Brake Problems End Bid for Bliss, Smith & Wesson In Their All-New SKI Motorsports Chevy at Gateway MADISON, Ill. (Saturday, July 29, 2006) -- Mike Bliss and the ...
Brake Problems End Bid for Bliss, Smith & Wesson In Their All-New SKI Motorsports Chevy at Gateway
MADISON, Ill. (Saturday, July 29, 2006) -- Mike Bliss and the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet team of SKI Motorsports saw their bid for a top finish at tonight's NASCAR Busch Series Celebration 250 at Gateway International Raceway come to an early end some 49 laps from the finish due to a brake problem.
Bliss debuted a brand new SKI Motorsports-built Chevrolet, sporting a unique black-and-white paint scheme exemplifying Smith & Wesson's ongoing tribute to America's law enforcement heroes, on the mile-and-a-quarter egg-shaped oval on the outskirts of St. Louis this weekend. He qualified 29th -- third among the 16 entrants that were required to qualify on time -- and started tonight's 200-lap event with his sites set on an ultimate goal of a top-10 finish in the team's second race of the Smith & Wesson program's second season. He worked his way into the top 20 by the race's midpoint and got as high as 16th on Lap 105. Shortly after stopping for tires and fuel on Lap 107, Bliss began to report a fast-developing push in Turns 1 and 2. By Lap 147, he reported the brake pedal had gone almost completely soft. He pitted on Lap 151, when the team found the entire right-front brake pad had worn away and opted to call it a night.
Next up for the #30 Smith & Wesson Racing SKI Motorsports Chevrolet is the Ameriquest 300 on Sept. 2 at California Speedway in Fontana.
"I think it was a pretty solid effort all the way around in limited practice because of the weather, qualifying, and then to run as well as we did with a brand new, untested Smith & Wesson car. We got better every session. In the race, it seems we were among the fastest cars on the track during the longer runs. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a problem making the car turn. By the time we lost the brakes, we didn't want to wreck the car, so the smart thing to do was to park it. It's not the result we were looking for, and definitely not the one I think we were capable of, but we're another step further along with our Smith & Wesson program."
CHRIS LENCHESKI (Team Owner)
"When we were running, we were running with the best of them. It was just unfortunate that it came to an early end. I feel worst of all for Mike (Bliss), and for Bob Schacht and the SKI Motorsports crew who built this brand new car. Mike did everything he could to ensure we were one of the top go-or-go-home entries in practice and qualifying, and definitely at the head of the pack of the part-time entries once again. A top-10 finish was our goal. The way things were going in the race, it certainly seemed possible. But it was a highly unusual problem that put us out. Basically, our brake pads were gone. Ironically, it's the same thing that happened to the 38 car, which gets its pads from the same place. It's disappointing, but at the same time, the Smith & Wesson family can be proud of the progress we have continued to make as a part-time team since last fall at Phoenix, and in May at Darlington. Keep in mind we continue to do this in a highly competitive arena that includes some of the giants of NASCAR racing history. As always, we'll take a close look at everything we did this weekend and hopefully come back with our strongest showing yet at Fontana."