Stewart led 173 of 334 laps but had to come from behind in the closing laps to grab the win. Jeff Burton held the lead late in the race when he opted not to pit during the final round of stops, but Burton ran out of fuel with five laps to go, allowing Stewart to take the top spot for good.
With the win, Stewart cut Carl Edwards' lead to just three points. Edwards finished second. Just two races remain -- Phoenix (next Sunday) and Homestead, FL (Nov. 20).
Suspended driver Kyle Busch attended the 500-mile race at Texas, sitting atop his team's pit box and watching Michael McDowell drive his No.18 car to a 33rd-place finish. Busch was parked for this event as well as Saturday's Nationwide race for deliberately wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in Friday night's Camping World Truck Series event at this track.
Busch fell to 11th in the point standings and is now one of three drivers mathematically eliminated from the Sprint Cup Series title. Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin have also been eliminated from the championship battle.
Kevin Harvick fell 33 points behind Edwards after finishing 13th, while Kenseth is 38 points behind.
Jimmie Johnson, the five-time defending series champion, finished 14th and dropped 55 points out of the lead.