News & Media


Lap-by-Lap: Talladega

October 24, 2011, , NASCAR.com

Lap 188 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Clint Bowyer pulls around Jeff Burton on the final turn and holds on for the victory in the Good Sam Club 500, the 100th for Richard Childress Racing. Burton was second, Dave Blaney third, Brad Keselowski fourth and Brian Vickers fifth.

Lap 187 -- WHITE FLAG: Jeff Gordon and Trevor Bayne are moving up through the middle, and Matt Kenseth gets separated from David Ragan. Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer have checked out, however.

Lap 186 -- GREEN FLAG: It's a green-white-checkered finish at Talladega. It's what we all came for. Buckle in as Jeff Burton leads them back to green. Trevor Bayne is now on the rear bumper of Jeff Gordon.

Lap 185 -- They've waved off the restart as they're still completing the clean up.

Lap 184 -- Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer will lead the field to green. Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne restart nose-to-tail, as do Tony Stewart and Paul Menard. One to go.

Lap 183 -- Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle each take four tires after running through debris. They're getting older tires as they've gone through the six sets they were given for the race.

Lap 182 -- The replay shows Mark Martin tried to drop down and hooked the front end of Denny Hamlin, turning him into Regan Smith. Martin was trying to reconnect with Jeff Gordon, who had gotten a little run away from him.

Lap 181 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 9: Regan Smith hits the outside wall hard and head-on, but he's moving. The yellow has flown. He's limping slightly on his right ankle.

Lap 180 -- Tony Stewart and Paul Menard dip to the outside and make a move on Jeff Burton to regain the lead, but Burton holds on. Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne are running fifth and sixth.

Lap 179 -- Jeff Burton gets a big push from Clint Bowyer and takes the lead.

Lap 178 -- GREEN FLAG: Tony Stewart leads the field to green, choosing the outside line.

Lap 177 -- The top 10: Tony Stewart, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan.

Lap 176 -- This is going to set up a serious dash to the finish. There's literally no telling what's about to happen. Buckle in, folks.

Lap 175 -- Bobby Labonte is walking slowly toward the ambulance. And that's not an age joke. Kurt Busch is headed to the garage.

Lap 174 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 8: Bobby Labonte lost control, and he was hit by Kurt Busch. That's serious damage for two guys who had been near the front.

Lap 173 -- Trevor Bayne is now on the rear bumper of Marcos Ambrose. They're running third and fourth.

Lap 172 -- Bobby Labonte and Michael Waltrip cross two lanes to go to the far outside and move toward the lead.

Lap 171 -- Tony Stewart continues to lead, but here comes Matt Kenseth. He's getting a push from David Ragan, as he has all day.

Lap 170 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson are up into the top 15 after escaping an accident in the Andy Lally spin.

Lap 169 -- Paul Menard is pushing Tony Stewart and they're up to the lead.

Lap 168 -- There are 32 cars on the lead lap. One of them is Dave Blaney, who's leading this race. The leaderboard is becoming increasingly yellow, marking the Chasers as they climb.

Lap 167 -- GREEN FLAG: Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth lead the field to green as we're down to the final 21 laps.

Lap 166 -- Jamie McMurray got the free pass, but he's still six laps down. Greg Biffle gets the bonus point for leading a lap as he battles for the 13th position in the points.

Lap 165 -- Jimmie Johnson's damage doesn't appear to be bad, but they spent some extra time on the right side to make sure. He took four tires and fuel. Robby Gordon is spending a lot of time on pit road. Carl Edwards pitted, but his drafting partner Greg Biffle stayed out.

Lap 164 -- The replay shows Andy Lally turned down into Jimmie Johnson, who was running on the inside line. They were coming up on green-flag pit stops, so we should see everyone come in to the pits here. Matt Kenseth takes fuel only for a 7.7-second stop. Jeff Burton gets two tires and fuel. Joey Logano took two and fuel, and Tony Stewart took two and fuel.

Lap 163 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 7: Andy Lally and Terry Labonte spin out. Joey Logano and Tony Stewart have reconnected and are back up to the third team spot. Or fifth and sixth.

Lap 162 -- Dave Blaney is running fifth with help from Brad Keselowski. Yep, you read it here.

Lap 161 -- Matt Kenseth and David Ragan move past Marcos Ambrose and Paul Menard like they were sitting still.

Lap 160 -- Marcos Ambrose, being pushed by Paul Menard, is eyeing the outside line to try to get past Jeff Burton.

Lap 159 -- Marcos Ambrose is up to third.

Lap 158 -- Jeff Burton takes the lead, but Tony Stewart is climbing and dropping. It's a big pack of cars making moves.

Lap 157 -- Brian Vickers moves to the point with a push from Kasey Kahne. Tony Stewart is sliding back.

Lap 156 -- Marco Ambrose is back up to ninth after spinning his teammate A.J. Allmendinger earlier.

Lap 155 -- Cars in the front are largely holding position right now, except for Matt Kenseth, who has dropped to 14th.

Lap 154 -- Back to the pack come Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. They're running seventh and eighth. But Tony Stewart and Joey Logano are still out front.

Lap 153 -- Tony Stewart continues to lead. That was his 17th lap led.

Lap 152 -- Matt Kenseth is back up to seventh.

Lap 151 -- Casey Mears and Landon Cassill are up in the top six. With 37 laps remaining, watch for some of these Chase teams to start making their moves.

Lap 150 -- Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne have recovered and are up to third and fourth.

Lap 149 -- And now he's the leader. Tony Stewart has had an odd day, and he's being pushed by his own car, but he's out front at Talladega.

Lap 148 -- Tony Stewart is up to third.

Lap 147 -- Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland are back up in fourth and fifth position.

Lap 146 -- Here comes Jeff Burton, moving to the outside with the help of Clint Bowyer to take the lead from Tony Stewart.

Lap 145 -- It doesn't look like Tony Stewart has any interest in letting them get to 100 lead changes. They have 42 laps left, and they need 39 more lead changes.

Lap 144 -- Juan Montoya is back up to seventh.

Lap 143 -- Robby Gordon's rear bumper is flailing around, making things tough on Trevor Bayne who's pushing.

Lap 142 -- Kurt Busch remains in third place.

Lap 141 -- Tony Stewart is out front at Talladega. We're three-quarters of the way through the race, and there have been only 61 lead changes. They're going to have to try real hard to get to 100.

Lap 140 -- Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, who have been near the front all day, are battling for position.

Lap 139 -- Denny Hamlin is hanging around in seventh.

Lap 138 -- Tony Stewart continues to lead, and Kurt Busch and Regan Smith remain next in line. Casey Mears and Landon Cassill have designs on the lead, however.

Lap 137 -- Kurt Busch and Regan Smith are tucked in behind Tony Stewart and Joey Logano.

Lap 136 -- Joey Logano has been through just about everything today, but he has pushed Tony Stewart back to the lead.

Lap 135 -- Kevin Harvick is back out on the track after that teamwork. Robby Gordon continues to lead, but Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer are running next in line.

Lap 134 -- A cadre of RCR crew members are hard at work on Kevin Harvick's car back in the garage. Harvick suffered a broken oil cooler, and dozens of guys are working on his car.

Lap 133 -- GREEN FLAG: Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne lead the field to green. Welcome to Talladega: the top 10 also includes Casey Mears, Landon Cassill, Martin Truex Jr., David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte and Michael Waltrip. Tony Stewart is the only Chaser in the top 14.

Lap 132 -- Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton are scored third and fourth, with Casey Mears and Landon Cassill running next in line. The "one to go" command comes out.

Lap 131 -- Since Kasey Kahne didn't hit anything, it will be a short caution. A.J. Allmendinger did get the free pass. Kahne pits for four tires. Matt Kenseth took four tires and won't need any next time. Four tires for Brian Vickers. No tires for Kurt Busch.

Lap 130 -- A.J. Allmendinger should receive the free pass after that caution.

Lap 129 -- CAUTION FLAG NO. 6: Kasey Kahne spins right at the start/finish line.

Lap 128 -- Robby Gordon is the leader, with a push from Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. They've been hovering all day. Kevin Harvick headed to the garage.

Lap 127 -- NASCAR is prepared to throw the black flag on Kevin Harvick if the team doesn't fix the smoke quickly.

Lap 126 -- NASCAR officials have been told on the radio to keep an eye on Kevin Harvick's car and watch for the smoke it's putting off. Here come Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne ... again.

Lap 125 -- GREEN FLAG: Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth lead the field back to green. Carl Edwards had been scored third, but he and Greg Biffle have dropped off the pace to get back to the rear of the field and prepare for the final push.

Lap 124 -- The "one to go" command has come out, and Joey Logano gets the free pass to get back on the lead lap.

Lap 123 -- Leaders are on pit road. David Ragan takes right-sides only, while Matt Kenseth takes fuel only. Two tires for Brian Vickers along with fuel, and right-sides only for Kasey Kahne as well.

Lap 122 -- A.J. Allmendinger's blown tire has sprayed debris on the track. His car still looks better than Joey Logano's. Kevin Harvick's car is smoking.

Lap 121 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: A.J. Allmendinger had his left rear tire go flat, bringing out another caution.

Lap 120 -- It's a three-pair breakaway, with Matt Kenseth and David Ragan leading Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers as well as Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton.

Lap 119 -- Kyle Busch is coming back out on the track; he's scored 11 laps down in 38th place.

Lap 118 -- Here come Dave Blaney and Brad Keselowski.

Lap 117 -- Kevin Harvick is two laps down, but he has Paul Menard back behind him. Matt Kenseth continues to lead.

Lap 116 -- Dave Blaney and Brad Keselowski make the position switch, and they're moving back up.

Lap 115 -- Kasey Kahne is up to third again, looking for his first career restrictor-plate race victory.

Lap 114 -- Kurt Busch moves to the lead with a push from Regan Smith. Matt Kenseth and David Ragan gain the lead, however, before the start/finish line.

Lap 113 -- Here come Brad Keselowski and Dave Blaney, into the top 10 by passing Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann.

Lap 112 -- Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann are up in the top 10.

Lap 111 -- Kurt Busch and Regan Smith are up toward the front, running third and fourth.

Lap 110 -- Kevin Harvick is back on pit road for more work on his car. It was his third stop, complaining of smoke in the cockpit. He got his fenders pulled out.

Lap 109 -- GREEN FLAG: Clint Bowyer led the field to green as several cars, including Mark Martin, make a second pit stop. Kasey Kahne restarts next to him.

Lap 108 -- Mark Martin is scored as the leader as the "one to go" command comes out.

Lap 107 -- Massive fix-up work being done on Kevin Harvick's hood area. Plenty of tape being employed.

Lap 106 -- The leaders are on pit road. Jeff Burton took four tires and fuel. Brian Vickers takes four tires and fuel. Kasey Kahne gets four, fuel and a cleaned-off grille. Brad Keselowski took four tires and fuel, plus a tear-off.

Lap 105 -- On replay, it appears A.J. Allmendinger turned down off the nose of teammate Marcos Ambrose, and he collected Kyle Busch, Juan Montoya, Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick.

Lap 104 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: A.J. Allmendinger spins, starting a big pile-up. Kyle Busch gets some damage, and Kevin Harvick, who had led 13 laps, is crumpled up.

Lap 103 -- Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne get passed by Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

Lap 102 -- Jeff Burton is scored as the leader at the line.

Lap 101-- Oh goodness, here comes Tony Stewart to the lead. Joey Logano is doing all the work with a damaged car.

Lap 100 -- Kevin Harvick leads a close battle with teammate Jeff Burton.

Lap 99 -- Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne have reconnected, and they're climbing yet again.

Lap 98 -- It's an RCR party up front, as Kevin Harvick leads a parade of all four Richard Childress Racing cars at the front of the field.

Lap 97 -- Jamie McMurray moves back to the lead with a push from Juan Montoya.

Lap 96 -- Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers are back into the top 10.

Lap 95 -- Matt Kenseth regains the lead. That's his 11th lap led today.

Lap 94 -- HALFWAY! Jamie McMurray leads, the 46th lead change of the day. That's a little below the rate needed to get to 100 (no, I did not major in math).

Lap 93 -- Watch out, world. Hours after announcing they would part ways next season, Bobby Labonte with JTG Daugherty and Michael Waltrip of MWR are moving to the front. Kevin Harvick is the leader.

Lap 92 -- How quickly fates change. Jeff Burton is dropping hard, and Jamie McMurray is back up front at Talladega.

Lap 91 -- Kyle Busch leads again, but Jeff Burton was right there.

Lap 90 -- Kyle Busch moves to the lead with a push from Denny Hamlin, who was a lap down earlier in the race.

Lap 89 -- Jamie McMurray continues to lead at Talladega, but Kyle Busch is coming hard.

Lap 88 -- Tony Stewart is paired up, for now, with his former car: the No. 20 now driven by Joey Logano, which has a lot of front-end damage.

Lap 87 -- Right now, Juan Montoya is hoping this race gets to 100 lead changes. They're at 42 just shy of halfway, but Montoya has led the most laps.

Lap 86 -- Radio problems for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch could play a role in their race as we move toward the halfway point. Jamie McMurray moves to the lead.

Lap 85 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Burton leads the field to green with David Gilliland next to him. Each of them have their partner behind them, which should give them a better start than having to wait to hook up after the green drops.

Lap 84 -- Jeff Burton is scored as the leader as the "one to go" command is given. That's the 41st lead change for the race.

Lap 83 -- Carl Edwards was running second, but I see no Roush Fenway guys around him. Jack Roush won't let him work with Robby Gordon because he's not in a Ford. Edwards could have a fun time finding a partner he can trust. He's in the pits.

Lap 82 -- Clint Bowyer took fuel only but stalled on pit road. Jeff Burton took tires and fuel. Four tires and chassis adjustments for Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 81 -- Ryan Newman's car has his brake ducts flailing behind him, looking like those streamers on a stick that rhythmic gymnasts use. Yes, that's a rhythmic gymnastics mention in Lap-by-Lap. Take it. That puts Tony Stewart in a questionable spot.

Lap 80 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Ryan Newman spins out to bring out the caution. His splitter is crumbled something fierce.

Lap 79 -- Jamie McMurray is back to the lead. Denny Hamlin just needed a teammate ... Kyle Busch is in front, but they've climbed to 11th and 12th.

Lap 78 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. says the vibration isn't being felt any more, which is good news.

Lap 77 -- And the most loved words at Talladega: "Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in the lead."

Lap 76 -- Jamie McMurray led again, but Dale Jr. is closing.

Lap 75 -- David Ragan is up to fifth, now in front of Matt Kenseth's car. Jamie McMurray moves back to the lead.

Lap 74 -- Clint Bowyer leads Lap 74, with Jamie McMurray and Juan Montoya right there with them.

Lap 73 -- Jamie McMurray led that lap, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. nearly made the earth shake.

Lap 72 -- GREEN FLAG: Marcos Ambrose will lead the field to green, and don't look now, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. is restarting third. Kyle Busch is sent to the rear of the field for speeding through pit road without attempting to slow down.

Lap 71 -- They'll go green on the next lap. One to go.

Lap 70 -- Marcos Ambrose is now the leader after Kurt Busch and Regan Smith hit the pits.

Lap 69 -- Bad luck for Joey Logano could be good luck for Denny Hamlin, who could hook up with Kyle Busch now. Kurt Busch is now scored as the leader as others hit pit road.

Lap 68 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Joey Logano's left front tire blew and tore up his car, bringing out the caution.

Lap 67 -- Joey Logano and Kyle Busch got separated when Trevor Bayne got in the way while trying to get to the pits and spun Logano sideways.

Lap 66 -- Juan Montoya is running second to Matt Kenseth.

Lap 65 -- Matt Kenseth takes the lead as the cars of Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne start the green-flag stops.

Lap 64 -- Brian Vickers is now the leader after he and Kasey Kahne got a good run through traffic.

Lap 63 -- Robby Gordon held the lead for a bit, but Tony Stewart is scored as the leader at the end of the lap.

Lap 62 -- Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne made a move on the inside, but Ryan Newman is also there.

Lap 61 -- And Jeff Burton is now battling Juan Montoya for the lead.

Lap 60 -- Here come Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, who take over third and fourth places.

Lap 59 -- Matt Kenseth is solidly third with a push from David Ragan.

Lap 58 -- A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose are back up in the discussion.

Lap 57 -- Robby Gordon is giving Matt Kenseth a run for that third spot, but Juan Montoya and Jamie McMurray remain out front.

Lap 56 -- Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are closing again. Juan Montoya continues to lead, however.

Lap 55 -- Here come Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne out of nowhere. Bayne had dropped through the field before being picked back up by Gordon.

Lap 54 -- Normally I'd be doing Chase updates. But I think we all know that even though we're more than a quarter through this race, we're nowhere near knowing how it's going to end.

Lap 53 -- Juan Montoya is out front with teammate Jamie McMurray, and the pairs of Ryan Newman-Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth-David Ragan are challenging.

Lap 52 -- Regan Smith is in front of Kurt Busch and they're back inside the top 15.

Lap 51 -- Juan Montoya leads yet another lap, and Casey Mears and Landon Cassill just freefalled.

Lap 50 -- And looky there: Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart are back up in the mix after getting reconnected and slashing through traffic.

Lap 49 -- Shortly after the cars passed the start/finish line, Juan Montoya moved to the lead with a push from Jamie McMurray. Matt Kenseth and David Ragan are the third-place pairing.

Lap 48 -- Brian Vickers moves to the point with a push from former leader Kasey Kahne.

Lap 47 -- Clint Bowyer is back to the lead. And both Travis Kvapil and Juan Montoya are climbing as the lead cars in their respective pairs.

Lap 46 -- Ryan Newman keeps trying to get Tony Stewart a lap led, and it keeps cursing them. The move to change positions drops them through the field and they've gone from the lead to 21st and 22nd in less than a lap.

Lap 45 -- Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart get past Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne and then push to the lead.

Lap 44 -- Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon as well as Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. continue to hang out in the middle of the field.

Lap 43 -- Matt Kenseth and David Ragan are climbing, but Clint Bowyer leads again.

Lap 42 -- Her come the Red Bull Racing guys, as well as Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.

Lap 41 -- Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton are still out front. Kevin Harvick has dropped to ninth in the ever-changing Talladega leaderboard.

Lap 40 -- Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne are closing on the leaders, but Casey Mears and Landon Cassill are still hanging around.

Lap 39 -- Clint Bowyer has the lead, but Kevin Harvick is closing fast.

Lap 38 -- The battle continues as Kevin Harvick leads again, but Ryan Newman is there. So is Clint Bowyer.

Lap 37 -- Kevin Harvick is scored as the leader on that lap, just ahead of Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 36 -- After a lot of success earlier this season working together, Kurt Busch and Regan Smith are moving through the field. Busch is now fifth as Ryan Newman moves to the lead.

Lap 35 -- Matt Kenseth has dropped back as Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart take over the second-place team spot.

Lap 34 -- It is a drag race between Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, with Kyle Busch taking that lap. Denny Hamlin has been hung out to dry yet again.

Lap 33 -- With a push from Joey Logano, Kyle Busch is out front. Casey Mears and Landon Cassill are making noise, though.

Lap 32 -- Another lap led for Clint Bowyer. Matt Kenseth and David Ragan are back up in that front group.

Lap 31 -- Clint Bowyer leads again, but Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are closing.

Lap 30 -- Clint Bowyer leads a lap with help from Jeff Burton, the 17th lead change. I swear I'll slow down on the lead change counting until we get closer to 100.

Lap 29 -- Kevin Harvick regains the lead with help from Paul Menard after they laid back on the restart. The other RCR team of Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton are right behind.

Lap 28 -- GREEN FLAG: Kasey Kahne is back to the point as the race resumes after the 15th lead change. Kevin Harvick restarts second. Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger have climbed into the top 15.

Lap 27 -- Michael Waltrip is scored as the leader, the 14th lead change of the race.

Lap 26 -- Denny Hamlin should get the free pass here. He was the only car running that was not on the lead lap. The leaders hit pit road. Kevin Harvick takes fuel and tires only. Kasey Kahne takes two tires and fuel. Tony Stewart takes two tires and no changes.

Lap 25 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: There is debris on the track. Kasey Kahne moves to the point with help from Brian Vickers.

Lap 24 -- Juan Montoya and Jamie McMurray have climbed past Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne and are eyeing Ryan Newman's spot.

Lap 23 -- Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard are a formidable pairing, and they remain out front of the field.

Lap 22 -- Juan Montoya is now in front of that pairing, and he's running ninth with Jamie McMurray behind him.

Lap 21 -- Out of nowhere, here come Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, who have climbed into the top 10.

Lap 20 -- Kevin Harvick regains the lead, the 12th lead change of the race, and Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers are right behind.

Lap 19 -- Travis Kvapil has used the push of David Gilliland to grab the lead at Talladega. Denny Hamlin is running alone and has fallen far off the lead.

Lap 18 -- The first group of cars is now six pairs. In that next group is Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne. Kevin Harvick remains the leader.

Lap 17 -- So much for holding back. Here come Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon, who are making moves toward the front of the field.

Lap 16 -- And there goes Kevin Harvick to the lead, with help from Paul Menard. Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland are the second pair.

Lap 15 -- Ryan Newman leads again, but Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard are making moves. Matt Kenseth and David Ragan have dropped to 11th and 13th.

Lap 14 --There's a lot of shuffling in that first group of racers, about seven pairs. Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart push to the lead.

Lap 13 -- Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland are up to third and fourth.

Lap 12 -- If Matt Kenseth and David Ragan keep running like this -- haha it's Talladega, who am I kidding? -- good luck getting to 100 lead changes.

Lap 11 -- Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart are running well, the third pair in the race. Matt Kenseth continues to lead, with Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer second.

Lap 10 -- Here come Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard, as well as Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland.

Lap 9 -- Red Bull Racing teammates Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers are in the mix and have eyes for the lead. Matt Kenseth holds it, though.

Lap 8 -- Jamie McMurray and Juan Montoya are up there, but six packs battling up front for the spot. Matt Kenseth leads the lap.

Lap 7 -- Jeff Burton led Lap 7, but here come Jamie McMurray and teammate Juan Montoya.

Lap 6 -- Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are also dropping back through the field. Jeff Burton regains the lead with help from Clint Bowyer.

Lap 5 -- Matt Kenseth and David Ragan have no interest in being back in the pack, but Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon are laying back.

Lap 4 -- Jeff Burton is out front, being pushed by his teammate Clint Bowyer.

Lap 3 -- Cars have quickly settled into their tandem setups, and Matt Kenseth and David Ragan switched places to give Kenseth a point for leading a lap.

Lap 2 -- David Ragan, pushed by Matt Kenseth, leads Lap 2. But Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart are on the inside.

Lap 1-- It didn't take Jeff Gordon long to find Mark Martin, but Clint Bowyer is left alone at the bottom of the track. Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are out front.

2:22 p.m. ET -- GREEN FLAG: Mark Martin leads the field of 43 to the green in the Good Sam Club 500. There are a scheduled 188 laps in today's race.

2:09 p.m. ET -- Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Club Enterprises, gives the command: "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

2:02 p.m. ET -- The national anthem is performed by the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus. The flyover is two F-22s 43rd FS American Hornets from Tyndall Air Force Base.

2:01 p.m. ET -- Presentation of colors by the Alabama Army National Guard. The invocation is given by Steve Keller of MRO.

1 p.m. ET -- Pre-race coverage on ESPN is under way.

9:25 a.m. ET -- The sun is up at Talladega Superspeedway, but it's still only in the mid-40s. Those temps should reach nearly 70 degrees by the time the Good Sam Club 500 gets started at 2:21 p.m. ET. Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have made an all-Hendrick front row, with Clint Bowyer and Trevor Bayne starting right behind them. Today begins the second half of the Chase; who will take control? I'll take you through the whole crazy day right here. See you this afternoon!