Mike Bliss qualified 16th for the Hisense 250, followed by Cale Conley in 24th, Blake Koch in 25th and David Starr in 30th. After an action filled race which included three cautions for 12 laps and four lead changes among three leaders. Blake Koch finished the 250-mile race 22nd, followed by Mike Bliss in 25th, David Starr in 26th and Cale Conley in 34th.
Blake Koch Finishes 22nd in the Hisense 250
After qualifying 25th Saturday morning, Koch and the No. 8 Celsius Negative Calorie Cola team got the car race ready and knew they had a good car for the 250-mile race. Early into the race when the first caution flag waved, the team decided not to pit and stayed out on track in the 26th position. By lap 28, Koch started to run various lines on the track in order to find the fastest line and ran three tenths better on those laps. Koch brought his Camry to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment on lap 47 to help the cars drivability. When Koch came on the radio to report that his Camry was loose everywhere, the team decided on the next pit stop to make a big adjustment by taking four tires, fuel, wedge adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. On the last restart, Koch slapped the outside wall causing his car to become tight. Koch brought home the No. 8 Celsius Negative Calorie Cola Camry home 22nd.
Start- 25th Finish- 22nd Laps Led- 0 Points- 22 points
Driver QUOTE: “The No. 8 Celsius Negative Calorie Cola team did a great job putting this car together for Atlanta. We had good runs during practice and I knew we would have a good car for the race. I found a good line to run and my car was fast! I can’t thank Celsius enough for coming on board this weekend and I look forward to our race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.”
Mike Bliss finishes 25th in the Hisense 250
It was like riding a bike for Mike Bliss, as he slid into the seat of the No. 19 Camry for the first time this season in the Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Holiday Inn Vacation Club Toyota Camry qualified 16th and seemed to have a lot of grip for Bliss. As the first caution flew on lap 8, Bliss and team decided to stay out and give the tight handling Camry a chance to settle in. The condition of the Holiday Inn Vacation Club Camry continued to worsen in the 20th spot when Crew Chief Paul Clapprood called Bliss to pit road. The pit crew serviced the ill handling Camry and sent Bliss back on track, still in the 20th position. Slipping a couple spots, the event’s second caution flew on lap 85. This time Bliss’ Camry was primarily loose getting into the turns and it was left up to the pit crew to make more adjustments to the 19. According to Bliss it didn’t feel like they changed anything with the handling of the car and started to talk with Clapprood about coming in under green. Coincidentally, one lap before Bliss was going hit pit road under green the final caution flag flew of the afternoon. Restarting 25th Bliss was unable to advance in the unresponsive Camry to conclude the 163-lap event.
Start- 16th Finish- 25th Laps Led -0 Points- 19 points
Driver QUOTE: “We had an ok day. Our qualifying effort was great, although during the race the car was not responsive to any adjustments. I’d like to thank Holiday Inn Club Vacations for coming on board this weekend and I look forward to them coming back next weekend in Las Vegas.”
David Starr Finishes 26th in the Hisense 250
David Starr and the No. 44 Zachry Camry qualified 30th for Saturday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. When an early caution flag waved, Starr brought his Camry to pit road for fuel and two rounds down on the track bar. Scored in the 26th position on lap 28, the car’s handling was getting better, but not where the team wanted it. Starr came back to pit road on lap 51 for four tires and fuel. 30 laps later, Starr came on the radio reporting that the No. 44 Zachry Camry was tight off in the corners and the team pitted on the next lap for four tires, fuel, air pressure adjustment and one round out of the right rear. After a long 250-mile race, David Starr brought the No. 44 Zachry Camry home 26th.
Start- 30th Finish- 26th Laps Led- 0 Points- 18 points
Driver QUOTE: “We had a good handling car during practice and unfortunately something happened to the car during the race that took us out of our comfort zone. My crew chief, Greg Conner, and the entire No. 44 Zachry team did a great job and I look forward to heading to Vegas.”
Cale Conley Finishes 34th in the Hisense 250
The Hisense 250 was plagued with bad luck for Cale Conley and the No. 14 TriStar Motorsports team. In qualifying, the rookie laid down laps fast enough to advance to the second round. Unfortunately, an issue with the radiator hose forced Conley to sit out the final rounds of qualifying and begin the 250-mile race from the tail end of the field. From the drop of the green flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Conley began to move through the field running as high as 21st. As the laps were winding down, Conley reported mechanical issues and dropped to the apron, bringing out the caution. Conley was forced to take his Toyota Camry to the garage, finishing the race in the 34th position.
Start – 24th Finish- 34th Laps Led- 0 Points- 9 points
Driver QUOTE: “This weekend was tough. The No. 14 Toyota Camry had speed; that was apparent in qualifying. Unfortunately we were unable to get the result we wanted, but we logged laps and built on our team chemistry. On to Vegas!”