|SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin'|
The finish was Bliss’ second of the 2012 season and his first since Indianapolis, three races ago. It was also the second last-place finish in a row for Humphrey-Smith Racing, which came home 43rd with Jason Leffler last Sunday at Michigan.
Qualifying for the night race was rained out on Friday, so Bliss fell back on his opening practice speed and wound up 34th in the starting lineup. Teammate Reed Sorenson in the #91 and Scott Speed (Speed tied for the 2012 LASTCAR Sprint Cup lead), were among the four drivers who missed the show.
Bliss was behind the wall three laps before Ken Schrader’s hard crash on the frontstretch brought out the first caution of the night on Lap 10. However, Bliss did not return to the track and remained in the 43rd spot. Scott Riggs, whose #23 barely avoided involvement in Schrader’s accident, pulled out after the restart and ended up 41st, making him the only leader in the 2012 LASTCAR Sprint Cup standings to score a bottom five.
*This was the first last-place finish for the #19 in Sprint Cup competition since March 14, 1976, when Henley Gray’s Belden Asphalt Chevrolet fell out with brake problems after 40 laps of the Southeastern 500.
*This was Bliss’ first last-place finish in a Cup race at Bristol. Bliss’ first Cup Series last-place finish did come at a concrete track, however, when his #27 Pfizer / Viagra Pontiac crashed two laps into the 2000 MBNA.com 400 at Dover.
*Bliss is the first Cup Series last-place finisher to fall out due to power steering problems since P.J. Jones, whose #04 Jim Beam / Menards Toyota fell out two laps into the 2009 Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. The only other time that happened was earlier that year, when David Gilliland’s #71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet fell out after 38 laps of the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Heluva Good! at Dover.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #19-Mike Bliss / 6 laps / power steering
42) #32-Ken Schrader / 9 laps / crash
41) #23-Scott Riggs / 20 laps / brakes
40) #33-Stephen Leicht / 56 laps / fuel pressure
39) #87-Joe Nemechek / 130 laps / electrical
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell, Scott Riggs, Scott Speed, Josh Wise (3)
2nd) Mike Bliss, J.J. Yeley (2)
3rd) Trevor Bayne, Landon Cassill, Brendan Gaughan, Jason Leffler, Joe Nemechek, David Ragan, Reed Sorenson, Brian Vickers (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing, #23-R3 Motorsports, #26-Front Row Motorsports, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (3)
2nd) #49-Robinson-Blakeney Racing, #95-Leavine Family Racing (2)
3rd) #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #33-Richard Childress Racing, #34-Front Row Motorsports, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing, #74-Turn One Racing, #79-Go Green Racing, #83-BK Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (12)
2nd) Toyota (7)
3rd) Chevrolet (5)