BLISS WINS EASYCARE VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACTS 200 AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY HAMPTON, Ga. (October 28, 2006)-- In a sponsorless truck that his owner is funding with his retirement money, Mike Bliss earned his first win of the season Saturday...
BLISS WINS EASYCARE VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACTS 200 AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
HAMPTON, Ga. (October 28, 2006)-- In a sponsorless truck that his owner is funding with his retirement money, Mike Bliss earned his first win of the season Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200.
"I was walking out there today thinking it's been long time since we won," Bliss said. "We had good truck in practice, and it was hard to tell what the race would be like, but it was good."
After slowly pulling away from his competitors, Bliss had to hold off a charging Terry Cook in the final two laps.
"After I got to 10 truck lengths I started to breathe a little, and then they said a truck's coming up," Bliss said. "Yeah, I was concerned when I looked in the mirror and saw him coming. I just ran it wide open the last two laps, and it was kind of sliding around. I'm glad it wasn't two laps longer I probably wouldn't be here."
Cook couldn't have agreed more.
"Mike definitely had a strong truck, but we might have been stronger at the end," Cook said. "If we had one more lap we could have got right up to him and made it fun. But I can't take anything away from Mike; he drove a great race."
Rookie Erik Darnell finished third, while David Reutimann and Rick Crawford rounded out the top-five. Local driver David Ragan, from Stockbridge, Ga., finished sixth.
"It was an average day," Ragan said. "We can always run better. I was conserving for some of the race; that might have hurt us a spot or two in the end. I just wish we'd been in a little better position ... or that (AMS President) Ed (Clark) would make it a 250-miler."
Fellow Georgia driver Bill Lester (Mableton) ended his day in 22nd.
"We were surprised in qualifying, because we were extremely loose," Lester said. "I thought we'd be fine in the race, we adjusted for it. I predicted the track would tighten up; well, it didn't. We just about wrecked a bunch of times. Every pit stop, all we did was adjust. You know, I'm just thinking that eventually our luck will change. I'm just glad that the folks at Toyota and Checkers keep allowing me to do what I'm doing."