Mike Bliss driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry made his first career start at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday. Bliss qualified 30th for the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 and quickly jumped five spots within the first three laps. Despite running off the course during the 94 lap event, Bliss still managed to come home in the 17th spot, earning his 17th top-20 finish of the season.
Bliss' first report of the car's handling to crew chief Paul Clapprood was that his Toyota Camry was "loose in but not bad." The first full course caution came on lap 21 which enabled Bliss to come to pit road for an air pressure adjustment, four fresh Goodyear tires and some Sunoco fuel. Later, while running in the 24th position, Bliss ran his No. 19 Camry off the track and subsequently spun while entering the 13th and final turn on the 2.253-mile course. Quickly driving back onto the track he hit pit road for service and would return to the racetrack in 34th. Bliss and his crew capitalized on the fifth caution of the event bringing the No. 19 back down pit road to fix the left
front brake duct screen, which was damaged during the spin a few laps earlier.
With 40 laps remaining, Bliss was racing in the 29th position as his competitors started their green flag pit stops. The sixth caution fell on lap 62 bringing Bliss once again to pit road for four sticker tires and fuel.
Following the final pit stop of the day Clapprood radioed to Bliss, "we'll be good on fuel through two green-white-checkered attempts." Bliss maintained the 22nd position as the field came to its' first green-white-checker attempt. On the restart Bliss was able to gain five spots to finish 17th in the inaugural event.
"I'm thankful I kept my car going when I spun out," said Bliss who didn't let his mid-race spin set him back. "This track was fast and challenging. My car took a few laps to really balance out, I'm just glad we earned a respectable finish."
Bliss still holds the 13th position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Points Standing. Next week Bliss and his No. 19 crew will once again welcome Tweaker Energy Shot aboard their Camry for Friday night's Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.