Mooresville, NC (June 10, 2013) – Before Sunday’s rain delayed DuPont Pioneer 250, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Mike Bliss emphasized how important car setup was at the 7/8-mile oval. “Your car setup is crucial – if you’re in sync you’ll run great,” he said. Bliss’ No. 19 TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry was in sync and on a roll on Sunday morning as the field took the green flag, on a green track, for the start of the race at Iowa Speedway. Bliss qualified in the 17th position and after an early caution on lap two, he gained one spot and held position for more than 45 laps.
On lap 50, NASCAR called a competition caution; Bliss said “the car turned good in the middle, but if I get on the gas early it’s a little tight.” Crew Chief Paul Clapprood called for a tire pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel.
Bliss was battling a slightly loose race car in the eighth position, when a caution came out at lap 136. Clapprood and Bliss decided to put on scuff tires and emphasized on a full tank of Sunoco race fuel.
Dark clouds began to roll in around lap 160 and a sudden down pour spouted. Immediately, NASCAR called the drivers down the access road at Iowa Speedway; putting the DuPont Pioneer 250 under red flag conditions. The No.19 TriStar Motorsports team dodged rain drops and took shelter on pit road while the shower passed and the jet dryers went to work.
Upon the restart, NASCAR decided on a “quickie yellow” in hopes to finish the 218-mile event. During the caution Bliss took four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel.
With 25 laps to go Bliss was still sitting outside the top-10 in 11th position. On lap 17, Bliss finally broke into the 10th position with a car that was turning faster lap times than three-quarters of the cars ahead of him. Bliss maintained the 10th position to claim his first top-10 of the year.
“We honestly had a top five finishing car,” said Bliss. “My car was really good in three and four; if I had a few more laps I think I could have gained some more spots. I am really proud of our efforts today.”
Leading into this weekend’s race in Michigan, Bliss still holds strong in the 12th position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings.