NASCAR »

Bliss finds success in 'mind-boggling season'

CJM union the key to return to form for Mike Bliss.
Mike Bliss' goal was to hang onto a top ten in the points after he departed Phoenix Racing 21 races into the Nationwide Series season. He was sixth and in salvage mode, unsure of what opportunities he might find.

Driving for three teams, Bliss slid to ninth in the next six races - three of them 'start-and-parks' - but, at Dover, he hooked up with CJM Racing and began a remarkable climb back up in the points to sixth going into Saturday's O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.

Bliss will be making his fourth start with CJM at Texas. He has finished second at Dover and Lowe's and fourth at Memphis in the previous three races with the #11 Toyota team and is 59 points behind Justin Allgaier for fifth with three races remaining.

“Crazy,” Bliss said, “When I was released by Phoenix, I was out to get into any car to get into the top ten in points because there is some pretty good money available from the post-season fund. To be sitting here with the possibility of finishing in the top five is more than I would have expected.”

Bliss was reunited with crew chief Paul Wolfe at CJM. They enjoyed success together for 23 races in 2007 and five in 2008 at Fitz Motorsports.

“I think our performance of late might be a surprise to some, but not to us,” Bliss said, “The cars are very good cars, and Paul Wolfe is a good crew chief. So, the finishes we've had might be surprising to other people, but not to us.

“I think Paul certainly had influence with the team in helping me drive for them, and he's probably been trying longer than I've been here. I respect him. He works really hard, he does a very good job. He's meticulous. Paul builds really nice racecars. I like nice racecars, and nice racecars like to go fast.”

Bliss finished seventh at Texas in April, but won at Lowe's in May, a 1.5-mile track with a similar layout to Texas.

“That #11 car has been pretty fast everywhere they go,” he noted, “I'm expecting a good run at Texas, too. I don't think my finishes there have been that great, but I've always run well there. But we're going there with the same approach - just try and run as best we can and finish as best we can. And I think we'll have a good result.”

Bliss, the Camping World Truck Series champion in 2002, also will drive for CJM next week at Phoenix, but will return to Phoenix Racing's #1 in the season finale.

“It's been a mind-boggling season,” Bliss said.

by Tim Tuttle / Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service


Tagged as: Toyota , Nationwide , cjm , mike bliss

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mike Bliss  [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, lead the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, leads the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, lead the field into turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, places the winner`s decal on his car after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished in third place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, stands on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. HM3 James R Layton is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, takes the green flag to start the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads Erik Jones, driver of the #20 Interstate Batteries Toyota, during the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.