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Lap-by-Lap: Loudon

July 15, 2012, , NASCAR.com

Results | Standings

Lap 301 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Kasey Kahne hangs on to claim the win. It's the second win of 2012 for Kahne, and the 14th of his career.

Lap 299 -- Denny Hamlin goes way high between Turns 3 and 4. That's it. He won't be able to catch Kasey Kahne.

Lap 298 -- Twenty car lengths might as well be twenty miles right now.

Lap 297 -- Four laps to go. Denny Hamlin isn't making up enough ground right now.

Lap 295 -- The rear bumper on Kurt Busch's car is changing colors. Could there be oil on the track?

Lap 293 -- Giddyup there, hoss! Denny Hamlin is a second off Kasey Kahne's rear bumper.

Lap 292 -- Kasey Kahne is working his way through some traffic. Will this play a factor in the outcome?

Lap 291 -- Ten laps to go. Denny Hamlin is 1.8 seconds behind Kasey Kahne. It's go time!

Lap 288 -- Clint Bowyer has fallen off Denny Hamlin's pace, so there's no challenge there. The race is between Kasey Kahne and Hamlin.

Lap 287 -- Denny Hamlin closes a couple of car lengths, but that's not going to be enough at this rate.

Lap 285 -- Still the same margin up front, about 2.8 seconds between leader Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin.

Lap 283 -- Kyle Busch is very unhappy with the handling on his car. It's reportedly "wrecking loose."

Lap 282 -- Kasey Kahne faces clear track in front of him right now, but traffic could come into play before the end of the race.

Lap 281 -- Thirty laps to go. Denny Hamlin trails leader Kasey Kahne by 2.6 seconds.

Lap 278 -- Forget the caution. Let's see if Denny Hamlin can catch Kasey Kahne without one! He's three seconds back right now.

Lap 277 -- Denny Hamlin grabs second place from Clint Bowyer going into Turn 3.

Lap 276 -- Kasey Kahne is being updated on Denny Hamlin's progress. No mention has been made of second-place Clint Bowyer.

Lap 275 -- Leader Kasey Kahne says the car feels pretty good, except for being a little loose in the corners.

Lap 274 -- Kasey Kahne is now less than half a straightaway in front of third-place Denny Hamlin.

Lap 272 -- Denny Hamlin gets a run on Dale Earnhardt Jr. for third place coming off Turn 2.

Lap 271 -- Denny Hamlin is closing on Dale Earnhardt Jr. for third place. Thirty laps to go.

Lap 268 -- Denny Hamlin is now in fourth place, 3.5 seconds back.

Lap 265 -- There's almost complete silence on leader Kasey Kahne's radio. He's being given lap differences, but that's about it.

Lap 263 -- Kasey Kahne has charged out to a 1.2-second lead over Clint Bowyer.

Lap 260 -- A half second stands between leader Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 259 -- Denny Hamlin evidently wanted one thing, and crew chief Darian Grubb heard something else prior to the last stop. Hamlin's still in fifth place.

Lap 256 -- Fifth place for Denny Hamlin!

Lap 255 -- Clint Bowyer has lost a couple of car lengths on Kasey Kahne in the last couple of laps.

Lap 253 -- Denny Hamlin's march to the front continues. He's up to sixth place.

Lap 251 -- Fifty laps to go.

Lap 250 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in third place, 1.9 seconds behind Kasey Kahne.

Lap 249 -- Denny Hamlin is up to eighth place, 4.7 seconds behind leader Kasey Kahne. He's coming!

Lap 247 -- Clint Bowyer isn't falling off Kasey Kahne's pace.

Lap 245 -- Kasey Kahne's lead over Clint Bowyer is about 4/10ths of a second.

Lap 244 -- Denny Hamlin is up to 11th. He reportedly wanted the four tires, rather than two.

Lap 242 -- Denny Hamlin has made up just one spot after the restart, to 12th.

Lap 241 -- Clint Bowyer took second from Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the restart, and he's going after Kasey Kahne for the lead.

Lap 239 -- GREEN FLAG: The leaders on the restart are Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman. Kyle Busch will take the wave around to get back on the lead lap. Kahne clears for the lead in Turn 1.

Lap 237 -- One lap to the green flag at the stripe. The field is coming off Turn 4 now.

Lap 235 -- The leaders are on pit road. Most take two tires, but Denny Hamlin takes four and drops all the way to 13th. Wow.

Lap 234 -- Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are both a lap down right now, but Johnson will get the lucky dog pass.

Lap 233 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's third caution is out for David Reutimann's blown engine.

Lap 232 -- Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are on pit road. Busch overshoots his stall by a few inches and has to back up.

Lap 231 -- Kyle Busch will be pitting the next time around.

Lap 229 -- NASCAR has given teams an extra person to go over pit wall to clean the windshield and service the driver.

Lap 228 -- Kyle Busch hasn't pitted ... yet.

Lap 224 -- The top five are Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 222 -- Kyle Busch's disadvantage to leader Denny Hamlin now stands at 3.1 seconds.

Lap 221 -- Denny Hamlin has three finishes of no worse than third place in his last five starts here at New Hampshire.

Lap 219 -- Kyle Busch will probably pit on about Lap 226.

Lap 216 -- Kyle Busch is hoping to stretch his next pit stop for another 20 laps or so. That would put him on the same schedule as the rest of the leaders.

Lap 214 -- It's interesting to watch in-car camera footage from Denny Hamlin's car. His hands are rock-solid steady on the steering wheel.

Lap 212 -- The margin up front has grown another couple tenths of a second.

Lap 207 -- Kyle Busch has been able to hold off the advance of Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. That fight isn't over!

Lap 206 -- The racing for second place has allowed Denny Hamlin to scoot out to a two-second lead.

Lap 205 -- Kyle Busch clears Jimmie Johnson for a moment, but he's got two more Hendrick Motorsports entries right behind Johnson.

Lap 204 -- Jimmie Johnson is working under Kyle Busch for second place. They're in Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 202 -- Brian Vickers, making another spot start for Michael Waltrip Racing, is shown in sixth place.

Lap 201 -- One hundred laps to go. Denny Hamlin leads Kyle Busch by a couple of car lengths.

Lap 200 -- Denny Hamlin is hanging on to the top spot.

Lap 198 -- Denny Hamlin clears Kyle Busch for the lead. It gets three wide behind them.

Lap 197 -- GREEN FLAG: The leaders are Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski. Busch and Hamlin stay side by side for the entire lap.

Lap 191 -- The leaders are pitting. Most take two tires, but Jeff Gordon takes four. That drops him to ninth off pit road. Kyle Busch stays on the track.

Lap 189 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's second caution is out for debris.

Lap 187 -- Kasey Kahne continues his march toward Denny Hamlin, erasing another half a second off his deficit.

Lap 186 -- Kasey Kahne now trails Denny Hamlin by 2.9 seconds. On the track, that's about a third of a straightaway.

Lap 185 -- Brad Keselowski gets under Jeff Gordon for fourth place in Turn 2.

Lap 183 -- Jeff Gordon should be able to go the rest of the way on just one more pit stop.

Lap 181 -- Brad Keselowski has made his way into fifth place, past Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 180 -- About 8.6 seconds separate the top-five cars.

Lap 177 -- Kasey Kahne has cut about a second off Denny Hamlin's lead in the last few laps.

Lap 175 -- Tony Stewart has gone a lap down.

Lap 174 -- A much cooler breeze is blowing at the track.

Lap 172 -- There are spotty showers not far from the track, and a bigger green blob a little further out. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Lap 170 -- Denny Hamlin's lead over Kasey Kahne is 5.6 seconds.

Lap 159 -- After the cycle of stops, the top 10 are Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 157 -- Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth are in.

Lap 156 -- Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman are stopping.

Lap 155 -- Denny Hamlin is on pit road. Kasey Kahne is also making his stop.

Lap 153 -- There's a big chunk of rubber reported on the race track.

Lap 151 -- The race has reached the halfway point. Rain is about 20 or 30 miles away.

Lap 148 -- Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch are pitting.

Lap 147 -- Jeff Gordon is now in 22nd place, one lap down.

Lap 145 -- Jeff Gordon is on pit road. Martin Truex Jr. is also pitting.

Lap 144 -- So ... good call or bad for Jeff Gordon to stay out on the event's only caution so far today? It doesn't look good right now.

Lap 141 -- Kyle Busch has stalled out in ninth place.

Lap 139 -- Denny Hamlin leads Jimmie Johnson by 3.8 seconds.

Lap 138 -- Jeff Gordon is going to be pitting in about 10 laps.

Lap 136 -- Kasey Kahne has moved around Jeff Gordon for third place.

Lap 132 -- Denny Hamlin had never led more than 46 laps in a single race here at New Hampshire. He's been out front for well over that number today.

Lap 130 -- The top five are currently Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 128 -- Denny Hamlin has 3.3 seconds on Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 126 -- Come on, crossed flags! The race becomes official at the halfway point.

Lap 123 -- There are reports of rain in the New Hampshire area.

Lap 121 -- Jimmie Johnson has chopped about half a second off Denny Hamlin's cushion.

Lap 119 -- Kyle Busch hasn't been able to make up any more ground after the disaster under caution.

Lap 117 -- Brad Keselowski is holding steady in sixth place, 5.7 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin.

Lap 115 -- Jimmie Johnson trails leader Denny Hamlin by 3.1 seconds.

Lap 114 -- The top five is still dominated by Hendrick Motorsports.

Lap 110 -- A NASCAR inspector in Turn 3 reports the smell of burnt oil or transmission fluid. He can't tell which car it might be coming from.

Lap 109 -- Jimmie Johnson flies by Jeff Gordon for second place.

Lap 106 -- The top five are separated by 3.5 seconds.

Lap 105 -- Greg Biffle goes after Kyle Busch for ninth place, and they almost make contact.

Lap 104 -- Kyle Busch tries going to the high side of Martin Truex Jr. for eighth place.

Lap 103 -- Denny Hamlin is now 1.3 seconds ahead of Jeff Gordon.

Lap 101 -- Kyle Busch is now up to ninth, and challenging Martin Truex Jr. for eighth.

Lap 100 -- Jeff Gordon is hoping against hope for a caution that will allow him to pit with the rest of the leaders ... as long as he's not it!

Lap 98 -- Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman are racing hard for 10th place. Jimmie Johnson gets by Kasey Kahne for third.

Lap 96 -- Jeff Gordon is a car length behind leader Denny Hamlin in Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 94 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are the leaders on the restart. Kyle Busch took just fuel on his stop and is 10th at the green flag. Hamlin takes the lead.

Lap 90 -- The leaders are on pit road. Jeff Gordon stays on the track.

Lap 89 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's first caution is brought out by debris.

Lap 88 -- Jeff Gordon, running third, is now about 2.4 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin.

Lap 86 -- Second-place Kasey Kahne has erased a couple of tenths of a second on Denny Hamlin.

Lap 84 -- Leader Denny Hamlin is at the tail end of a long line of cars trying to stay on the lead lap.

Lap 81 -- Hendrick Motorsports is having a decent day, with its drivers running second through fifth.

Lap 79 -- Leader Denny Hamlin has one win here, back in July 2007.

Lap 77 -- Jeff Gordon is in third place, about 4.3 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin.

Lap 75 -- Denny Hamlin's lead over Kasey Kahne is about 1.5 seconds.

Lap 72 -- After the cycle of stops, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kyle Busch is 20th, 24 seconds behind the leader.

Lap 71 -- Kurt Busch was the leader, but he's now on pit road.

Lap 70 -- Ryan Newman pits.

Lap 69 -- Jeff Gordon gives up the point to come down pit road. Jimmie Johnson is also in.

Lap 68 -- Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others are pitting. Kyle Busch will be penalized for speeding on pit road.

Lap 67 -- Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch make their stops. Busch's stop is a slow one on the right rear.

Lap 66 -- Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle are on pit road.

Lap 65 -- Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose are pitting.

Lap 64 -- Brad Keselowski is on pit road. So is Sam Hornish Jr.

Lap 63 -- It looks like Kasey Kahne might have backed off a little bit in chasing Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 60 -- The pit window is 68-75 laps, so crews are beginning to warm up.

Lap 59 -- Denny Hamlin isn't going to be in third place longer, not if Jeff Gordon can help it.

Lap 57 -- Jeff Gordon is coming after the leaders.

Lap 53 -- Fourth-place Jeff Gordon is closing the gap to Denny Hamlin. He's now a little more than a second behind Hamlin.

Lap 51 -- Look for pit stops to begin in the next several laps if there's not a caution before then.

Lap 50 -- Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne have been putting on a great show up front. All it's going to take is a slip here, a bobble there.

Lap 48 -- Brad Keselowski, who won Saturday's Nationwide Series race, is up to 14th place from 22nd on the starting grid.

Lap 46 -- Kasey Kahne is still trying to figure out a way past Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 43 -- The lapped car of Josh Wise allowed Kasey Kahne to close on Kyle Busch for the top spot, but Kahne wasn't able to do anything with it.

Lap 41 -- Second-place Kasey Kahne has zero top-five and just two top-10 finishes here at New Hampshire.

Lap 38 -- The top-five drivers are currently Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 37 -- Kasey Kahne is on Kyle Busch's bumper for the lead.

Lap 35 -- Jimmie Johnson joins Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne in the top five, dropping Clint Bowyer back to sixth place.

Lap 34 -- The front three still have a healthy gap over fourth place Jeff Gordon.

Lap 32 -- Jeff Gordon continues his march to the front after taking fourth place from Clint Bowyer.

Lap 31 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets by Martin Truex Jr. for seventh place.

Lap 30 -- Kyle Busch has about two or three car lengths over Kasey Kahne.

Lap 28 -- Kasey Kahne wrestles second place away from Denny Hamlin.

Lap 27 -- The fight up front got a little dicey in lapped traffic, but it got sorted out without incident.

Lap 25 -- Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are working well together. They get past Martin Truex Jr. for fifth and sixth.

Lap 24 -- Just 7/10ths of a second separate the first three cars. It's more than three seconds back to fourth-place Clint Bowyer.

Lap 22 -- Kasey Kahne appears to be closing on Denny Hamlin for second place.

Lap 21 -- Denny Hamlin is within striking distance of leader Kyle Busch, but he's not pressing the issue for the time being.

Lap 19 -- Kevin Harvick gives Greg Biffle a bump entering Turn 3. Who could ever forget their battle royale following a Nationwide Series race at Bristol several years ago?

Lap 18 -- Third-place Kasey Kahne is just a few car lengths behind the battle for the lead.

Lap 15 -- Kyle Busch has one previous Sprint Cup Series victory here at New Hampshire. It came in July 2006.

Lap 13 -- The margin between Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin is holding steady.

Lap 11 -- Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. are running fourth and fifth.

Lap 10 -- Kyle Busch has a little more breathing room over second place, which is now held by Denny Hamlin. The gap is about 4/10ths of a second.

Lap 9 -- Denny Hamlin takes the runnerup spot from Kasey Kahne.

Lap 8 -- Denny Hamlin is working Kasey Kahne over for second place between Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 7 -- Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson get by Ryan Newman for sixth and seventh, respectively.

Lap 5 -- Kasey Kahne is still following in Kyle Busch's tire tracks, a couple of car lengths back.

Lap 4 -- Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano think hard about going three wide on the frontstretch.

Lap 2 -- Kasey Kahne gives Kyle Busch a couple of looks for the lead, but thinks better of it and drops back in line.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race gets under way at 1:16 p.m. ET. Kyle Busch is clear with the lead just a few feet past the starter's stand, with Kasey Kahne dropping into space place.

1:14 p.m. ET -- One lap to go before the green at the starter's stand. The field is crossing the line now.

1:12 p.m. ET -- The field is rolling off pit road for the start of the pace laps.

1:10 p.m. ET -- The race will consist of 301 laps. Wouldn't it be something if the leader slowed at the end of Lap 300, thinking the race was over?

1:08 p.m. ET -- Darrell Bates, the business development manager for Fastenal, gives the command to fire engines.

1:02 p.m. ET -- Two T-45C Goshawks from Training Squadron 9 do the fly-over. Yes!

1:01 p.m. ET -- Thirteen-year-old Emma Joanis, winner of the 2012 Speedway Star competition, sings the national anthem.

1 p.m. ET -- The Combined Services Color Guard presents the colors just before the invocation by Father Chris Martel.

12:58 p.m. ET -- Jilly Martin is singing the Canadian national anthem.

12:55 p.m. ET -- Hey! Ricky Craven, a native of nearby Maine, is going to be driving the pace car during the parade laps.

12:43 p.m. ET -- Fifteen minutes until the invocation and national anthems.

12:32 p.m. ET -- Then again, Kyle Petty might have been joking. That's soooooooo unlike him ...

12:30 p.m. ET -- TNT's "NASCAR Generations" segment revealed something interesting. The illegal engine that Richard Petty was caught with at Charlotte in 1983 had actually been run the week before by Kyle!

12:11 p.m. ET -- A streak will be broken today. Marty Snider, who has been a part of every Turner Sports NASCAR broadcast since 1999, will not be calling the action from the pits here today due to an illness. Get well soon, Marty!

Noon ET -- Driver introductions are set to begin in 30 minutes.

7 a.m. ET -- Kyle Busch is on the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, followed by Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer in the top five. Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart round out the top 10.