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Jimmie Johnson wins AAA Texas 500

After a thrilling late-race duel with championship rival Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 500 for his 60th-career win. Johnson now holds a seven point lead with two races remaining in the 2012 Sprint Cup campaign.

For as tame as the opening 450 miles of the AAA Texas 500 were, the final stages more than made up for it.

Jimmie Johnson beat Brad Keselowski after a duel that saw the pair rub doors twice as they fought for the race lead. It is Johnson's 60th-career Sprint Cup win and his fifth of the 2012 campaign. With the victory - along with an extra point for leading the most laps - Johnson now holds a seven-point lead with just two races remaining. It is Keselowski's largest deficit of the entire Chase.

Kyle Busch finished third, with Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart rounding out the top-five. Clint Bowyer came home sixth, with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Greg Biffle completing the top-10.

It appeared the race would come down to fuel mileage, but a hard crash by Marcos Ambrose on the 311th lap drew the caution flag and allowed the teams to pit for fuel and tires. Keselowski's team only put two fresh tires on his No. 2 Dodge, moving him out front alongside Busch for the restart.

Keselowski pulled away after the restart - which Johnson and Busch both claimed he jumped - but another yellow flew when Kasey Kahne got the worst of a jam up between Biffle and Jeff Gordon. Kahne's left rear tire was flattened and he slapped the wall in turns one and two to slow the field once more.

Keselowski and Johnson stayed side-by-side on the subsequent restart, banging into each other as they flashed past the start-finish line and then brushing together in turn one. Johnson began to drift back off Keselowski but Mark Martin wrecked on the front-stretch to draw one last yellow.

On the last restart, Johnson beat Keselowski through the first and second turns and pulled away to win by .808 seconds.

Johnson's win also marks the 700th triumph for Chevrolet in top-level stock car racing.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.