Maintaining consistency at Kentucky, Mike Bliss and his No. 19 Tweaker Energy Shot Camry were looking for much of the same as they returned to the Sunshine State’s fastest 2.5-mile superspeedway of Daytona International Speedway. At the start of the race Bliss knew the challenges of superspeedway racing as he rolled off 21st for the 12th Annual Subway Firecracker 250. Bliss was smooth around Daytona International Speedway’s high banks as he made racing 250-miles look effortless; resulting in a 14th place finish.
Within the first 10 laps, Bliss met up with his TriStar Motorsports teammate Cole Whitt and drafted into the top-10. Bliss noted his water temperature gauge reading on the higher side as he pushed Whitt. “I’m running really hot pushing right now; ask the 44 if we can try switching,” he said.
Waiting for an opportune moment, Bliss and Whitt switched drafting positions in turn one on lap 21. Momentarily losing the draft, Bliss and the No. 77 of Parker Klingerman linked up as drafting partners to try and catch the lead pack. Bliss’ Spotter Toby Whealdon said, “The 77 can push all day long.” Driving two strong Toyota’s, Bliss and Klingerman set out to hunt down the leaders.
With 11 laps to go, Bliss radioed his Crew Chief Paul Clapprood. “Paul, I’m starting to spray steam.” Bliss was concerned his Tweaker Camry was running too hot. Just then, the infamous “big one” occurred, in turn four causing NASCAR to throw the red flag. Sitting idle during the ten 10-minute delay, Bliss’ Tweaker Toyota cooled down a bit.
As the field restarted the race on lap 100, Bliss was in the 20th position with plenty of drafting help. Bliss’ No. 19 soared around Daytona International Speedway, inching closer and closer to the front. Bliss gained six spots during the three lap green-white-checkered finish; bringing the Tweaker Energy Shot Camry home in the 14th position.
“I can’t thank Tweaker Energy enough for coming on board for this weekend,” said Bliss.” We had a strong Toyota Camry and anything can happen at Daytona. We lost the draft there in the middle of the race but we rallied towards the end. “I’m really proud of my guys and the hard work they put in. A top-15 finish, with the car in one piece, is a great accomplishment.”
Bliss’ 14th place finish at Daytona marks his sixth top-15 finish of the season. Gaining one spot in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings (12th), Bliss and his crew will head North to New England for the 24th Annual F.W. Webb 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 13th at 3:30 p.m. (ET).