Kyle Busch held Martin Truex Jr at bay to claim his second NASCAR Sprint Cup win of the 2013 season in Saturday's Texas Motor Speedway night race.
Busch had started from pole and dominated the first half of the race.
But when his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota's handling drifted away during the transition from evening to night-time conditions, it looked like he might have to settle for a top-three finish at best.
Truex, hunting for his first victory since 2007, twice got his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota to the front for long stints.
He had a comfortable advantage going into the closing stages, only to be vaulted by Busch when the field pitted for tyres under a debris caution with 20 laps left.
Busch then built a one-second cushion and although that dwindled in last-lap traffic, he was not seriously threatened.
Jeff Gordon was the other major victory contender, holding the lead for several spells. But a puncture when running third late on left him in the Hendrick garage with wheel hub damage.
Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle were third and fourth, ahead of Joey Logano.
Both Penske Fords had pre-race drama in technical inspections, with Logano having to start last as work on the car's rear could not be completed in time.
He made it through the field to fifth, ahead of points leader Jimmie Johnson.
Dale Earnhardt Jr was a top three factor until a battery issue and pit penalties cost him five laps.
Aric Almirola took seventh, better than his fellow qualifying stars managed. His Petty team-mate Marcos Ambrose lost ground in a brush with David Gilliland, while front row starter Kurt Busch spent many laps in the Furniture Row garage due to fuel rail issues.
Denny Hamlin's Gibbs stand-in Brian Vickers took eighth. Champion Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman completed the top 10.
Results - 334 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 3h27m40.000s 2. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota + 0.508s 3. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 2.839s 4. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford + 3.250s 5. Joey Logano Penske Ford + 4.482s 6. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 5.657s 7. Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 5.884s 8. Brian Vickers Joe Gibbs Toyota + 7.584s 9. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 7.845s 10. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 9.341s 11. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet + 10.384s 12. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford + 10.979s 13. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet + 11.542s 14. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota + 11.733s 15. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 14.384s 16. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 20.091s 17. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet + 24.748s 18. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford + 26.714s 19. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 1 lap 20. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 1 lap 21. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 1 lap 22. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota + 2 laps 23. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 2 laps 24. David Reutimann BK Toyota + 2 laps 25. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet + 2 laps 26. David Ragan Front Row Ford + 2 laps 27. David Stremme Swan Toyota + 3 laps 28. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 3 laps 29. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 4 laps 30. Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 4 laps 31. Casey Mears Germain Ford + 4 laps 32. David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 5 laps 33. Austin Dillon Phoenix Chevrolet + 8 laps 34. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet + 8 laps 35. Joe Nemechek NEMCO-JRR Toyota + 10 laps 36. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford + 12 laps 37. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 18 laps Retirements: Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 306 laps JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 293 laps Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 290 laps* Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 140 laps Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 138 laps Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 44 laps * Running again at chequered flag
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