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NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

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Bliss Bound for Las Vegas as Division III Champion
Oct 6, 2006 - updated Oct 6th, 2006 10:33pm
Web posted by Jeremy Davidson

Daytona Beach, Fla. --

New York Driver Delivers Second NASCAR Title to Bliss Family Since 2001

(Oct. 5, 2006) – At the start of the 2005 season, NASCAR introduced a new championship points format that allowed drivers to collect points at more than one track – to broaden their racing horizons and seek out the best competition.
Mark Bliss, of Arcade, N.Y., took his team on the road to Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway and Lake Erie Speedway, in North East, Pa., – and returned home with a championship. Bliss claimed the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III championship after recording seven wins and 25 top-five finishes in 25 starts at the two tracks.
Based on his best 16 finishes of the year, Bliss’ point total of 1,060 delivered the NDWS Division III honors and he’ll collect a $25,000 point fund award as the Division III champion. As the NASCAR point leader at both Lake Erie and Holland, Bliss claimed two positions – representing both tracks – on the NDWS Division III leaderboard. He’ll also receive a $15,000 award for finishing second in the NDWS Division III standings, for a total of $40,000 in point fund awards.
It is the first major NASCAR championship for Bliss, who won the 2005 Holland track championship before setting his sights on the top Division III honors this season. It’s also the second major title for the Bliss family. Mark’s younger brother, Vern, won a NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championship in 2001, while racing at Holland.
“It’s pretty gratifying,” said Bliss. “When Vern stepped down [from racing], a lot of the same guys and sponsors stayed behind me and helped me. We’ve accomplished a lot in the past two years.”
Bliss finished 14th in the NDWS Divisional point standings last season, and participated in a modest presentation at the awards banquet. Watching the champions give their speeches at the end of night, with hundreds of guests and NASCAR dignitaries in attendance, provided plenty of motivation. Bliss told his family and friends “I want to be the one giving a speech next year.”
Bliss will get his chance, at the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series awards banquet on Nov. 11 in Las Vegas.

One more for Las Vegas … Although Bliss has clinched the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III title, the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has one more race to decide its NASCAR points champion and which driver will represent the Bullring in the final NDWS Division III standings. The track’s season was extended though Oct. 7 and Saturday’s event will be the 18th race of the season for the Bullring’s NASCAR Super Late Model drivers.
Scott Gafforini, of Las Vegas, leads Justin Johnson by just four points in the battle for the NASCAR points lead at the Bullring. He is currently ranked fifth in the NDWS Division III standings and could move as high as third, pending the outcome of Saturday’s race – or be replaced on the leaderboard by Johnson if the NASCAR points lead changes hands.

NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III standings (best 16 finishes) as of Oct. 5, 2006
Pos Driver Name Home Track Starts Wins T-5 T-10 Points


1. Mark Bliss Lake Erie Speedway 16 4 16 16 1,060
2. Mark Bliss Holland International 16 4 16 16 1,060
3. Jamie Hunt Columbus Motor Speedway 16 4 13 16 1,036
4. Scotty Backman Colorado National 16 7 16 16 1,030
5. Scott Gafforini* Las Vegas Motor Speedway 16 5 13 16 1,028
6. Rick Sexton Jr Kalamazoo Speedway 16 3 12 16 1,024
7. Kevin Nuttleman Lacrosse Fairgrounds 16 2 13 16 1,022
8. Andy Loden Hickory Motor Speedway 16 10 15 16 1,014
9. Steve Lance Jr Peoria Speedway 16 9 13 15 954
10. Frank Deiny Jr Old Dominion Speedway 16 9 16 16 928
11. John Vallo Kil-Kare Speedway 16 2 11 14 840
12. Bobby Latham, III Magic Valley Speedway 16 4 12 16 830
13. Chuck Steuer Riverhead Raceway 14 0 7 13 712
14. Dan Shelliam Dubuque Fairgrounds 12 3 9 12 690
15. Brock Behnke R'ford Speedway 13 3 11 13 594

* NASCAR points leader as of Oct. 4. The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has one final event scheduled for Oct. 7.

For more information, contact:
Jeremy Davidson, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 681-4173 or jdavidson@nascar.com


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