Bliss Fights for 18th at Iowa Speedway

Earning his season best finish of 10th in the previous race at Iowa Speedway in June, TriStar Motorsports’ driver Mike Bliss had high expectations as the NASCAR Nationwide Series returned to “America’s Heartland” for Saturday night’s US Cellular 250. “I enjoy racing at Iowa,” said Bliss. “I think this track fits my driving style really well,”  he said.  Returning to Iowa with sponsorship from Tweaker Energy Shot, Bliss was hoping to top his finish from June, but a loose condition kept him from returning to the top-10 this time around.  

Starting the 250 lap race from the 24th position, Bliss quickly jumped three spots within the first 15 laps. “I’m having trouble arching it in,” said Bliss as he settled into the 20th position on lap 50.  As Bliss explained his discomfort, the first caution fell.  Bliss took the opportunity to hit pit road where the crew worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of their No. 19 Tweaker Energy Shot Toyota, gaining one spot to 19th as he returned to the track.  


Settling in for a long green flag run, Bliss hung on to his loose handling race car. As he and Crew Chief Paul Clapprood discussed their next move, the second caution came out at lap 140.  Still trying to tighten up Bliss’ Tweaker Energy Shot Toyota, Bliss hit pit road for (include changes made) and the crew sent him back to the track 19th.


With two more opportunities to tighten up their Camry, Bliss and his crew never gave up.  Maintaining the 19th position for more than half of the 218.75-mile event, Bliss gained ground on the competition and picked up one spot in the closing laps to finish 18th.  

“We made a great effort with what we were dealing with all race long,” said Bliss, who claimed his 16th top-20 finish of the season. “I wish we could have earned a better finish for Tweaker. I appreciate my crew, they tried everything to try and balance our car.  There was no pleasing it this time.”  

As the 49-year-old driver heads into his second road course on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, he will also approach a milestone. He will make his  300th Nationwide Series start this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Bliss also holds on to the 13th position in the Nationwide Series Driver Points Standing.