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Lap-by-Lap: Pocono

August 05, 2012, , NASCAR.com

Results | Series Standings

Lap 98 -- CHECKERED FLAG: The race has been called. Jeff Gordon is your winner! Just as the race is called, ESPN loses its feed due, presumably, to the storm.

4:54 p.m. ET -- There's a big storm over the track. Hang in there, folks!

4:51 p.m. ET -- The top five is Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne (complete with flat tire!), Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.

4:49 p.m. ET -- There's some serious lightning in the vicinity of the race track. Duck!

Lap 98 -- RED FLAG: Jeff Gordon leads the field onto a wet pit road. Could this be win number 86? The race is stopped at 4:44 p.m. ET.

Lap 98 -- NASCAR is going to bring the field down pit road the next time by. Leader Jeff Gordon is approaching the tunnel turn now. Pace car driver Brett Bodine reports the track is lost in the short chute off Turn 2.

Lap 97 -- The rain has arrived at Pocono.

Lap 96 -- There's a light mist being reported around the track. Brad Keselowski is shutting his engine off on the straightaways, trying to save fuel.

Lap 95 -- Second-place Kasey Kahne has a flat right-rear tire, but he's not pitting because of the threat of rain.

Lap 94 -- That was one more wild restart!

Lap 93 -- The top five is currently shown as Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart. Jimmie Johnson is listed in 14th place.

Lap 91 -- CAUTION FLAG: Leader Jimmie Johnson bobbles going through Turn 1, and slides up into Matt Kenseth. Kenseth spins, and Denny Hamlin is collected in the accident.

Lap 91 -- GREEN FLAG: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne are the leaders.

Lap 86 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's second caution is out for a hard crash in Turn 2 involving Kurt Busch.

Lap 85 -- Who knew that the duties of a Sprint Cup crew chief included being a meteorologist?

Lap 84 -- After the problem on his last pit stop, Kasey Kahne is now in sixth place.

Lap 83 -- Jimmie Johnson has been told to save some fuel because rain is on the way.

Lap 82 -- Kurt Busch is on pit road.

Lap 80 -- Crossed flags! At the halfway point, Jimmie Johnson leads Matt Kenseth by 3.2 seconds.

Lap 79 -- After the cycle of stops, the top five are Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle. There are also clouds gathering on the horizon.

Lap 78 -- Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are pitting. There's a big problem on Kahne's stop. Matt Kenseth and Sam Hornish Jr. also stop.

Lap 77 -- Leader Jimmie Johnson is on pit road. Marcos Ambrose and Ryan Newman are also in.

Lap 76 -- Jeff Burton, Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle hit pit road.

Lap 75 -- Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola are getting their cars serviced. Clint Bowyer also slides into his pit stall.

Lap 74 -- Kyle Busch is on pit road. Regan Smith is pitting.

Lap 73 -- Kyle Busch has been hammered for speeding at the entrance to pit road. So far, he has not come in to serve the penalty.

Lap 71 -- Denny Hamlin and Paul Menard pit.

Lap 70 -- Joey Logano is pitting.

Lap 68 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back on the track. He's in 32nd place, 19 laps down.

Lap 67 -- Jimmie Johnson has three straight fourth-place finishes here at Pocono. He swept both victories in 2004.

Lap 66 -- Jeff Gordon has moved into fifth place.

Lap 65 -- Brad Keselowski is on pit road.

Lap 64 -- Matt Kenseth is 3.2 seconds behind leader Jimmie Johnson, and that's a gap that's been fairly steady the last several laps.

Lap 62 -- Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson? Yeah, it's still too early for such talk, but after Indy and so far today, you've gotta wonder ...

Lap 61 -- Mark Martin is on pit road. These pit strategies are all over the place!

Lap 60 -- Now, there might be some brake issues developing on Carl Edwards' car.

Lap 59 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been on the longest streak of finishing on the lead lap in NASCAR history, but that's going to end today.

Lap 58 -- Jimmie Johnson now paces Matt Kenseth by 3.8 seconds.

Lap 56 -- Mark Martin is holding fast to sixth place. As was well noted during the pre-race show on ESPN, he has seven second-place finishes here at Pocono, but no wins.

Lap 55 -- Matt Kenseth blows past Brad Keselowski for second place.

Lap 54 -- Jimmie Johnson leads Brad Keselowski by 3.4 seconds, and Keselowski is under fire from Matt Kenseth for second place.

Lap 53 -- Kurt Busch gives up the lead to come down pit road for service. That hands the lead back to Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 52 -- After the cycle of green-flag stops, the top five is Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin.

Lap 51 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes his car directly to the garage.

Lap 50 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is off the pace. His car won't stay in gear.

Lap 49 -- Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards are on pit road.

Lap 48 -- Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Marcos Ambrose drop onto pit road.

Lap 47 -- Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Regan Smith, Martin Truex Jr. and others are pitting.

Lap 46 -- Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Satchel Paige once advised, "Don't look back, something might be gaining on you." Dale Earnhardt Jr. has Matt Kenseth hot on his trail for second place.

Lap 45 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 1.8 seconds behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 44 -- Joey Logano has just short pitted, complaining of a car that's been very tight.

Lap 43 -- Look at the bright side. We're already halfway to halfway, just in case the rain does start falling again.

Lap 42 -- Casey Mears has taken his car to the garage.

Lap 41 -- Jimmie Johnson has shot out to a lead of nearly a second over Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 39 -- Carl Edwards is up to seventh place. Up front, Jimmie Johnson takes the point from Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming off the tunnel turn.

Lap 38 -- Greg Biffle takes over fourth place from Kasey Kahne.

Lap 37 -- All four Hendrick Motorsports cars are currently shown in the top 10.

Lap 36 -- Jimmie Johnson trails Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the lead by less than 8/10ths of a second.

Lap 34 -- Still thinking about the greatest driver issue brought up during the rain delay. Gotta go with Richard Petty, right? Right?!?

Lap 33 -- The top five is Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne.

Lap 32 -- Brad Keselowski is pitting. That moves Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the top of the leaderboard.

Lap 31 -- Mark Martin is on pit road. Look for leader Brad Keselowski and Jamie McMurray to be pitting soon as well. They didn't come in under the last caution.

Lap 30 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is right on leader Brad Keselowski's rear bumper. Here we go!

Lap 29 -- Brad Keselowski hasn't shaken Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 27 -- Concerned earlier about his oil temperature gauge, Carl Edwards is now shown in 10th place.

Lap 26 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. trails Brad Keselowski by just a car length or two ... or three.

Lap 25 -- Matt Kenseth is going after Jamie McMurray for third place coming off Turn 3.

Lap 24 -- Brad Keselowski flies by Jamie McMurray for the lead, and he tows Dale Earnhardt Jr. into second place.

Lap 23 -- GREEN FLAG: Jamie McMurray, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth are the leaders on the restart. McMurray, Marin and Keselowski did not pit. McMurray is clear with the lead going into Turn 2.

Lap 20 -- The leaders are pitting. Pick your strategy!

Lap 19 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's first caution is out after Kyle Busch has a problem going into Turn 1 and slaps the wall. This will take the place of the competition caution.

Lap 18 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s lead over teammate Kasey Kahne is now 2.3 seconds.

Lap 17 -- Don't forget the competition caution in another three or four laps.

Lap 16 -- The top five is currently Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch.

Lap 15 -- Here comes Kasey Kahne after Denny Hamlin for second place.

Lap 14 -- Matt Kenseth goes by Juan Montoya for fourth place on the long backstretch here at Pocono.

Lap 13 -- Kasey Kahne has picked his way past Juan Montoya for third place.

Lap 12 -- Only a lap after going to the lead, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin is already up to 1.2 seconds.

Lap 11 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. goes to the lead on the frontstretch.

Lap 10 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a couple of runnerup finishes here at Pocono, with the most recent coming in 2007.

Lap 9 -- Kasey Kahne is looking to get position on Kurt Busch for fourth place. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also takes second from Juan Montoya.

Lap 8 -- Denny Hamlin scoots under Juan Montoya for the lead on the frontstretch.

Lap 7 -- Carl Edwards says that the oil temperature gauge is bouncing back and forth between 190 degrees and pegged.

Lap 6 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets under Kurt Busch for third place going through the second corner.

Lap 5 -- Juan Montoya's best finish here at Pocono is a second back in August of 2009.

Lap 4 -- Most of the field has now strung out single file.

Lap 3 -- Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have dropped Macros Ambrose to fifth place.

Lap 2 -- Denny Hamlin and Marcos Ambrose are running right in Juan Montoya's draft at the start of the lap, and then Hamlin makes the pass for the lead into Turn 2. Montoya retakes the lead in Turn 3.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race finally gets the green at 2:58 p.m. ET. Juan Montoya is clear for the lead by the time the field hits Turn 1. There's a big scramble on the Long Pond Straightaway, but it settles down for the tunnel turn.

2:55 p.m. ET -- One to go at the stripe. The field is in Turn 3 now.

2:50 p.m. ET -- The field begins to roll off pit road. There will be a competition caution at Lap 20.

2:49 p.m. ET -- We'll see three pace laps and then the green flag. Time to go racing, folks.

2:48 p.m. ET -- Family Members of Flight 93 Heroes Kenny Nacke, Louis Nacke III, Louis Nacke IV, Sandy Felt and Marie Walsh give the command to fire engines!

2:45 p.m. ET -- The jet dryers have been ordered to power down and head home by race director David Hoots.

2:43 p.m. ET -- Less than five minutes until the command to fire engines. It's getting real!

2:32 p.m. ET -- An F-16 from the 20th Fighter Wing does the fly over.

2:31 p.m. ET -- RCA recording artist Alex Boyd sings the national anthem.

2:30 p.m. ET -- The United States Garrison Military Police Company out of West Point, N.Y. presents the colors just before Rev. Mike Salnicky gives the invocation.

2 p.m. ET -- Driver introductions have started, but more weather is reportedly on the way.

1:44 p.m. ET -- The sky is blue over Pocono, but Juan Montoya says on ESPN that there's more rain coming.

1:40 p.m. ET -- Driver intros will be followed at 2:30 p.m. ET by the invocation and national anthem. The command to fire engines is still on hold.

1:29 p.m. ET -- Driver introductions will now begin at 2 p.m. ET. That's a start ...

1:14 p.m. ET -- The rain has stopped and the jet dryers are on the track. Figure a couple of hours to completely dry ... we'll see how it goes.

12:56 p.m. ET -- It's not raining as hard, but it's still coming down.

12:39 p.m. ET -- Radar shows red over the track at Pocono. No surprise there! Hunker down, folks.

12:38 p.m. ET -- Here's how hard it's raining at Pocono. The ESPN pit studio has sprung a leak ... and it's right over Brad Daugherty's head. Now THAT'S great television!

12:36 p.m. ET -- Duuuuuuude ... somebody needs to get ESPN's Marty Smith indoors.

12:31 p.m. ET -- Hey! There's Archie Kennedy, Jeff Gordon's coach driver, in the background while Gordon is being interviewed on ESPN. Kennedy is one the sport's truly good guys ...

12:31 p.m. ET -- More bad news ... the bottom has fallen out and it's really raining at the track.

12:28 p.m. ET -- Bad news ... it's raining at Pocono.

12:24 p.m. ET -- Another ESPN clip says that Denny Hamlin loses the equivalent of 18 full soda cans of water weight each race. Ewwww ...

12:19 p.m. ET -- Don't know that there's any way to actually quantify who the greatest driver ever might be, but it's fun to consider who would come out on top of a battle between Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson in their primes.

12:14 p.m. ET -- Jimmie Johnson says in a segment on ESPN that it's his goal to win eight championships and be considered the greatest NASCAR driver of all time.

12:09 p.m. ET -- It's cloudy at the race track, and although there's a flash flood watch until 8 a.m. ET Monday, showers are expected to end by late afternoon.

7:41 a.m. ET -- Juan Montoya is on the pole for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. Denny Hamlin will start alongside him on the front row, followed by Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Marcos Ambrose in third through fifth. Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson round out the top 10.

Stephen Leicht failed to qualify for the event.