With fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. pushing him in the two-car draft, Jimmie Johnson nipped Clint Bowyer by 0.002 seconds, tying the closest finish in NASCAR history since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.
The previous mark came in Darlington in 2003 with Ricky Craven edging Kurt Busch.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were third and fourth, respectively. Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.
“I’m sure when I watch the video, there’ll be plenty of things I would have liked to have done different,” Jeff Gordon said.
With win vaulted Johnson, the series’ defending champion, with five points of the series lead, which is held by Carl Edwards, who finished sixth.
The day came without the signature big wreck that Talladega Superspeedway has been known for, with only six cautions.
The lead changes, however, were typical Talladega. There were 88 lead changes tied the previous mark, which came here last spring.