Monday, March 2, 2009

Mike Bliss Put On the Hits In a Sam's Town Thriller

If the Sam's Town 300 had been a demolition derby, Mike Bliss would have been the car to beat.

In a hard-driving, caution-filled slugfest, Bliss made contact with just about everyone and everything on the track--Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, The Wall.

And you thought Dale Jr. had bad luck.

Truth be told, Bliss' loss was the race fan's gain. With caution after caution and smash-up after smash-up the race didn't have one dull moment in the mix. And that's why folks tune in. There was so much insanity, the announcers in the broadcast booth were even more tongue-tied than usual. At one point, they confessed there was too much happening at once and they couldn't keep up. Unfortunately for him, we have Mike Bliss to thank for most of that excitement.

The most memorable wreck of the day came with just five laps to go. Denny Hamlin's car blew a tire and Bliss powered right into his bumper, lifting Hamlin's back wheels off the ground and starting a fire under the hood. This made for some great replay footage, and some deliciously tense moments as Hamlin had to wait for his car to roll to a halt before climbing out of the steel-can inferno.

All's well that ends well, as the saying goes. Hamlin walked away unscathed to race another day and Bliss left the track to face the cameras behind the wall. I couldn't help but feel for the guy as he told a reporter that it was just a "weird day" and he couldn't wait to go home.

Hey Mike B., don't fret. If the series gave out points for entertainment value, you'd be leading the pack. And besides, if this racing thing doesn't pan out you might just have a future in roller derby.

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