BUSCH: Bliss grabs first career win at Charlotte

Mike Bliss made a very bold move to take the lead at the Charlotte Lowe's Motor Speedway to clinch his first career victory in the NASCAR Busch Series late Friday night. Bliss held off the 2003 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' champion Matt Kenseth to...

Mike Bliss made a very bold move to take the lead at the Charlotte Lowe's Motor Speedway to clinch his first career victory in the NASCAR Busch Series late Friday night. Bliss held off the 2003 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' champion Matt Kenseth to walk away with one large grin when the checker flag flew.

After a late race caution, Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson were side-by-side prior to Bliss making his charge to the front when he made it three-wide exiting Turn 4 for the lead.

The 12th and final caution closed the gap that Bliss had built. When the field returned to green flag racing, Bliss held off the final challenge by Kenseth.

"I just drove my heart out," commented the Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy driver Bliss. "I wanted the win. I love this team, I will be sad to leave it."

Joe Gibbs Racing announced several weeks ago that Bliss would not be returning as primary driver of the No. 20 Chevrolet next season. With the win, Bliss' future to secure a new ride looks quite secure.

"He came out of nowhere," said Kenseth. "I don't know where he came from, what a great move on his part."

Jimmie Johnson hung on for third as Kenseth and Bliss battled in the final laps. It was Johnson's first appearance in a Busch series ride since he left the series for brighter horizons in 2001.

"That was a lot of fun," said Johnson. "I am sorry I couldn't bring the car into victory lane."

Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch complete the top five.

Point leader Martin Truex, Jr. finished sixth and maintains the lead in series standings by 144 points over second place Kyle Busch. As the series draws to it's season closer in Homestead, it is down to a two man battle for the series crown.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Mike Bliss , Martin Truex Jr. , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing