Jimmie Johnson made his second consecutive journey to victory lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by leading only one lap: the final one. A late-race caution set the stage for a dramatic finish for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and erased race leader Matt Kenseth's somewhat comfortable lead. Kenseth had led a record 146 of 267 laps and was headed for his third Las Vegas Motor Speedway NASCAR Nextel Cup Series victory when rookie Denny Hamlin and Kenny Wallace brought out the caution flag on lap 264. Johnson raced to the outside of Kenseth on the final lap and the pair raced side-by-side through Turns 3 and 4. Johnson beat Kenseth to the finish line by a scant 0.045 sec. to claim the victory. For the capacity crowd who braved the weekend's unseasonable cold and wind ñ not to mention a little rain and snow ñ the thrilling finish was well worth wearing the extra clothing. "Today we didn't have the fastest car at times, but we got it right at the end of the race," said Johnson, who earned nearly $400,000 for his 20th career Cup victory. Johnson's Lowe's Chevrolet team was guided again today by Darian Grubb, who is filling in for regular crew chief Chad Knaus while he serves a suspension for rules infractions discovered at Daytona in February. "I'm happy and confident in the team's ability to listen to me throughout the day and Darian's ability as I'm telling him what the car is doing and he's making great adjustments. He's put us in race-winning contention at the end of every race this year so far. We wanted to be off to a nice start and this is more than that. We hope to keep this momentum rolling. "I personally feel the green-white-checkered is a great compromise," added Johnson, who leaves Las Vegas as the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points leader. "If I was a paying fan and sat in the grandstands and the race ended under caution, I'd be upset." "My day went great until the final corner," admitted Kenseth, after steering his DeWalt Ford Fusion to a second-place finish. "Other than that, my day went great. We had great pit stops. My team just did a fabulous job like they do every week. We had a great car. Jimmie was catching me, and I knew that green-white-checkered, we would probably be in trouble because he was a lot faster than me when they threw the caution." Hometown hero Kyle Busch finished third, his second consecutive top-five finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Busch waged a heated battle with defending Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart with 30 laps remaining. "The Ice Age II Monte Carlo was pretty good today," said Kyle. "It wasn't one of the best cars all day. Matt Kenseth had a very strong race car. Jimmie (Johnson) was pretty mediocre throughout the day. We were ahead of him for a little bit there and if you give Jimmie a green-white-checkered, and he's in first or second, he's going to put on a whale of a show for us and he ended up doing that today." Busch was asked about his battle with Stewart. At one point, Stewart stuck his hand out the window and displayed his displeasure with the younger driver. "We never hit or anything, but I guess I have to go have another chitchat with him and figure out what I did wrong." Stewart suffered a cut tire and eventually finished 12th. "I had to push so hard to get by Kyle," said Tony. "We just got tight behind him and brushed the wall (on lap 256). That's probably where we did the damage to the tire, but for sure it shoved the fender in. That's what made me tight and lost us all those positions. Then at the end, we cut a tire down and had to go to the back. I'm not blaming Kyle for that because that was after the last pit stop. You've got less than 30 laps to go, and you've got to race at that point. I have no ill feelings toward him over me hitting the wall while I was behind him. What I'm upset about is that with 80 laps to go we're sitting there for 15-20 laps behind him, trying to get by and he's holding us up for no reason. With 80 laps to go he's holding us up and we've got another pit stop to make. Work on you car and go on ñ there's just an etiquette. I'm frustrated with it and I honestly think I have every right to be. There's absolutely no reason to hold a driver up when there's 80 laps to go. That's the only thing I'm disappointed about." Busch later explained in the post-race press conference that he would catch up with Stewart at the airport or during the week to see if he could learn what he might be doing wrong and how to remedy the situation. Bud Pole Award winner Greg Biffle finished eighth. Denny Hamlin was the highest-finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender, in 10th place. "We had a seventh to 12th-place car," said Hamlin. "The driver made some mistakes. I got into the 22 car (Dave Blaney) earlier and crumpled the left-front fender. That killed the downforce. And, then I stalled on one pit stop. Finally, with two laps to go, we got into someone else and damaged the car. I think it could have been a better finish." Las Vegas native and 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch finished 16th. Time of race: 3 hrs., 2 min., 13 sec. Average speed: 133.358 mph. Margin of victory: 0.045 sec. 2006 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 finish (unofficial): 1. Jimmie Johnson, 2. Matt Kenseth, 3. Kyle Busch, 4. Kasey Kahne, 5. Jeff Gordon, 6. Mark Martin, 7. Jeff Burton, 8. Greg Biffle, 9. Casey Mears, 10. Denny Hamlin, 11. Kevin Harvick, 12. Robby Gordon, 13. Joe Nemechek, 14. Elliott Sadler, 15. Clint Bowyer, 16. Kurt Busch, 17. J.J. Yeley, 18. Jeff Green, 19. Dale Jarrett, 20. Martin Truex, 21. Tony Stewart, 22. Brian Vickers, 23. Jamie McMurray, 24. Terry Labonte, 25. Jeremy Mayfield, 26. Carl Edwards, 27. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 28. Scott Riggs, 29. Kyle Petty, 30. Bobby Labonte, 31. Dave Blaney, 32. Scott Wimmer, 33. David Stremme, 34. Brent Sherman, 35. Michael Waltrip, 36. Sterling Marlin, 37. Kevin Lepage, 38. Kenny Wallace, 39. Travis Kvapil, 40. Reed Sorenson, 41. Ken Schrader, 42. Chad Chaffin, 43. Ryan Newman. Failed to qualify: Stanton Barrett, Hermie Sadler, Brandon Ash, Mike Skinner, Morgan Shepherd, Randy LaJoie.