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When he passed Dillon on lap 79, it was the first time Gaughan led at Texas since the last of his wins there in the 2003 fall race. Within 20 laps, Gaughan built a 3.3-second lead over Dillon before a series of green-flag stops.

Once everybody had cycled through the pits, including a lap then led by Burton, Gaughan retook the lead on lap 110 and stayed there for 24 laps. But he then drifted high in the fourth turn and Dillon caught up with him _ and eventually passed him on lap 134.