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RACING: Burton wins at Texas with last-lap pass

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jeff Burton won a battle of attrition by leading only one lap -- the last one. After hounding Matt Kenseth for the final 15 laps during a 37-lap green-flag run to the finish Sunday afternoon, Burton finally got underneath Ken...

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jeff Burton won a battle of attrition by leading only one lap -- the last one.

After hounding Matt Kenseth for the final 15 laps during a 37-lap green-flag run to the finish Sunday afternoon, Burton finally got underneath Kenseth through the first and second corners and made the pass stick.

Burton beat Kenseth to the finish line by .410 seconds to win the Samsung 500, and in doing so, he became the first repeat winner in 13 NASCAR Nextel Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway. The victory was Burton's first of the season and the 19th of his Cup career.

Mark Martin ran third in his first event after a two-race hiatus; points leader Jeff Gordon was fourth after scraping the wall while leading on Lap 312; and Jamie McMurray came home fifth for his first top five since last August.

Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya, Denny Hamlin and David Stremme rounded out the top 10.

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"He held me off for 15 laps -- that's just how good he is," Burton said of Kenseth. "My guys did a great job all day. We were really good on long runs. We got beat up on the short runs, but (at the end) we got just what we needed, a long run. It worked out for us."

Kenseth said he wouldn't have done things differently in his attempt to hold off Burton.

"If I had to do it all over, I really couldn't do anything else besides wreck," Kenseth said. "I just got beat by a superior car. Jeff did a great job figuring out how to get around me. I was trying to make it as difficult as I could.

"Overall, it was a great day. It's painful to get beat on the last lap, but it was a great day."

Attrition eliminated most of the pre-race favorites from contention. Tony Stewart scraped the wall early in the race, but that was the least of his problems. On Lap 238 Stewart was battling Montoya through Turn 4 when Montoya drifted high, clipped the No. 20 Chevrolet and sent Stewart spinning into the path of Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson, who had run in the top three most of the afternoon, had already fallen back with ignition problems, but contact with the side of Stewart's car did irreparable harm to the nose of the reigning Nextel Cup champion's No. 48 Chevy. Johnson lost 23 laps in the garage for repairs and finally parked the car on Lap 290.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the dominant car during the middle portion of the race, but when Stewart spun without help on Lap 252, Earnhardt, who was leading at the time, checked up. Kyle Busch, running behind Earnhardt, couldn't slow the No. 5 Chevy in time, lifted the rear bumper of the No. 8 Chevrolet off the track and destroyed the bumper cover.

Earnhardt's crew tried to repair the car through a succession of pit stops, but those attempts proved futile, and Earnhardt finished 36th. Busch came home 37th and Johnson 38th.

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With Earnhardt and Johnson sidelined, Kurt Busch drove his No. 2 Dodge to the point and began to pull away, but two laps after Busch pitted for four tires and fuel on Lap 291, NASCAR called the seventh and final caution of the race for debris in Turn 4.

Having lost a lap during the stop, Busch got the "lucky dog" free pass to the lead lap for the restart on lap 298, but he gained only three positions in the final 37 laps and finished 11th.

Notes

Gordon led 173 laps and maintained an eight-point lead over second-place Burton in the Nextel Cup standings. ... Earnhardt led 96 laps before the mishap on Lap 252 ruined his day.

NASCAR Nextel Cup

Samsung 500 Results

At Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

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(Start position in parentheses)

Sunday's Results

1. (2) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 334, $526,766, 143.359 mph.

2. (4) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 334, $357,266.

3. (6) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 334, $275,583.

4. (1) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 334, $255,811.

5. (13) Jamie McMurray, Ford, 334, $173,325.

6. (21) Greg Biffle, Ford, 334, $160,125.

7. (24) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 334, $164,945.

8. (16) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dodge, 334, $168,375.

9. (7) Denny Hamlin, Chevrolet, 334, $143,100.

10. (14) David Stremme, Dodge, 334, $130,175.

11. (17) Kurt Busch, Dodge, 334, $157,233.

12. (10) Carl Edwards, Ford, 334, $129,975.

13. (27) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, 334, $131,325.

14. (36) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 334, $114,325.

15. (42) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 333, $113,325.

16. (8) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 333, $123,775.

17. (15) Elliott Sadler, Dodge, 333, $131,870.

18. (25) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 333, $108,325.

19. (30) David Gilliland, Ford, 332, $137,639.

20. (34) Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 332, $154,816.

21. (40) Dave Blaney, Toyota, 332, $137,033.

22. (35) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 332, $102,325.

23. (33) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 332, $113,175.

24. (23) Robby Gordon, Ford, 332, $102,625.

25. (9) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 332, $146,861.

26. (31) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 332, $121,683.

27. (39) Scott Riggs, Dodge, 331, $105,925.

28. (22) Bobby Labonte, Dodge, 331, $133,261.

29. (11) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 331, $140,961.

30. (37) Dale Jarrett, Toyota, 331, $91,575.

31. (38) Ken Schrader, Ford, 331, $112,364.

32. (20) Ryan Newman, Dodge, 330, $122,625.

33. (29) Ricky Rudd, Ford, running, $118,933.

34. (28) Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, running, $97,508.

35. (32) Kyle Petty, Dodge, running, $94,272.

36. (12) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, engine, 288, $128,983.

37. (5) Kyle Busch, Chevrolet, running, $100,475.

38. (3) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, accident, $135,261.

39. (19) David Ragan, Ford, running, $117,025.

40. (26) Reed Sorenson, Dodge, engine, 197, $89,075.

41. (41) Mike Bliss, Dodge, accident, 42, $80,960.

42. (43) Kenny Wallace, Chevrolet, engine, 38, $80,865.

43. (18) J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet, accident, 1, $108,898.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 39 minutes, 41seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.410 seconds.

Caution Flags: 7 for 28 laps.

Lead Changes: 13 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J.Gordon 1-45, E.Sadler 46, R.Gordon 47, J.Gordon 48-96, D.Earnhardt Jr. 97-99, B.Vickers 100-101, J.Gordon 102-153, D.Earnhardt Jr. 154-169, R.Sorenson 170-171, D.Earnhardt Jr. 172-248, Ku.Busch 249-290, J.Gordon 291-317, M.Kenseth 318-333, J.Burton 334.

Leaders Summary: Jeff Gordon 4 times for 173 laps, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3 times for 96 laps, Kurt Busch 1 time for 42 laps, Matt Kenseth 1 time for 16 laps, Reed Sorenson 1 time for 2 laps, Brian Vickers 1 time for 2 laps, Jeff Burton 1 time for 1 lap, Robby Gordon 1 time for 1 lap, Elliott Sadler 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points Standings

1. J.Gordon 1,136. 2. J.Burton 1,128. 3. M.Kenseth 1,011. 4. J.Johnson 955. 5. D.Hamlin 914. 6. C.Bowyer 866. 7. Ky.Busch 856. 8. C.Edwards 837. 9. T.Stewart 814. 10. J.McMurray 805.

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