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Mike Bliss to drive for Go FAS Racing in 2015
Veteran driver will be one of several drivers to pilot No. 32 Ford Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Moment Mike Bliss will be part of the Go FAS Racing lineup for the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, the team announced on Tuesday. Bliss will join Bobby Labonte and Boris Said as drivers of the No. 32 Ford Fusion for select races in 2015. His first start for the team will come in the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1 (1 p.m. ET, FOX) "With the top tier teams expanding, we believe our best strategy is to fill the seat with veterans who have performed well in the past," said team owner Archie St. Hilarie in a release provided by the team. "This helps ensure we maintain a healthy standing in the points as the season progresses. Mike Bliss has proven time and time again that he can be competitive in the Sprint Cup Series, while bringing the car home in one piece, which is crucial for a small organization like us." The 2002 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion made eight Sprint Cup Series starts last season for both BK Racing in the No. 93 Toyota and Tommy Baldwin Racing in the No. 37 Chevrolet. His best finish was a 35th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in September. "I'm really excited to be driving for Archie St. Hilarie and Go FAS Racing in the Sprint Cup Series," Bliss said in a team release. "I'm really thankful for the opportunity to drive the No. 32 and achieving some good finishes that will help solidify the teams position in the point standings for the 2015 season." The 49-year-old Bliss has made 169 premier series starts with his lone top-five coming in 2004 in the Richmond fall race. For the past seven seasons, he has run a full-time XFINITY Series schedule and will do so again in 2015 for TriStar Motorsports. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bliss to return to TriStar Motorsports
Organization also named Eddie Pardue as crew chief for Cale Conley Mike Bliss will be back behind the wheel for TriStar Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015, the team announced on Friday. The 2015 campaign will mark Bliss' fifth season in the XFINITY Series together. Paul Clapprood will return to serve as the crew chief for Bliss . In the past four seasons with TriStar, Bliss has recorded five top-10 finishes. TriStar also announced that Eddie Pardue will serve as the crew chief for Cale Conley and the No. 14 Toyota Camry team. Last season, Pardue served as the competition director for TriStar Motorsports. Pardue has served as a crew chief in the XFINITY Series before, working with Greg Biffle , Matt Kenseth , Jason Leffler and several other drivers. In 280 XFINITY Series races, Pardue has been atop the pit box for three wins. He also has crew chief experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (one race) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (22 races). In other announcements, TriStar also said Bruce Cook will serve as the crew chief for Blake Koch in the No. 8 car. Last year, Cook served as the crew chief for nine races with the No. 80 team in the XFINITY Series. In those races, he served as the crew chief for Alex Bowman (one race), Ross Chastain (five races) and Johnny Sauter (three races) in 2014. Before that, Cook served as the crew chief for Ron Hornaday Jr . in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2013 season. He has one victory in his career in XFINITY competition, overseeing Tony Stewart 's win in the 2011 season opener at Daytona International Speedway in what was then called the Nationwide Series. Greg Connor will be back as the crew chief for the No. 44 team. Connor has been with the organization since 2013. A driver and sponsor announcement will be made in the upcoming weeks, according to a team release. Wes Ward will now serve as the shop foreman at TriStar as he hangs up his crew chief hat. Ward had over 15 years of crew chief experience with his lone NASCAR national series win coming with Kasey Kahne in the 2003 season finale at Homestead in what is now the XFINITY Series. Rick Viers has come on board as the team's new general manager, while Keith Barnwell will serve as the new executive vice president. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bliss gets loose, hits wall
Mike Bliss gets loose early in the race, suffers a hard hit off of turn 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bliss narrowly avoids spinning Sweet
Mike Bliss has to jump on the brakes and avoid a spinning Brad Sweet in Turn 2.
Good run for Bliss spoiled by spin
Mike Bliss gets out of the groove and spins, bringing out the third caution at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Strong starting spot at Indy a 'big deal' for Stewart
RELATED: Full starting lineup " See every car in the field SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Tony Stewart wrapped up day two of his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by qualifying third-best for the 40-car field that makes up Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard. It will be Stewart's best starting berth at Indy since winning the pole for the annual race at the legendary 2.5-mile track in 2002. It also equaled his best qualifying effort of what’s been an abbreviated season, matching his third-place start earlier this year at Michigan International Speedway. He announced last September that the 2016 season would be his last as a competitor in the Sprint Cup Series. Stewart put up the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday's opening round, enabling him to advance to the second round where he posted the second-fastest lap overall. In the final round of 12, his 184.328 mph lap was bettered only by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch (184.634 mph) and Carl Edwards (184.547 mph). Stewart, 45, credited crew chief Mike Bugarewicz with making the appropriate changes between Friday's two practices and Saturday’s qualifying attempts. "I just wish I could do a lap … one more time and not clip the apron in (Turn) 4; I think we could have been on the pole," Stewart said after climbing from his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. "What we learned today for qualifying, we are going to have to take some of that and try to make a car a little better for tomorrow." Starting position can be crucial -- the benefits ranging from optimum track position to a clear entry into and out of one's pit stall during the race. To start third, Stewart said, "is a big deal here. It always has been." The rules package in place for this year's race is 180 degrees from the high drag package implemented at Indy a year ago. Stewart said the difference is evident and positive. "It seems like the more downforce they take off these cars, the easier it is to race around each other," he said. "That is what you need, but it always helps when you can start up front. When you can get up there and really get working on your car in cleaner air and plan for the end of the race, that is really an advantage." Stewart sat out the first eight races of the 2016 season while recovering from injuries sustained in an off-road accident on Jan. 31. A victory last month at Sonoma Raceway and his ascension into the top-30 in points have put him in line for one of the 16 positions that will make up this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "We just have been plugging away," he said. "Everybody thinks Sonoma was the game changer and it wasn't. I mean it was Pocono, it was Michigan -- those two races leading up to Sonoma were probably as big if not bigger than what we did at Sonoma. "Sonoma just gave us the opportunity to hopefully use what we are doing to get going in the Chase now." With his final start at Indy less than 24 hours away, Stewart, who has 49 career wins in NASCAR's premier series, was ready to turn his attention elsewhere. "Tonight I'm going to go to Kokomo Speedway for our All-Stars race and go to work there," he said. "Then come here tomorrow and have fun with our friends." Sunday’s race is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m. ET. TV and radio coverage will be provided by NBCSN, the IMS Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. </p>
Results from Indianapolis heat races
Heat 1 Finish Car Driver Team 1 18 Kyle Busch (i) NOS Energy Drink Toyota 2 42 Kyle Larson (i) ParkerStore Chevrolet 3 22 Joey Logano (i) Discount Tire Ford 4 19 Daniel Suarez Juniper Networks Toyota 5 1 Elliott Sadler OneMain Chevrolet 6 98 Jeb Burton Estes Ford 7 33 Brandon Jones # Jeld-Wen/Menards Chevrolet 8 16 Ryan Reed Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford 9 11 Blake Koch LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 10 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com/SDD Chevrolet 11 44 J.J. Yeley Zachry Toyota 12 14 Jeff Green Toyota 13 0 Garrett Smithley # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 14 01 Ryan Preece # teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 15 13 Harrison Rhodes TredWear.com/Masters Properties Toyota 16 25 Stanton Barrett KeensBuildings.com Chevrolet 17 74 Mike Harmon truckersfinalmile.org Dodge 18 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 19 40 Timmy Hill (i) CrashClaimsR.Us/Icard Merrill Dodge 20 10 Matt DiBenedetto (i) Toyota * -- Daniel Suarez and Elliott Sadler are eligible to run for the Dash 4 Cash in the main race. Heat 2 Finish Car Driver Team 1 20 Erik Jones # Hisense USA Toyota 2 88 Kevin Harvick (i) Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet 3 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Chevrolet 4 2 Paul Menard (i) Richmond/Menards Chevrolet 5 48 Brennan Poole # DC Solar Chevrolet 6 3 Ty Dillon Rheem/Nidec/US Motors Chevrolet 7 6 Darrell Wallace Jr. Ford EcoBoost Ford 8 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Chevrolet 9 39 Ryan Sieg NiceTargets Chevrolet 10 28 Dakoda Armstrong WinField Toyota 11 4 Ross Chastain Dream Water Chevrolet 12 07 Ray Black Jr. # Scuba Life Chevrolet 13 46 Brandon Gdovic TCC Culture of Good Chevrolet 14 78 BJ McLeod # Safecraft Safety Equipment Ford 15 93 David Starr Massimo Motors Chevrolet 16 90 Mario Gosselin BuckedUp Apparel Chevrolet 17 97 Ryan Ellis VroomBrands Chevrolet 18 70 Derrike Cope E-hydrate/Circle Track Warehouse Chevrolet 19 52 Joey Gase Donate Life Chevrolet 20 15 Todd Peck Carport Empire/Lilly Trucking Ford * -- Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier are eligible to run for the Dash 4 Cash in the main race.
You can bet on Gordon at Indy
The 'Loop Dog', Mike Forde, joins SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to give you his fantasy value pick for this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Driver intro songs for Bristol night race
Before the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), the NASCAR Sprint Cup pilots came out during driver introductions to songs they chose. Check out the list below in the order they were introduced, starting with last-place qualifier Mike Bliss and ending with Coors Light Pole Award winner Denny Hamlin . 43rd place) Mike Bliss - "Hells Bells" by AC/DC 42nd place) Matt DiBenedetto - "I Love Rock 'n Roll" by Joan Jett 41st place) Timmy Hill - "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silento 40th place) Tony Stewart - "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple 39th place) Landon Cassill - "Smooth" by Santana 38th place) J.J. Yeley - "Devil in Disguise" by Elvis Presley 37th place) David Gilliland - Kickstart My Heart" by Motley Crue 36th place) Alex Bowman - "Bring Me The Horizon" by Throne 35th place) Michael Annett - "Bernie Lean" by Bernie Dance 34th place) Josh Wise - "Dixieland Delight" by Alabama 33rd place) Cole Whitt - "Armor For The Lord" by Blake Whiteley 32nd place) Danica Patrick - "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner 31st place) Aric Almirola - "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar 30th place Michael McDowell "Nothing I Can't Do" by Tedashii 29th place) Paul Menard - "Symphony of Destruction" by Megadeth 28th place Casey Mears "Fuel" by Metallica 27th place) Brett Moffitt - "Cowboy" by Kid Rock 26th place) Sam Hornish Jr . - "Touch of Grey" by Grateful Dead 25th place) AJ Allmendinger - "Tainted Love" by Marilyn Manson 24th place) Jeff Gordon - "E.I." by Nelly 23rd place) Martin Truex Jr . - "La Grange" by ZZ Top 22nd place) Trevor Bayne - "Back Where I Come From" by Kenny Chesney 21st place) Jamie McMurray - "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith 20th place) Dale Earnhardt Jr . - "Eminence Front" by The Who 19th place) Kasey Kahne - "Cherry Bomb" by John Mellencamp 18th place) Ryan Newman - "Good Ol' Boys" by Waylon Jennings 17th place) Greg Biffle - "Wild Side" by Motley Crue 16th place) Austin Dillon - "Move" by Ludacris 15th place) Ryan Blaney - "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam 14th place) Justin Allgaier - "Ready Set Roll" by Chase Rice 13th place) Matt Kenseth - "Stife" by Trivium 12th place) Kyle Larson - "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" by Elton John 11th place) Kurt Busch - "Party Up (Up In Here)" by DMX 10th place) Jimmie Johnson - "Renegades" by X Ambassadors 9th place) Clint Bowyer - "Going Through the Big D" by Mark Chesnutt 8th place) Ricky Stenhouse Jr . - "The Stroke" by Billy Squier 7th place) Kevin Harvick - "Real Life" by Jake Owen 6th place) Brad Keselowski - "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg 5th place) Joey Logano - "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys 4th place) David Ragan - "Only In America" by Brooks and Dunn 3rd place) Carl Edwards - "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner 2nd place) Kyle Busch - DJ Barry 1st place) Denny Hamlin - "Heart Upon My Sleeve" by Avicii
The Rundown: Darlington
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid standings Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Darlington Raceway 1. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : Edwards battled back from an early pit road miscue, flat tire and track position two laps down to take the checkered in the longest race of the season thus far. His No. 19 pit crew was his saving grace, as the team performed a dynamic 12-second pit stop that won Edwards the race off pit road for the night's final restart. " RELATED: Edwards discusses winning the Southern 500 2. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske : Pole-sitter Keselowski was blisteringly fast through the night, leading a race-high 196 laps around the storied raceway, wheeling the race's fastest lap of 176.587 mph and contending for the win. But his crew didn't match his speed, as Keselowski came up .902 seconds behind Edwards in the final race off pit road. " RELATED: Keselowski breaks down his night 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : The trend of strong pit crews for Joe Gibbs Racing held strong with Hamlin, as he consistently gained multiple spots on pit road throughout the night, helping him pace the field for 57 laps. 4. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske : Pacing the field twice for 29 laps, Logano earned his first top-five result at the "Track Too Tough to Tame" in his seven starts. 5. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : Pacing the field for 44 laps, Harvick was a heavy contender for the win throughout the night, fighting Edwards and Keselowski for the checked in the final laps. 6. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : Busch overcame a setback at Lap 307, when Martin Truex Jr . accidently hit his No. 41 Chevrolet from behind, sending it spinning across the track. 7. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : Persevering through a late-race collision with Greg Biffle , Busch's seventh-place finish allowed him to officially clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . " RELATED: Busch makes the Chase 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Junior's post-race description of Sunday's race as "challenging" but "very rewarding" was fitting, as the No. 88 team took a while to find their groove throughout the weekend, eventually finishing 18 spots ahead of their 26th-place starting position. 9. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing : Truex Jr. earned his 17th top-10 finish of the season at Darlington, setting a record with his Furniture Row Racing team for its most top-10s in a season. 10. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: Wheeling the fan-favorite Kyle Petty throwback car, Larson ran with NASCAR's elite throughout the evening, earning a second-straight top 10 in his sophomore year at the "Lady in Black." " RELATED: See all the throwback paint schemes 11. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports : Sitting precariously on one of the Chase bubble positions, Almirola's steady 11th-place result shaved off six points in the standings from Clint Bowyer -- the last driver in the Chase Grid as of today. " RELATED: Who is on the Chase bubble? 12. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Crew chief Keith Rodden rolled the dice early with a speedy two-tire stop that allowed Kahne to gain 13 positions and pace the field for two laps before getting passed by cars with four fresh Goodyears. 13. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing After going completely sideways early in the race, Newman's No. 31 had minimal damage, which allowed him to finish in the top 15 for the fourth consecutive race. 14. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: The No. 1 crew fought radio communication troubles through the night, forcing the team to communicate in three-word spurts with McMurray. 15. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : "Smoke" stayed on the track during a cycle of yellow-flag pit stops to lead 10 laps on older tires after beating Larson on the restart at Lap 212. 16. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Equipped with a car that was better handling in the shorter runs, the frequent cautions allowed Gordon to run in the top 10 for much of the night. 17. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing : Spotter Brett Griffin advised Bowyer during the race to "just race the track and stay out of that (expletive) wall" -- which he accomplished, but still earned his worst result at Darlington since 2011. 18. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : A flat right-front tire and collision with Kyle Busch provided plenty of typical Darlington obstacles for Biffle, whose 18th-place finish was somewhat disappointing after his impressive practice speeds. 19. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Called out by teammate Gordon over the radio, Johnson was issued a warning after accelerating too quickly prior to entering pit road at Lap 128 – but the "Lady in Black" awarded the No. 48 a penalty of her own less than five laps later when Johnson spun out after making contact with Logano. " RELATED: Gordon calls out Johnson 20. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports: Wheeling the "Proud to be an American" scheme driven by Sterling Martin, Cassill earned his best finish since Pocono in August. 21. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing : The "Lady in Black" proved she shows mercy to no one, even an established driver like Kenseth, who smacked the wall at Lap 20 and damaged his No. 20 ride. 22. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing : His throwback Chevy sporting a Darlington stripe that was earned in opening practice, Dillon was the first driver to pilot the No. 3 ride on Labor Day weekend at Darlington since Dale Earnhardt did in 2000. 23. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing : From a collision with Justin Allgaier early in the race to a penalty for jumping the restart at Lap 124, Allmendinger's 23rd-place finish on Sunday didn't come easy. 24. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing : Bowman overcame an early brush with the wall, flat left rear and right rear tires and a collision with T.J. Bell for a career-best finish at Darlington. 25. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing : Making his first Sprint Cup Series start at the "Lady in Black," DiBenedetto’s 25th-place result earned him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award. 26. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing : Aggressive driving caused Menard to hit the back of David Ragan at Lap 279, sending the No. 55 spinning and leaving Menard still without a career top-10 finish at Darlington. " RELATED: See the contact 27. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : Gilliland took the wave around to lead Lap 303, managing to end the race on the lead lap. 28. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports : Turning laps in a Mark Martin -themed throwback car, Hornish Jr. spun at Lap 299, but saved it and continued racing. 29. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing : His car sporting a pink decal honoring team owner Bob Germain’s late wife, Gracie, and her battle with breast cancer, Mears faced string of issues -- vibration, no second or third gear and low volts -- at the "Track Too Tough to Tame." 30. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing : In his first Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington, Blaney earned his initiation-style stripes at Lap 95 when he hit the wall while running 16th. 31. Jeb Burton , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing : Burton brought out the record-setting 18th caution in Sunday night's Southern 500, when his No. 23 Toyota spun out between Turns 1 and 2. 32. Mike Bliss , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport: After bringing out the fifth caution at Lap 120 following a brush with the wall, a collision between Bliss' No. 33 and J.J. Yeley's No. 26 signaled another caution just five laps later. 33. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports : Shortly after a radio conversation with his team where Allgaier said, "The 47 is all over us," he and AJ Allmendinger collided, sending the No. 51 limping down pit road with heavy right-side damage. 34. J.J. Yeley, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing : A wreck at Lap 125 with Bliss and Michael Annett sent the No. 26 to the garage for repairs. 35. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : Bayne went for a spin at Lap 166 only to spin out again at Lap 247, sending him to the garage for repairs. 36. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : The No. 34 incurred early damage and made an early trip the garage, when it was caught up in a wreck with Chase Elliott and Cole Whitt at Lap 7. 37. T.J. Bell, No. 98 Ford, Premium Motorsports: As the caution flag flew for Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s spin at Lap 198, Bell and Bowman made contact, leaving both vehicles with plenty of damage. 38. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing : While racing hard with Bowyer, Stenhouse Jr. hit the fronstretch wall hard at Lap 198, forcing his No. 17 to the garage momentarily for repairs. 39. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports : The No. 46 incurred heavy left-side damage that required garage-time, after getting caught up in a wreck between Yeley and Bliss at Lap 125. 40. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing : A pair of back-to-back cautions brought out by the No. 55 car marred Ragan’s day, as his Michael Waltrip Racing ride ultimately went up in flames -- and to the garage. " RELATED: Contact leads to hard hit for Ragan 41. Chase Elliott , No. 25 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports : Making his fifth and final Sprint Cup Series start of 2015, Elliott battled from an early-race incident with Cole Whitt to race inside the top 20. Unfortunately, the Hendrick Motorsports part-time rookie went for a hard spin at Lap 228, his No. 25 ride suffering day-ending damage. " RELATED: Early damage for Elliott 42. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing : "Sorry, I just got loose," Patrick speculated via her team radio following heavy contact with the wall at Lap 189 that sent her No. 10 down pit road for extensive repairs. She returned to the track later in the race, but left soon after with a smoking car. " RELATED: Tough night for Danica 43. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports : Whitt's third Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington came to a close early in the race, when his No. 35 ride was collected in Brett Moffitt 's brush with the wall and did not return to the track.