Monday, March 9, 2009

Bliss Overheats, Finishes Last At Atlanta

Mike Bliss picked up the 3rd last-place finish of his career in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway when his unsponsored #09 Phoenix Racing Dodge overheated and went behind the wall on lap 21 of the 330-lap race.

Bliss, making his first Cup start since last fall’s Tums QuikPak 500 at Martinsville, squeezed his way into Sunday’s field with a speed of 182.645 mph, just enough to beat four "go-or-go-home" drivers and start 43rd. The race marked the first start of the season for his team, Phoenix Racing, which had missed the first three races of the season with drivers Brad Keselowski and Sterling Marlin. In the race, Bliss remained near the back, but was up to 3rd during the second caution on lap 12 when he stayed out an extra lap with Joe Nemechek and Dave Blaney. However, on lap 21, not long after the race restarted from that caution, Bliss was on pit road, then behind the wall with an overheating problem.

The race was Bliss’ first last-place finish since the 2000 UAW-GM Quality 500 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway, when a crash on lap 5 put his #27 Viagra Pontiac out of the race. His only other last-place finish took place with that same Eel River Racing team at Dover two weeks before the race. It was the first last-place finish for both the #09 and Phoenix Racing since Sterling Marlin crashed out of last summer’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol.

43) #09-Mike Bliss / 21 laps / overheating
42) #28-Travis Kvapil / 32 laps / engine
41) #66-Dave Blaney / 82 laps / electrical
40) #96-Bobby Labonte / 103 laps / engine
39) #87-Joe Nemechek / 110 laps / wheel

1st) Mike Bliss, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Joe Nemechek (1)


DaleJarrett4Ever said...

Hi Brock, I found your blog via RaceTalkRadio and I truly do enjoy your articles, you have a unique way of putting together your stories and that is what makes it interesting. If you don't mind, I am going to add you to my blog roll on my blog.

Looking forward to more of your articles.


Brock Beard said...

Absolutely, DJ4Ever, thank you!