Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell claimed Bathurst 1000 victory by just 0.3129sec as Whincup resisted enormous pressure from David Reynolds to the flag.
The timing of the final safety car period left all the leaders playing a cat-and-mouse game of fuel conservation heading toward the finish – alternately backing off and charging to try and make it to the end.
Whincup kept his Triple Eight Holden at the front throughout the tense denouement, securing the fourth Bathurst win of his career and extending his V8 Supercars points lead in the process.
Had Rod Nash/Ford Performance Racing driver Reynolds made it past Whincup in the car he shared with Dean Canto, the pair would have claimed their maiden V8 win in the series' greatest race.
Whincup and Dumbrell's teammates Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff came home third. Both Triple Eight cars had dropped out of sequence with early tire problems, but were able to get back among the lead pack when the next safety car came at the right time for them.
Lowndes was still hurt by having to queue behind the sister No. 1 car in the pits, so had to produce a late charge through the field to secure the podium finish.
His final victim was Holden Racing Team's James Courtney. The former champion was having his best run of a hugely disappointing season and was all over Whincup for a while in the closing stages before having to ease off - losing out to Lowndes with just two laps to go.
Courtney and co-driver Cameron McConville's 2011 Bathurst winning HRT teammates Garth Tander and Nick Percat were out of contention early on after Percat hit the wall at the Dipper.
Michael Caruso and Greg Ritter completed the top five in a very competitive run for Garry Rogers' Holden team. Reynolds' performance was the only consolation for FPR on a disastrous day for its lead cars.
Mark Winterbottom's title hopes faded as he and Steven Richards finished only 11th, hurt by a late tire issue forcing a very early last stop.
Polesitter Will Davison and co-driver John McIntyre had a string of issues, including a pit procedure penalty, McIntyre being punted into a restart spin that left him last, a very slow pit stop, and finally a component breakage that sent Davison flying over the gravel at high speed late on.