Jamie Whincup secured a fifth V8 Supercars championship with third place in the Sydney finale, which was won by Shane van Gisbergen.
Following Saturday's dramas, Whincup had a commanding 110-point margin over Triple Eight team-mate Craig Lowndes coming into the decider.
That did not stop Whincup doing his utmost to win the race. Having qualified fourth, he led by the end of the first pit sequence as his tactic of pitting early proved more successful than polesitter and early leader van Gisbergen's strategy of running longer.
While Whincup pitted both during a mid-race safety car, then again for a top-up as soon as it was possible to get to the finish without stopping again, van Gisbergen stayed out during the caution, ran long once more then emerged side by side with Whincup.
On cold tyres, the Tekno Holden lost out on the exit of Turn 1, but van Gisbergen dived back past next time around.
That left van Gisbergen and Whincup behind Jason Bright and David Reynolds, whose totally different strategies paid off beautifully with the timing of safety cars.
Reynolds was quickly pushed back after the final restart, but Bright doggedly held on in the lead as he conserved fuel to make it to the end following an early final stop.
Van Gisbergen finally made it back into the lead with 10 laps to go. Whincup tried to follow him, only to clash with Bright at the final corner, sending both sideways.
Bright then repassed Whincup into Turn 1, and the latter subsequently played it safe in third as van Gisbergen ran away to claim victory.
Reynolds retained fourth, with fifth the best Lowndes could manage.
He was followed home by fellow defeated title contenders Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison.
Russell Ingall came from 24th on the grid to 10th in his V8 Supercars farewell, chasing Alex Davison and Chaz Mostert to the flag.
Results - 74 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden 1h58m09.0327s 2. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +1.9465s 3. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden +2.5122s 4. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +2.8321s 5. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden +3.6775s 6. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +4.2235s 7. Will Davison FPR Ford +7.3858s 8. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +8.2434s 9. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford +8.4291s 10. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden +8.9082s 11. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +9.4868s 12. Scott McLaughlin Garry Rogers Holden +11.9462s 13. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +13.1508s 14. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden +16.4725s 15. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +17.0365s 16. Alexandre Premat Garry Rogers Holden +18.8251s 17. Todd Kelly Nissan +19.4015s 18. Rick Kelly Nissan +20.4206s 19. Michael Caruso Nissan +24.6617s 20. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +32.5505s 21. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +1m14.0584s 22. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +1 lap 23. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +8 laps 24. Nick Percat HRT Holden +11 laps Retirements: Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden 58 laps Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford 53 laps Garth Tander HRT Holden 39 laps James Moffat Nissan 30 laps