Minute-by-Minute Talladega blog

May 05, 2013, Pat DeCola, NASCAR.com

David Ragan

Your one-stop shop for all related Talladega news, social media hype, and race videos

9:03 p.m. ET: Congrats to today's winner, David Ragan! On that note, on to Darlington!
 


8:45 p.m. ET: Check out the Race Replay for the Aaron's 499 race at Talladega Superspeedway.
 
8:41 p.m. ET: From Front Row Motorsports (@FrontRowNASCAR) Bob's FOX debut! http://twitpic.com/cojfo8
 
8:41 p.m. ET: From Front Row Motorsports (@FrontRowNASCAR) Gilly comes over. pic.twitter.com/QGESMIED7W
 
8:41 p.m. ET: From Front Row Motorsports (@FrontRowNASCAR) Team is enjoying its first Victory Lane celebration!
 
8:19 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) --
8:17 p.m. ET: From Kevin Harvick (@Kevin Harvick) -- And that's what @NASCAR is all about!!! What a win for that team and @DavidRagan!!

8:15 p.m. ET: From Mark Martin (@55MarkMartin) -- That's beyond awesome.

8:14 p.m. ET: From Johanna Long (@JOHANNALONG) Wow! That's awesome !

8:13 p.m. ET: From Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman) -- FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS!!!! Wow!!! That's AWESOME!! That right there is why we Super Speedway race. It's the GREAT equalizer. #NASCAR

8:12 p.m. Checkered Flag: Front Row Motorsports teammates David Ragan and David Gilliland go 1-2 with Carl Edwards, Michael Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson in the top five.
 
8:12 p.m. ET: DAVID RAGAN WINS.

Lap 190: Green flag: Matt Kenseth leads Carl Edwards. If the field doesn't get to the white flag, the yellow will end the race. Clint Bowyer to the tail end of the field for missing a lugnut.

8:08 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- As was case last night, #NASCAR says one attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.

8:07 p.m. ET: From NASCAR (@NASCAR) -- WATCH: Pile-up with 8 laps to go! Tune-in for final laps on @NASCARONFOX #NASCAR - snpy.tv/16aBOjf
 
8:02 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Kenseth: "They're going to have to pull plug. Going to be another 5 or 6 laps and can't see a thing. They're still picking up driveshafts."

7:59 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- It's going to get real dark soon.

7:58 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- Great news! #NASCAR RT @JoeGibbsRacing: Everyone in wreck is ok.

7:57 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- @jjyeley1: "I was trying to win the race...Look like @StenhouseJr went to the outside & there's not enough room out there." #NASCAR

7:55 p.m. ET: From Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) -- Another big wreck - #24 involved. #JeffGordon - "****! Got in the grass. Tore the nose (front end of car) up. Still rolling." #Team24

7:54 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- Huge wreck! @KurtBusch rolled over. Lots of cars involved. #NASCAR

Lap 179: Top 20 cars within a second of the lead with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 9th and Danica Patrick in 10th
 
7:51 p.m. ET: From Austin Dillon (@austindillon3) -- Any predictions on this wreck coming? I may be wrong

Lap 178: Green flag: 10 to go, Jimmie Johnson leads Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip, Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the top 10

7:47 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- "Go like hell, and see what happens," @TonyOldman10 tells @DanicaPatrick ... Spotter then warns Danica: "Be careful of the 88. He likes to screw with your mind a little"

Lap 175: Caution flag: Michael McDowell hits the wall. Jeff Gordon is the beneficiary of the free pass.

7:39 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Vickers staying out. Figured out they can pass the 22 on the last lap if they keep racing. All about those points for @dennyhamlin

7:37 p.m. ET: From Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) -- #JeffGordon - "These are some bigger (rain) drops now." #NASCAR #Team24
 
7:35 p.m. ET: Stenhouse and Truex were too fast entering pit road; Logano is out (engine).

7:35 p.m. ET: NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- Green flag stops should start this lap. Big stop for all these crews. #NASCAR
 
7:33 p.m. ET: From Ryan Blaney (@RyanBlaney22) -- Kenseth is a restricter plate genius. Very smart. #realtalk

7:24 p.m. ET: From Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) -- Matt Kenseth has led over 700 laps this season. Next closest is 454. #NASCAR
 
Lap 152: Kenseth, Edwards, Stenhouse, Ambrose, Gilliland, Johnson, Kurt Busch, Waltrip and Truex make a nine-car front pack within .9 seconds of each other with Jamie McMurray and Dale Jr. leading the second pack, 1.7 seconds behind leader Kenseth
 
7:20 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Rough turn of events for Joey Logano. Third at the red flag, now his car being pushed to the garage with an apparent electrical problem. 
 
Lap 147: The first seven cars separated by only .847 seconds with Michael Waltrip half a second back
 
7:16 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Problems for Logano. Checking under the hood on pit road ... "Plug wires are burned up," Logano crewman says
 
Lap 141: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Marcos Ambrose leading a second train on the high line to try to catch up with leader Matt Kenseth.
 
7:13 p.m. ET: From Timmy Hill (@TimmyHillRacer) -- The green flag drops and these guys are putting on one heck of a show!

Lap 136: Jimmie Johnson and Michael Waltrip back up to third and fourth behind Edwards and leader Kenseth

7:09 p.m. ET: From NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) -- Lap 134: Kenseth jumps to the lead and leads the most laps for a third consecutive race. #NASCAR 

7:08 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Kenseth flys right up to the front in a few laps. Earnhardt-like. 

7:07 p.m. ET: From Miss Sprint Cup (@MissSprintCup) -- Awesome to see @Bobby_Labonte leading laps @TalladegaSuperS during his 700th start!! #GoBobbyGo -JR

7:06 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Four-wide for @DanicaPatrick for a second. A lot of three-wide right off the start 

7:04 p.m. ET: GREEN FLAG.

Lap 129: Bobby Labonte takes the lead as David Ragan, Scott Speed and Terry Labonte head to pit road.

Lap 128: Kurt Busch comes to pit road, relinquishing the lead to David Ragan.

Lap 126: Most cars come to pit road, but Kurt Busch, David Ragan, Scott Speed, Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte, David Gilliland, Regan Smith, Josh Wise stay out. Joey Logano leads the race off of pit road. 

Lap 126: Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wall. Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose on pit road, working on body issues. Pit road is now open. 

Lap 126: A wrecker is coming to push Juan Pablo Montoya off of pit road as the No. 42 team works to fire up his car.

6:58 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- 3 hours, 36 minutes for the red flag. I could've watched The Godfather 

6:57 p.m. ET: From Justin Allgaier (@J_Allgaier) -- Here we go boys and girls..... Should be an interesting finish!! Gonna be awesome!!

6:53 p.m. ET: From NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) -- Cars have been fired! Here's the live leaderboard just in case you forgot where the field stands: nas.cr/gk3f #NASCAR 

6:49 p.m. ET: From Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) -- Btw I'm on the couch at home. This sucks!

6:45 p.m. ET: From Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) -- Race is getting ready to restart. Can't wait to watch how this unfolds.

6:39 p.m. ET: OFFICIAL RAIN DELAY UPDATE: From NASCAR (@NASCAR) -- Looks like the race will start up again in 20 minutes - 7 pm ET! RT @HomeDepotRacing: "Drivers to their cars!" Best news ever!!

6:37 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- They've announced drivers to cars. Inside the media center, you can hear the cheers coming from the grandstands. 

6:36 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Drivers starting to come back. Gordon and Jamie Mac walking down pit road

6:35 p.m. ET: From Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) -- Word on the street…going green at 6:00 (CT). I imagine #CarlEdwards will be doing a lot of rearview mirror driving. #NASCAR

6:31 p.m. ET: From Kenny Bruce (@kennybruce) -- Last rain-shortened winners in Cup? @JeffGordonWeb (Pocono, 2012), Stewart (Fontana, 2012). #NASCAR

6:27 p.m. ET: From Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) -- Com'on track!!! Lets goooo.

6:26 p.m. ET:  From NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) -- UPDATE: Cars being uncovered. No official time frame has been reported. #NASCAR

6:25 p.m. ET: From Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) -- The Air Titan is so powerful it can watch "60 Minutes" in a half-hour.

6:24 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) --"Crew members: remove the car covers" - NASCAR

6:20 p.m. ET: From Landon Cassill (@landoncassill) -- We better get this show on the road

6:17 p.m. ET: UPDATE: Tower allows teams to roll generators out to the cars, and they can change the helmet shields.

6:07 p.m. ET: From Scott Speed (@scottspeed) -- Kudos to @NASCAR for not calling it earlier!! Think we ganna get back to green racing

6:02 p.m. ET: From Rodney Childers (@rchilders55) -- I don’t get this.. 90 more min to dry the track.. So we will have 30 min before dark to run 64laps.. At 48secs a lap.. #dontaddup

5:59 p.m.ET:  From Reid Spencer (@Reid_Spencer) -- Like a curtain being drawn, the cloud cover at Talladega is shifting to reveal blue sky behind it. Racing still more than an hour away, tho. 

5:55 p.m. ET: From Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) -- Track drying is underway @TalladegaSuperS #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/oGWtZPOcXY 

5:55 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- What I wouldn't give for one of those comfy couches in the Pocono Raceway media lounge right about now. 

5:54 p.m. ET: From Jeremy Troiano (@JT_Tribbiani), PR Rep for Joey Logano (@joeylogano) -- Just heard another hour and a half at least. 

5:44 p.m. ET: From Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) -- “@DriverThoughts: @gbiffle How is the Track Currently? Does it look dry from your point of view?” I just asked and they said 2 lanes dry now 

5:41 p.m. ET: From Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) -- “@nateryan: Clint Bowyer on Fox: "I'm ready to go back racing or get the hell out of here." #wisdom #nascar” -gotta love honesty, I concur.

5:39 p.m. ET: Watch -- Some of the best finishes and moments from the 88 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway

5:37 p.m. ET: Clint Bowyer on FOX -- I'm ready to go back to racing or get the hell out of here.

5:36 p.m. ET: From Landon Cassill (@landoncassill) -- With track position so important at this race, I think you'll see another big wreck between 15-30 laps to go, not as much last lap

5:22 p.m. ET: From James Buescher (@JamesBuescher) -- We are having a BABY BOY! We could not be more excited!! @Kayla_Hulsey did an awesome job with the reveal party! pic.twitter.com/14qekYJymr

5:19 p.m. ET: From Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) -- “@www_shaw: @gbiffle hows the body feeling looked like you took a couple of hard hits”.My neck is sore and i have a Headache that's about it 

5:11 p.m. ET: Here Comes the Sun: Bright blue, sunny skies are helping the NASCAR Air Titan with the drying process

5:09 p.m. ET: From Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) -- Every little bit helps! RT @jaybusbee: Bro with a leafblower's gonna make the difference today at a soaked Talladega. pic.twitter.com/Oyt7l2Xutb

5:07 p.m. ET: Points update: If the race ended now, Jimmie Johnson would lead Carl Edwards by 33 points. Then Earnhardt (-48), Bowyer (-52) and Keselowski (-55) 

5:05 p.m. ET: From Joey Logano (@joeylogano) -- Meeting with crew chief. Meeting with RP. Hanging in the pit box. In the hauler. Now back at the bus. Joys of a rain delay.

5:03 p.m. ET: From Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) -- Thanks for the support from all the fans, this isn't the first time I've been in a wreck and they've said nothing on the broadcast. I'm ok!!

5 p.m. ET: @NASCARStats reports the rain has stopped and track drying continues

4:54 p.m. ET: NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- Settle in, fans! RT @TBR_Racing: The drying process begins again - #NASCAR saying that it will take about 2.5 hours to complete.

4:50 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Rain has stopped. Dryers are rolling. Air Titan is stirring. We may not be done yet. 

4:47 p.m. ET: From Reid Spencer (@Reid_Spencer) -- Caution car has been instructed to take a lap and give estimate on how long drying will take once rain stops. Clearing up to south.

4:45 p.m. ET: REPLAY: Watch the best of GarageCam from Talladega and tune in next Friday at 11 a.m. at www.nascar.com/garagecam

4:41 p.m. ET: REPLAY -- Watch the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series Final Laps as Regan Smith gave Dale Earnhardt Jr. his first points lead as an owner. 

4:37 p.m. ET: From Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) -- Running from car as loud speakers warn about severe weather and fans yelling at me for not stopping to sign autographs. Smh #get2cover 

4:33 p.m. ET: From Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) -- If you're at the track take cover. Hearing hail and lightning on the way. 

4:30 p.m. ET: From Reid Spencer (@Reid_Spencer) -- Crew chiefs have been told to secure their tool boxes. Possible wind and hail coming in from a cell just to south of the speedway.

4:26 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- @JeffGordonWeb watching the radar, just like the rest of us. pic.twitter.com/NOYxgsijOL

4:25 p.m. ET: From Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) -- Looks like cars will be back on track @TalladegaSuperS pretty soon. @AxaltaRacing #IMRONElite #24 shown P28 second car a lap down. #Team24

4:10 p.m. ET: From JJ Yeley (@jjyeley1) -- Mixed emotions right now, sitting 17th & car is in piece, but my Golden Corral Chevy is good and kids want to eat free tomorrow!!!

4:09 p.m. ET: Matt Kenseth on FOX -- Hopefully it dries out so I can redeem myself. (Kenseth dropped to 12th after leading 101 laps.)

4:08 p.m. ET: From Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman) -- To give credit where credit is due... That Air Titan is a really impressive out of no where innovation in our sport. Kudos! #NASCAR 

4:07 p.m. ET: From Kerry Tharp (@Kerry_Tharp) -- U don't tug on Superman's cape / U don't spit into the wind / U don't pull the mask off that ole Lone Ranger & U DON'T MESS WITH #Air Titan! 

4:05 p.m. ET: From Landon Cassill (@landoncassill) -- A wild rain shower appears! Engage Air Titan! It's super effective

4:01 p.m. ET: Aric Almirola tells FOX he wants to improve from 11th to extend his series-best streak of top-10 finishes to four in a row.

4:00 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- Prerace pic gallery from @TalladegaSuperS at @SPEED.com»bit.ly/DegaPRce #nascar pic.twitter.com/MuJ8IEchBV

3:58 p.m. ET: From Scott Speed (@scottspeed) -- Blue sky's!!! pic.twitter.com/fxUZTYPdBW

3:56 p.m. ET: From Jeremy Troiano (@JT_Tribbiani), PR Rep for Joey Logano (@joeylogano) -- Hard call right here. Hope for rain and take a solid third and the points? Or go green and have chance to win or maybe finish 20th?

3:53 p.m. ET: Dale Jr. on FOX: We're gonna get things restarted. It's clearing up real good. We can win. We definitely have a great engine.

3:51 p.m. ET: From Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) -- I see blue sky! #LetsRace

3:50 p.m. ET: Hamlin on Kenseth: Nobody wants to work with you because they know you have the best car.

3:49 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Blue skies at the end of pit road. @MartinTruexJr56 crew guys throwing the football. pic.twitter.com/bq24NcUtj3

3:46 p.m. ET: Interested in how the Air Titan works? Check out this story by the one and only, Holly Cain.

3:43 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Rain has stopped here at Talladega. Already some gray back in the track surface. Get the feeling we're not done for the day.

3:41 p.m. ET: From Jeff Wackerlin, Managing Web Editor for MRN (@JWackerlin) -- Carl Edwards watches the skies from the pit box. #Aarons499 #NASCAR @MRNRadio #AskMRN pic.twitter.com/CK4BSdIuFc

3:38 p.m. ET: Brad Keselowski on FOX: Fourth is a good day, but I want to win.

3:37 p.m. ET: Denny on Darlington: It's one of the most challenging tracks that we have on the circuit. Running a foot from the wall, your room for error is a lot less than anywhere else. (Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on FOX)

3:36 p.m. ET: From NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) -- UPDATE: Moderate rain has begun. #AirTitan remains on the track to try and stay ahead of the weather. #NASCAR

3:32 p.m. ET: Denny Hamlin tells FOX: Anyone of these guys or girls could win going down the stretch here.

3:27 p.m. ET: Check out video of the NASCAR Air Titan in action

3:30 p.m. ET: Carl Edwards tells FOX: If we go back green, we will have a Ford in Victory Lane. David Reutimann out (accident)

3:29 p.m. ET: Running order for the 26 drivers on the lead lap: 1) Carl Edwards 2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3) Joey Logano 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Michael Waltrip 6) Clint Bowyer 7) Martin Truex Jr. 8) Jimmie Johnson 9) Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10) Ryan Newman 11) Aric Almirola 12) Matt Kenseth 13) Kurt Busch 14) Danica Patrick 15) Juan Pablo Montoya 16) Jamie McMurray 17) JJ Yeley 18) David Ragan 19) Marcos Ambrose 20) Scott Speed 21) Terry Labonte 22) David Stremme 23) Bobby Labonte 24) David Gilliland 25) Regan Smith 26) Josh Wise

3:23 p.m. ET: From Michael Waltrip (@mw55) -- Rain is here. Thanks @MWRteam @Aarons_Inc @RollTide for the ride. pic.twitter.com/BP6n60zSnC

3:18 p.m. ET: Drivers are allowed to leave their cars and be interviewed by FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR so tune in.

3:18 p.m. ET: Red flag: Cars brought onto pit road as the NASCAR Air Titan takes the track.

Lap 125: Pit road is closed, and caution car will bring them down to the mid-point of pit road. Two crew members will be allowed to come out and cover the cars.

3:16 p.m. ET: REPLAY: Watch the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team get Denny Hamlin out of the car and put Brian Vickers in

Lap 124: Pit road is open, but there are no takers. FOX reporting drivers are 8-10 green-flag laps away from needing fuel. Caution car reports the heaviest rain is on the backstretch.

Lap 123: At the point of caution, Carl Edwards was leading Ricky Stenhouse Jr. followed by Logano, Keselowski, Waltrip, Bowyer, Truex, Johnson, Earnhardt and Newman

Lap 124: Caution flag: Rain

Lap 121: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the lead with fellow Fords Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski behind him

Lap 119: David Reutimann returns behind the wall as tower polls officials for rain around the track

Lap 118: Jimmie Johnson attempting to go 2-for-2 in plate races this year, leads Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the start/finish line. David Reutimann back in the race.

3:06 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- "We're gonna lose the draft. I was just sitting there, wide-open," #DaleJr says

3:05 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- @JimmieJohnson to the lead as the field is getting dicey at the front as rain approaches @TalladegaSuperS. #NASCAR

Lap 114: Matt Kenseth looking for his third consecutive top-three finish at Talladega.

3:03 p.m. ET: From Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) -- Headed home. Had a really fast @TWC Chevy. Come on HMS win this race!!!

3:02 p.m. ET: From Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) -- Instant replay of Daytona 18 wrecks the 5 we all pile in..

3:01 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Edwards told he's leading a line of four Fords, slowly planning the near future

Lap 108: The top 13 cars are within 1.3 seconds of the lead with Danica Patrick leading the next pack about nine second behind the leader, Matt Kenseth.

Lap 105: Matt Kenseth leads Johnson, Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Bowyer, Truex, Waltrip, Edwards, Almirola and Keselowski. As Mike Joy on FOX notes, the Gen-6 cars of Chevy, Toyota and Ford are attempting to team up on Kenseth's Camry.

2:57 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- With rain approaching @TalladegaSuperS, who will be the first driver to step out & make a move for the lead? #NASCAR

Lap 100: Tune in to watch FOX for Denny Hamlin, who says he's frustrated that he only will earn about six or seven points after Brian Vickers was involved in the wreck that brought out the second caution

2:52 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Outside line isn't an option unless that inside line starts racing more. If they're running until the rain, things will pick up soon

Lap 98: NASCAR's leader in Quality Passes (most cars passed in the top 15) is Dale Earnhardt Jr. and he's proving why as he's moved up to third place after falling down a lap for early contact with Travis Kvapil

Lap 95: Kyle Busch back in the race in 39th place, 52 laps down

2:49 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- It's Kenseth-Johnson-Earnhardt at the front after that pit sequence. Race is past halfway and lots of talk about rain on team radios.

Lap 94: At halfway, it's Kenseth, Johnson, Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Truex, Bowyer, Edwards, Waltrip, Stremme and Almirola as Greg Biffle gets back into the race

Lap 93: Matt Kenseth takes back the lead as the race reaches halfway next time by

Lap 92: Jeff Gordon takes the lead as David Ragan comes to pit road. Gordon should be in the next lap.

Lap 91: David Ragan takes the lead as Keselowski, Logano lead next the group to pit road, including Edwards, Stremme and Gilliland.

Lap 90: New leader Brad Keselowski as Kenseth, Johnson, Busch, Menard, Almirola, Waltrip, Newman, Patrick, Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr. and Truex Jr. among others come to pit road.

Lap 88: Green flag pit stops begin with Regan Smith, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray

2:42 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Kenseth, likely Johnson, coming in next time around

2:41 p.m. ET: From Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman) -- It's GO time... The rain is approaching! This package is literally a replica of the drafting of 05-07...Just funny how that works. #NASCAR

Lap 85: Brian Vickers and Travis Kvapil are back in the race, 43 and 57 laps down respectively

Lap 83: Matt Kenseth attempting to become the first driver to win back-to-back races at Talladega Superspeedway since Jeff Gordon swept in 2007

Lap 81: Matt Kenseth attempting to become the first driver to win back-to-back races at Talladega Superspeedway since Jeff Gordon swept in 2007

Lap 78: Kevin Harvick out (accident)

Lap 77: Saluting the 700 club as Bobby Labonte makes his 700th start today and Jeff Gordon will join him next week in that group when he starts at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles Southern 500 next Saturday at 6 on FOX.

Lap 74: Kevin Harvick heads back to the garage

2:32 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Lot of talk on radios about getting to halfway, given ominous conditions. Some teams will have to make pit stop right before halfway point.

2:31 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Hamlin: "Me and Tony, for whatever reason, when we stopped becoming teammates, we started becoming teammates."

Lap 72: Tower gives pit crews an extra man to service the windshield and the driver

Lap 70: As Kevin Harvick comes back into the race 25 laps down, Joe Nemechek is out (engine). Kasey Kahne says of the wreck that knocked him out of the race: Felt the No. 18 pushing me and next thing I know I was spinning. You just can’t push with these cars. We learned that at Daytona, he was pushing me and spun me in the wall and then happened again, so that is what it is.

Lap 66: After four pit stops under the last caution to fix damage during the Turn 1 wreck, Kurt Busch continues to sit in second and stalk former teammate and fellow champion Matt Kenseth for the lead

2:25 p.m. ET: Watch the Kasey Kahne Kyle Busch Turn 1 contact that led to a multicar crash and the second caution of the race.

 

2:22 p.m. ET: From Brian Scott (@bscottracing) -- Ok so I have to know a fans perspective, is the cup race style of drafting more entertaining or the nationwide tandem style? #nascar

Lap 60: Greg Biffle on getting caught up in the wreck: It can happen at any time. You just never know. We were trying to be cautious, but that didn’t work.

Lap 58: Matt Kenseth takes the lead back as the garage reports Kasey Kahne is officially out (accident)

Lap 56: Ryan Newman takes the lead as Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards jockey behind him

Lap 55: As Joe Nemechek goes to the garage, here's the official recap from NASCAR Timing and Scoring for the second caution: Turn 1 accident involving 18, 5, 29, 11, 1, 16, 9, 31, 30, 78, 83, 13, 95, 14, 24, 56. Laps 44-50; 12 total caution laps

Lap 52: Clint Bowyer drops from 12th to 28th to find a new dance partner

Lap 51: Green flag: Matt Kenseth leads Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith, Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, JJ Yeley, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski

Lap 48: Did the Kasey Kahne Kyle Busch contact look familiar? Check out this incident at the Daytona 500.

Lap 48: Jamie McMurray becomes the seventh leader of the day. Tower and Chief Scorer confirm Ricky Stenhouse Jr. DID NOT lead a lap.

Lap 47: Off of pit road, it's Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith, Aric Almirola, Joey Logano. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stays out to lead a lap, joining Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard, who did so during the first caution.

2:07 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- @KyleBusch: "It's way too early in the race to be making those sort of moves, whether (@kaseykahne) made it or I made it." #NASCAR

2:06 p.m. ET: From Jeff Burton (@RCR31JeffBurton) --  JB pitted two more times, giving the 31 CAT crew the opportunity to make repairs. Not sure how it is going to handle, pretty beat up. -PR

2:05 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- Most of the field pits, while @StenhouseJr & others stay out under this caution. #DaleJr gets the free pass. #NASCAR

Lap 47: Pit road is open to the caution car

Lap 45: FOX also reports Jeff Gordon, David Stremme and Kurt Busch involved to bring the number of those affected, per TV, to 13

2:01 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- That big crash appears to be just a case of #DraftingGoneAwry. Happens here. Part of the deal sometimes.

2:01 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Ton of good drivers caught up in that --Kyle, Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, still counting. 

1:59 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- @KyleBusch tells team over the radio his alright, takes blame for the wreck. #NASCAR @TalladegaSuperS

1:59 p.m. ET: From Jeff Burton (@RCR31JeffBurton) -- Pretty significant damage to the No. 31 machine. Not going to garage though. -PR 

Lap 44: After the wreck, the top 10 running order is Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., Regan Smith, JJ Yeley, Aric Almirola, Danica Patrick and Jamie McMurray

Lap 44: Brian Vickers takes the No. 11 to the garage after taking it to the top 10

1:57 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- yBusch and Kahne get together and it causes a big wreck taking out Harvick and Stewart. Same thing as Daytona 

1:56 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- "It looks like we might be racing to roughly halfway," Steve Letarte tells Dale Jr. over the radio. 

Lap 44: Caution flag: Running second and third, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch get into each other as Busch tries to change lanes. Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, David Reutimann, Jeff Burton, Casey Mears and Scott Speed among others affected. Free pass to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

1:55 p.m. ET: From Jeff Burton (@RCR31JeffBurton) -- JB is stuck in the grass after being involved in the big wreck. Not sure how bad damage is. -PR

1:54 p.m. ET:  From Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) -- Big crash! #JeffGordon - "Kind of survived. Got some front end damage. Both front outer fenders. Wheel turned about 1/8th." #NASCAR #Team24 

1:53 p.m. ET: From Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman) -- Woah... That's the BIG ONE here at Talladega.... Yikes... #nascar

Lap 40: Brian Vickers up to 10th place, running for Denny Hamlin who got out during the first caution

1:50 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- Swarm! @dennyhamlin is feeling good. He says Stewart approached him last week in Richmond about working together pic.twitter.com/CZqHr1Xf6c

1:49 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) --  I'd like GyroCam a lot more if it always showed a tasty Greek dish. #Hungry #NoZSaucePlease

Lap 36: Three of four Hendrick Motorsports cars in the top five with Dale Earnhardt Jr. the first car a lap down in 40th in place for the next free pass

Lap 35: Trevor Bayne out (engine)

Lap 32: Travis Kvapil to the garage with apparent engine trouble

Lap 30: Matt Kenseth back to the lead

Lap 29: Jeff Burton takes the lead as Travis Kvapil smokes on the backstretch

Lap 28: Green flag: Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Burton, Casey Mears, Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch and Regan Smith are the top 10. Brian Vickers restarts 36th.

1:39 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- First thing Denny does is talk to Joe Gibbs, up to say hi to daughter and gf, then watched pit stop from box. pic.twitter.com/5P9FgQdEc3

Lap 28: David Gillilland has too many men over the wall and will restart at the tailend of field along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Stremme and Joe Nemechek who made pit stops too soon

Lap 27: Drivers who did not pit with the first group: Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Terry Labonte, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and Michael Waltrip.

Lap 26: Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers make the driver exchange in just over a minute and the No. 11 beats the pace car out to stay on the lead lap

Lap 25: Trevor Bayne to the garage as Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishes pit road service. Matt Kenseth leads the field into the pits.

1:33 p.m. ET: From Jeremy Troiano (@JT_Tribbiani), PR Rep for Joey Logano (@joeylogano) -- Seriously people.... nothing is wrong with Joeys car. He's just dropping back to ride and stay out of trouble. Car is fine!

1:32 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. now a lap down after having his left-rear tire cut in that contact with Travis Kvapil's car. 

Lap 24: Pit road closed as a wrecker bumps Trevor Bayne away from the entrance to pit road.

1:30 p.m. ET: From Mark Martin (@55MarkMartin) -- Awesome watching the race on Fox. I see why the fans love this race.

1:29 p.m. ET: From Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) -- Spotter @EddieDHondt - "We're going to get a caution. #21 blowing up." Alan: "How's your car?" #JeffGordon - "It's good." #NASCAR #Team24

Lap 22: Caution flag: Trevor Bayne says he has a transmission problem as his car appears to blow up in Turn 1 by the Sunoco sign

Lap 21: Travis Kvapil follows Earnhardt Jr. to pit road.

Lap 20: Dale Earnhardt Jr. comes to pit road after making contact with Travis Kvapil on the backstretch, hurting the No. 88 left rear.

Lap 19: Landon Cassill and Joe Nemechek are the first two cars to go a lap down. Montoya, Hamlin, Waltrip, Stewart and Stenhouse continue to run 37th-41st

1:26 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) -- @TalladegasSuperS- Avg. #CUP race speed so far- 195.289 miles per hour #nascar

Lap 17: Seven cars have turned a lap over 200 mph so far today including JJ Yeley who is currently 10th. If you're a kid, you're happy to hear that.

Lap 15: Denny Hamlin in 38th behind Juan Pablo Montoya and ahead of Michael Waltrip Tony Stewart and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with Landon Cassill and Joe Nemechek falling to 42nd and 43rd respectively

1:22 p.m. ET: From NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) -- Right now the man who led most laps at @DISupdates, @mattkenseth, in first. Behind him is the winner of the Daytona 500, @JimmieJohnson.

Lap 14: Matt Kenseth continues to lead Jimmie Johnson Kasey Kahne Aric Almirola and 2011 Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne

Lap 10: The Fords of Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski teamed up on the outside line in 29th and 30th

1:19 p.m. ET: From Jeff Burton (@RCR31JeffBurton) -- Within 10 laps, JB went from 29th to 10th, now back to 24th in the pack. -PR

Lap 7: Matt Kenseth takes the lead this time around with Jimmie Johnson up to second now.

Lap 6: Matt Kenseth takes the lead this time around with Jimmie Johnson up to second now.

Lap 5: Martin Truex Jr. keeps the lead over Matt Kenseth by 0.024 seconds. The first 20 cars are all within a second of the leader.

1:15 p.m. ET: From Miss Sprint Cup (@MissSprintCup) -- Baby Taylor is sending lots of good luck love to her daddy @dennyhamlin! -JR twitpic.com/cohbd1

Lap 4: Carl Edwards has dropped back to 12th while Denny Hamlin is back in 41st with Tony Stewart in 42nd.

Lap 1: Three-wide through the field as Martin Truex Jr. leads the first lap of the race.

1:12 p.m. ET: From Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna) -- This is Talladega. And a pretty cool photo. @TalladegaSuperS #nascar instagram.com/p/Y8B31ehFbj/

1:10 p.m. ET: Unsurprisingly, Denny Hamlin falls back by choice.

1:09 p.m. ET: Green flag! Let's go racing!

1:08 p.m. ET: From Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) -- Alan: "Alright bud, that rain's close. Won't be long before it gets us. Let's do it today." #JeffGordon - "10-4." #NASCAR #Team24

1:07 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Forget the car -- digging Michael Waltrip's helmet, which is crimson w/ a white stripe down middle just like Alabama football team's. Cool.

1:05 p.m. ET: There is some rain falling down at Talladega.

1:04 p.m. ET: Cars on the track now, warming up. Just a few minutes away from GREEN FLAG.

1:03 p.m. ET: From Miss Sprint Cup (@MissSprintCup) -- Can't go wrong with a beard like that, @MarcosAmbrose!! :) -JR pic.twitter.com/SIKlqZtcxE

1:01 p.m. ET: From Reid Spencer (@Reid_Spencer) -- After NNS (crash) at Daytona, Talladega has installed additional heavy-duty cables behind every crossing gate in the catch fence. #NASCAR

1 p.m. ET: From Miss Sprint Cup (@MissSprintCup) -- Did you know Richard Childress and @RCRracing have the most wins here @TalladegaSuperS?! #InItToWinIt -JR pic.twitter.com/9piMBcijQq

12:57 p.m. ET: From David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) -- Flyover today by two T-28 Trojans, same vintage military trainers that flew over Richmond. But can't beat the big rig w/ the American flag.

12:56 p.m. ET: Engines fired!

12:55 p.m. ET: And Chipper Jones, former Atlanta Brave and future Hall of Famer is the grand marshal. Gets the crowd into it by having them say, "Drivers, start your engines!" along with him.

12:53 p.m. ET: Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is at the race today and will be driviing the pace car in just a few.

12:51 p.m. ET: Bobby Labonte is getting ready to make his 700th career start. View picture.

12:47 p.m. ET: Robin Meade (@RobinMeade) giving one of the most emphatic national anthem performances of the season. Much better than her performance in Mario Kart against Brad Keselowski earlier this week. 

12:45 p.m. ET: Really cool use of the Vine app by our own Alan Cavanna (@copacavanna). Check out all the paint schemes in this video, and also in our NASCAR.com Paint Scheme Preview.

 

12:43 p.m. ET: From Brad Sweet (@BradSweet49) -- Who's everybody picking to win the talladega lottery today?

12:40 p.m. ET: From Aric Almirola (@aric_almirola) -- Well here goes nothing. Going to try and keep our top 10 streak going today.

12:32 p.m. ET: As one of 'Dega's best-ever, Jeff Burton (@RCR31JeffBurton) looks primed to move up in the field from his starting position of 29th. Just tweeted a pic of his bright-yellow Chevy SS. 

12:29 p.m. ET:
David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) Interesting: Tony Stewart tells Fox he's going to hang back to help Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers switch in 11 car so they dont lose draft.

12:25 p.m. ET: 
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