Mike Bliss fought a tight condition throughout the 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race recently at Texas Motor Speedway, a problem that led to a 21st-place finish for the Heil Trailer Chevrolet. Green flag pit stops would also be a contributing factor as the Key Motorsports team lost valuable track position while making adjustments to the Number 40 on pit road.
Bliss posted a qualifying lap at 186.207 mph to earn the 21st starting position in the 43-car field. The veteran driver moved the Heil Trailer Chevrolet into the top 20 in the initial 25 laps of the 205-lap event and maintained pace until pit stops came into play around lap 90. Revisiting the top 20 on two occasions in the last half, the Heil Chevrolet scored a high of 16th in the running order and a race low of 23rd in the final 25 laps. Knocking on the door of a top-20 finish, Bliss was forced to settle for 21st after deficits incurred on pit road became too great to overcome.
“The car ran good in qualifying; we had a pretty good lap,” said Bliss. “It was tight in the race, and we lost a lot of time on pit road trying to correct it. We had a top-10 car today we just were not able to show it. I want to thank Heil Trailer for supporting our effort here in Texas.”
Key Motorsports crew chief Gary Showalter and the team left Mooresville NC with a goal of a top-10 performance at Texas Motor Speedway and were disappointed with the organizations results in the Lone Star State.
“We felt we had a better car than what we ran,” said Showalter. “We had a decent qualifying lap and thought we would do better in the race. We got out of sequence and had a couple of bad pit stops; we gave up too much on pit road today. We appreciate Heil Trailer being on board with us. We wanted to have a better finish for them, and they are a quality group and want to thank them for everything they have done for us.”
“We are pleased with the efforts of Mike Bliss, Gary Showalter, and the Key Motorsports organization at Texas Motor Speedway,” said a Heil Trailer official. “Their attitude of never-give-up enabled them to produce their best possible result under tremendous pressure, their determination is contagious, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with Key Motorsports to further awareness of the Heil brand among NASCAR fans.”