered engine failure on lap 114 of the 130-lap race
"Our Spears Silverado started out tight but Dave (McCarty, crew chief) and the guys were making progress and we were hovering right around the top-10 when the engine started to let go. When it went it went big and we had fire under the hood. We just need to find a way to turn our luck around. Just disappointing because we were going to get a pretty solid run in today."
OTHER SILVERADO FINISHERS: Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards/Energizer Silverado, Qualified 22nd, Finished 12th
Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 AES HR Solutions Silverado, Qualified 26th, Finished 13th
Dennis Setzer, No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado, Qualified 24th, Finished 14th
John Mickel, No. 07 Dudman Group/DSI Group Silverado, Qualified 25th, Finished 20th
Kerry Earnhardt, No. 13 Pork Board Silverado, Qualified 31st, Finished 21st
Robert Richardson, No. 1 McKinney Pipe and Steel Silverado, Qualified 32nd, Finished 27th
Derrike Cope, No. 40 Key Motorsports Silverado, Qualified 36th, Finished 28th
Jeremy Mayfield, No. 15 Quest Global Silverado, Qualified 13th, Finished 31st
-credit: gm racing