Michael McDowell drives the #98 Curb Records Ford during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (April 26, 2012 - Source: Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)
Mike Bliss will drive the #98 Ford of Phil Parsons Racing on Saturday night at Daytona. He will fill in for Michael McDowell who will miss the race due to the unfortunate death of his father in-law.
The 47 year old Bliss has made 9 starts this season. His best finish was 24th at Daytona when he drove the #32 car for Frank Stoddard. Since then he has appeared in his last 8 races as a start and park driver for the #19 Toyota of Humphrey Smith Racing.
McDowell is expected to return to the car next week. He had ran 15 races in the #98 and failed to qualify at Darlington. He also skipped the Sonoma race since he drove the #18 car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series race at Elkhart Lake. McDowell’s best finish this season was a 30th at Daytona where he completed 189 of the 202 laps. The only other race the #98 attempted to run fully was at Bristol were McDowell finished 31st.