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Lap-by-Lap: Kentucky

July 01, 2012, , NASCAR.com

Quaker State 400 Results | Standings

Lap 267 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Kasey Kahne's charge falls short, allowing Brad Keselowski to score his third Sprint Cup victory of the 2012 season.

Lap 265 -- Kasey Kahne is within 3.7 seconds of Denny Hamlin, but it's probably going to be too little too late.

Lap 263 -- Carl Edwards pits for fuel.

Lap 262 -- Kasey Kahne slides under Denny Hamlin for second. He's 4.1 seconds behind Denny Hamlin with five laps to go.

Lap 261 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes fourth from Carl Edwards, who is obviously trying to save gas.

Lap 259 -- Kasey Kahne roars past Carl Edwards for third. He's 4.6 seconds behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Lap 257 -- Carl Edwards is in third place, but he might not be able to make it the rest of the way without stopping for fuel. Ten laps to go.

Lap 254 -- Brad Keselowski is now 2.6 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin.

Lap 231 -- Brad Keselowski is 2.9 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin.

Lap 229 -- Matt Kenseth gives way as Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes fifth place on the backstretch.

Lap 228 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is right behind Matt Kenseth for fifth place.

Lap 222 -- Jimmie Johnson may have a tire going down. He's losing ground big time!

Lap 217 -- Fifty laps to go.

Lap 216 -- Cleanup at the accident site continues.

Lap 210 -- YELLOW FLAG: Ryan Newman spins and pops the wall between Turns 1 and 2. Regan Smith is also collected when he tries to avoid Newman. Just before the accident, Kyle Busch was slow on the track and trying to make his way to pit road.

Lap 209 -- Brad Keselowski rolls into his pit stall.

Lap 208 -- Denny Hamlin is on pit road.

Lap 206 -- Brad Keselowski goes under Denny Hamlin for the lead.

Lap 205 -- Jimmie Johnson makes his stop, and it's a tick or two off the pace.

Lap 204 -- Kasey Kahne is in the pits.

Lap 203 -- Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards pit.

Lap 197 -- Jimmie Johnson is 1.2 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin.

Lap 192 -- Kyle Busch says that something has broken on his car, maybe a shock absorber.

Lap 189 -- Jimmie Johnson is finally able to take the lead from Denny Hamlin.

Lap 186 -- Jimmie Johnson has closed back in on Denny Hamlin for the top spot. He's only a car length or two back at the moment.

Lap 185 -- Although he's still closing in on Kyle Busch for fifth place, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not happy with the handling on his car.

Lap 180 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is just outside the top five in sixth place, and he's well within striking distance of fifth-place Kyle Busch.

Lap 177 -- Jeff Gordon has picked his way into the top five. He's now in fourth place, 2.5 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin.

Lap 173 -- Denny Hamlin has finally been able to open up a little ground on second-place Jimmie Johnson. He's now nearly 8/10ths of a second ahead of the five-time Sprint Cup champion.

Lap 170 -- Clint Bowyer has made a pit stop to repair damage from the incident with Joey Logano a few laps earlier. The incident was trigged when Ryan Newman tagged Logano coming off the last corner. There's history between Newman and Logano.

Lap 167 -- One hundred laps to go. That math is easy!

Lap 165 -- Denny Hamlin has still not been able to shake Jimmie Johnson. The margin between them right now is less than half a second.

Lap 161 -- Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer make hard contact coming off Turn 4, but both are somehow able to regain control without bringing out a caution.

Lap 160 -- Jimmie Johnson is going low in the turns, while Denny Hamlin is taking the high road.

Lap 158 -- Jimmie Johnson remains tucked close behind Denny Hamlin for the lead.

Lap 155 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. line up first through fifth on the restart. Hamlin and Johnson stay side by side for most of the lap, but Hamlin clears for the lead in Turn 4.

Lap 151 -- The leaders are pitting.

Lap 149 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's third caution is out for what appears to be a blown engine on Dave Blaney's car.

Lap 148 -- Martin Truex Jr. gets under Clint Bowyer for fifth place.

Lap 145 -- The gap between Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson remains stable at about 1.6 seconds.

Lap 141 -- Kyle Busch has lost touch with the front two. He's 3.2 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin right now.

Lap 140 -- The top five are Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 137 -- Denny Hamlin's lead over Jimmie Johnson now stands at 1.3 seconds.

Lap 134 -- Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are still side by side for second place. That's allowing Denny Hamlin's lead up front to get a little more comfortable.

Lap 133 -- Jimmie Johnson rolls under Kyle Busch for second place coming off Turn 2.

Lap 132 -- Jimmie Johnson is looking low in Turn 4, trying to get position under Kyle Busch for second place.

Lap 130 -- GREEN FLAG: The top five are Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer. Hamlin takes the lead.

Lap 127 -- The leaders are on pit road.

Lap 125 -- YELLOW FLAG: There's debris on the frontstretch. This is just the second caution of the night.

Lap 122 -- Brad Keselowski has once again closed on Kyle Busch up front.

Lap 119 -- Kyle Busch has slapped the wall coming off Turn 2, but he keeps going.

Lap 110 -- Brad Keselowski is there. Can he make a move?

Lap 107 -- The top three -- Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson -- are within 8/10ths of a second of each other.

Lap 104 -- Brad Keselowski is within a few car lengths of Kyle Busch's rear bumper, looking for a way to make a move for the lead.

Lap 102 -- After the cycle of green-flag pit stops, the top five are Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 99 -- Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth are stopping.

Lap 98 -- Kyle Busch drops onto pit road. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also stopping.

Lap 97 -- Brad Keselowski gives up second to pit. Clint Bowyer and Regan Smith are also in.

Lap 96 -- Martin Truex Jr. and AJ Allmendinger are in their pit stalls.

Lap 95 -- Carl Edwards pits.

Lap 92 -- Paul Menard is on pit road.

Lap 90 -- Brad Keselowski is making another run on Kyle Busch for the top spot. Kevin Harvick is pitting, unhappy with his car.

Lap 83 -- Kyle Busch is stretching out his lead over Brad Keselowski.

Lap 78 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in sixth place, 6.2 seconds behind leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 74 -- Brad Keselowski looks to be closing in on the lead.

Lap 70 -- The top five are Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 68 -- Brad Keselowski trails the leader by about half a second.

Lap 63 -- Tony Stewart is back on the track, running in 41st place, 34 laps down.

Lap 53 -- Kasey Kahne is making an unscheduled pit stop.

Lap 49 -- Brad Keselowski gets under Jimmie Johnson for second place.

Lap 48 -- GREEN FLAG: Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson are the leaders on the restart.

Lap 46 -- Tony Stewart has gone back to the garage.

Lap 45 -- The leaders are on pit road.

Lap 44 -- Tony Stewart is out of the garage and rolling down pit road.

Lap 43 -- YELLOW FLAG: The event's first caution is out for a mechanical failure on Scott Rigg's car.

Lap 42 -- Brad Keselowski is less than 10 laps from pitting ... or not. The caution is out!

Lap 39 -- Brad Keselowski's crew chief asks for a quick update on his car, and he replies, "Pretty good."

Lap 36 -- Brad Keselowski wrestles the lead away from Kyle Busch between Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 29 -- Tony Stewart is on pit road.

Lap 27 -- Just after Tony Stewart slows on the track with some sort of mechanical issue, Brad Keselowski gets around Denny Hamlin for second place.

Lap 24 -- Joey Logano has lost the cooling unit in the cockpit of his car. If there's no way to fix that, it's going to be a looooooooong night for young Mr. Logano.

Lap 23 -- Brad Keselowski is working on Denny Hamlin for second place.

Lap 21 -- Kyle Busch says his car is a little loose all the way through the turns.

Lap 18 -- Move Brad Keselowski up to third place. He's now down about 1.2 second to leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 16 -- Denny Hamlin is closing in on Kyle Busch for the lead. His gap is now down to about 4/10ths of a second -- or just a few car lengths.

Lap 12 -- Kevin Harvick is still dropping. Martin Truex Jr. just got by him for eighth place.

Lap 10 -- Jimmie Johnson is trying to hold off a furious charge by Brad Keselowski for third place.

Lap 8 -- Kevin Harvick started fourth, but he's slid back to eight place in the early going.

Lap 7 -- Kyle Busch leads Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin by about 8/10ths of a second.

Lap 5 -- Brad Keselowski slides under Ryan Newman for fourth place coming off Turn 4.

Lap 3 -- Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are going after each other for fifth place. So far so good on Keselowski's steering wheel!

Lap 2 -- Denny Hamlin has shuffled Jimmie Johnson back to third place.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race gets under way at 7:48 p.m. ET. Kyle Busch gets a great jump and clears Jimmie Johnson for the lead coming off Turn 2.

7:47 p.m. ET -- Brad Keselowski had an issue with a broken steering wheel before rolling off the grid. Let's hope he gets THAT fixed!

7:46 p.m. ET -- At the stripe, it'll be one lap to go until the green flag.

7:45 p.m. ET -- The race is scheduled for 300 miles, 267 laps. That's going to make my math for the laps remaining ... well ... interesting.

7:42 p.m. ET -- Brett Bodine begins to lead the field off pit road.

7:41 p.m. ET -- The drivers are ready to participate here at Kentucky. Let's go!

7:40 p.m. ET -- Hey, wait a second. Helen Hunt wasn't in "Jumanji." Bonnie Hunt was. Sorry 'about that!

7:38 p.m. ET -- Steve Reindl, a vice president with Quaker State, gives the command to fire engines. Those are the "official" most famous words in motorsports!

7:35 p.m. ET -- Three minutes until the most famous words in motorsports ... the buffet line in the media center is now open. Now, wait. That CAN'T be right, can it?

7:31 p.m. ET -- Recording artist Laura Bell Bundy is singing the national anthem. Word has it that Bell was the girl in the movie "Jumanji" who became Helen Hunt's character!

7:30 p.m. ET -- The colors are presented by the Kentucky National Guard and Boone County Sheriff's Department. Pastor John roberts of Raceway Ministries is giving the invocation.

7:28 p.m. ET -- Jonathan Green is singing "God Bless America."

7:17 p.m. ET -- Denny Hamlin just announced ... on Twitter ... that he's signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing. Welcome home!

7:10 p.m. ET -- Twenty minutes until the start of the invocation and national anthem. The green flag is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET.

7 p.m. ET -- Driver introductions have started.

6:45 p.m. ET -- Kyle Petty says on TNT that he follows the Dalai Lama on Twitter, and Larry McReynolds responds, "What's that?"

6:43 p.m. ET -- The heat wave sweeping over much of the country is definitely in full force here in Kentucky. The temperature reached 99 degrees, and on the track surface, it's 130 degrees. Ouch.

6:36 p.m. ET -- TNT is doing an interview with Matt Kenseth about his plans for next year. C'mon, Matt ... spill the beans. What are you doing?

6:17 p.m. ET -- Driver introductions are slated to begin at 7 p.m. ET.

12:30 p.m. ET -- Jimmie Johnson's lap of 181.818 mph during qualifying Friday was good enough to put him on the pole for the Quaker State 400. Starting second will be Kyle Busch, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman in third through fifth. Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr. round out the top 10.