BUSCH: Fontana II: Mike Bliss race notes

Bliss Soldiers Through Handling Trouble at California To Bring Smith & Wesson Chevrolet Home in 30th FONTANA, Calif. (Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006) -- Mike Bliss and the ...

Bliss Soldiers Through Handling Trouble at California To Bring Smith & Wesson Chevrolet Home in 30th

FONTANA, Calif. (Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006) -- Mike Bliss and the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet team of SKI Motorsports made their third NASCAR Busch Series start of the season at Saturday night's Ameriquest 300 on the California Speedway 2-mile tri-oval and fought a stalwart but seemingly unending battle against tight conditions enroute to a 30th-place finish.

Driving the SKI Motorsports-built Chevrolet he and the team debuted in their last race at Gateway in late July, Bliss found himself dealing with the understeer from the start of Friday practice, and in qualifying earlier today still managed a solid run that put the Smith & Wesson Racing machine 34th on the grid despite tight conditions that prevailed on a hot, slippery racetrack. From the start of tonight's 150-lap main event, Bliss and the team utilized every available caution period to make adjustments in the pits to try and help remedy the tight conditions. They could have used more cautions, as it turned out. Bliss was running as high as eighth with some 15 laps to go while most all of the competitors cycled through a final round of green-flag pit stops for a final splash of fuel to make the distance. Bliss hung on as the tight conditions continued and came home in 30th.

Next up for the #30 Smith & Wesson Racing SKI Motorsports Chevrolet is the Yellow Transportation 300 on Sept. 30 at Kansas Speedway.


"We battled a tight race car from the time we unloaded, through qualifying and the entire race, and we're loading a tight race car back on the truck. We made an awful lot of changes. We seemed to gain on it a little bit about two-thirds of the way through the race, but we still needed some more help. Then, we pitted for a splash of fuel with about 10 to go, and I figured we'd finish 25th or so. I guess a few guys stayed out, and we ended up 30th. Some of those guys went over 50 laps on fuel, but we could only go about 40 or so. That made for a frustrating night. Still, I have to say hats off to everyone involved with the Smith & Wesson effort. What we're trying to do is one of the more difficult feats in major league sports. We're having our ups and downs as we continue to grow this program. We'll have our day."


"We knew we were going to need a few cautions to get the car setup right. With the way they impound the cars, you can't really put a race setup under the car to begin with. So, we worked on it and finally got the race setup a little more dialed in, and we made some serious gains and were running mid pack. When people started making green-flag stops, we managed to get close to the top of the board, but the racing gods didn't smile on us and give us a caution then, when we needed it. We had one of the fastest cars among the part-time teams that aren't affiliated with (Nextel) Cup teams, and we're taking the car home in reasonably good shape. So, from that perspective, it was a good race."

-credit: ski motorsports

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Drivers Mike Bliss