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Lap-by-Lap: Bristol

August 26, 2012, , NASCAR.com

Lap 500 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Denny Hamlin flashes across the finish line with the victory. It's his first at Bristol in Sprint Cup competition.

Lap 497 -- Carl Edwards is on pit road.

Lap 496 -- Carl Edwards is out of gas.

Lap 492 -- Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers are still running less than a second apart in second, third and fourth, respectively.

Lap 490 -- Ten laps to go.

Lap 488 -- Jimmie Johnson remains about a second off Denny Hamlin for the lead.

Lap 484 -- Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers are running nose to tail between Turns1 and 2.

Lap 481 -- Carl Edwards continues to fall through the top 10. He's back to eighth place.

Lap 478 -- Jeff Gordon is trailing his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson by a couple of car lengths. That would be for second place.

Lap 475 -- Twenty-five laps to go. Denny Hamlin's margin over Jimmie Johnson remains about the same.

Lap 472 -- Denny Hamlin leads Jimmie Johnson by a little more than a second.

Lap 468 -- Jimmie Johnson slips under Carl Edwards for second place, and by the time Edwards gets back into line, he's in fifth.

Lap 465 -- Denny Hamlin has a fairly decent lead right now. The fight is for second place between Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 461 -- Denny Hamlin passes Carl Edwards for the lead, and then coming off Turn 4, Edwards gives him a healthy shove from behind.

Lap 458 -- Denny Hamlin runs Denny Hamlin up the track, but can't grab the top spot just yet.

Lap 454 -- Brian Vickers gets loose and nearly crashes. He's dropped all the way to fifth.

Lap 453 -- Brian Vickers drag races Carl Edwards for the lead down the backstretch, but can't get the spot.

Lap 450 -- Brian Vickers is on Carl Edwards' bumper.

Lap 448 -- Brian Vickers retakes the runnerup spot from Denny Hamlin.

Lap 445 -- Carl Edwards clears Brian Vickers for the lead, and Denny Hamlin follows Edwards into second.

Lap 443 -- GREEN FLAG: Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Marcos Ambrose are the leaders. Vickers takes the lead off Turn 4.

Lap 437 -- She doesn't throw her helmet, but Danica Patrick does wiggle a finger at Regan Smith as he rolls by her.

Lap 434 -- YELLOW FLAG: Danica Patrick crashes on the frontstretch. It's the 13th caution of the night.

Lap 431 -- Denny Hamlin is trying to get around Jimmie Johnson for third place.

Lap 429 -- GREEN FLAG: Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano are the leaders. Edwards is clear for the lead going into Turn 3.

Lap 425 -- There are no takers on pit road.

Lap 422 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's 12th caution is out for a piece of debris in Turn 2. It came from Regan Smith's car, which was hit on the restart in a chain reaction by Greg Biffle.

Lap 419 -- GREEN FLAG: Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose and Jeff Gordon are the leaders. Regan Smith is smoking heavily with a tire rub.

Lap 415 -- Most of the leaders are pitting. Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers stay on the track.

Lap 413 -- YELLOW FLAG: Casey Mears gets into the wall in Turn 2.

Lap 407 -- Denny Hamlin gets a run on Martin Truex Jr. to take the lead off Turn 4.

Lap 406 -- Danica Patrick is about to go a lap down.

Lap 400 -- One hundred laps to go.

Lap 397 -- Kyle Busch is in third place, 3.6 seconds behind the fight for the lead.

Lap 392 -- Denny Hamlin is still following in leader Martin Truex Jr.'s tire tracks.

Lap 388 -- Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick have moved past Greg Biffle. Edwards is fourth, Harvick fifth and Biffle sixth.

Lap 385 -- It looks like Jimmie Johnson will probably have to pit again.

Lap 382 -- Carl Edwards is in fifth place.

Lap 378 -- Denny Hamlin has backed off a few car lengths from leader Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 375 -- Still no change up front, but it's not from a lack of trying on Denny Hamlin's part!

Lap 372 -- There's a big-time struggle for the lead right now between Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

Lap 370 -- Denny Hamlin is working Martin Truex Jr. over for the lead in Turn 2.

Lap 365 -- Greg Biffle slips up the track, allowing Martin Truex Jr. to fly past him for the lead.

Lap 360 -- Martin Truex Jr. sneaks past Kyle Busch for second place.

Lap 357 -- Kyle Busch is still giving Greg Biffle fits for the lead. Martin Truex Jr. is right there in mix as well.

Lap 355 -- Greg Biffle is clear for the lead, but he's under fire from Kyle Busch.

Lap 353 -- GREEN FLAG: Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. are the leaders. Biffle and Harvick stay side by side.

Lap 350 -- The top-10 cars did not pit. They are Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Juan Montoya, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers and Bobby Labonte. Jeff Gordon pitted, and is 11th.

Lap 349 -- Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Kasey Kahne and a few others are making their stops.

Lap 348 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on pit road, even though it's closed. That'll cost him big time.

Lap 346 -- YELLOW FLAG: Dave Blaney appears to have blown an engine. Jeff Gordon slips up the track, and falls back to 10th.

Lap 343 -- Marcos Ambrose is following Joey Logano all over the place, trying to get position on him for the lead.

Lap 341 -- Joey Logano is the leader, with Marcos Ambrose a car length or two back.

Lap 340 -- GREEN FLAG: Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray are the leaders.

Lap 336 -- Great line from ESPN's Dale Jarrett when he quips, "They called ME to the truck when I did that."

Lap 334 -- Tony Stewart furiously slings his helmet at Matt Kenseth as he passes by on pit road.

Lap 333 -- YELLOW FLAG: Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth bang doors coming off the last corner, and slide down the frontstretch into the inside retaining wall. This is the ninth caution of the night.

Lap 332 -- Tony Stewart gets under Matt Kenseth for the lead, and then Kenseth comes right back after him.

Lap 328 -- GREEN FLAG: Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose and Greg Biffle are the leaders. Kenseth hangs on to the top spot.

Lap 324 -- Most of the leaders hit pit road, but again, some stay on the track.

Lap 322 -- YELLOW FLAG: The caution is out for an accident on the frontstretch involving Regan Smith and Kurt Busch. This is the eighth yellow flag of the night.

Lap 319 -- The top five is currently Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 315 -- Jeff Gordon has a special paint scheme featuring the game FarmVille. Send your game requests to Bill Kimm, senior interactive ... oh, never mind.

Lap 311 -- Really ... that's Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon up front. Neither driver is running what would be considered a familiar paint scheme here at Bristol.

Lap 307 -- Jeff Gordon is still right there, right behind teammate Jimmie Johnson for the lead.

Lap 280 -- Jimmie Johnson is holding Jeff Gordon off for the lead, but that could change at any moment.

Lap 276 -- GREEN FLAG: Jimmie Johnson is the leader on the restart.

Lap 273 -- Matt Kenseth leads several other lead-lap cars down pit road. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards did not pit.

Lap 271 -- YELLOW FLAG: Brad Keselowski noses his car hard into the inside retaining wall on the back straightaway. This is the seventh caution of the night.

Lap 267 -- The first four cars are single file, 6/10ths of a second apart.

Lap 259 -- Tony Gibson, crew chief for Ryan Newman, said that Newman had a tire going down before that accident several laps ago. Newman is officially out of the race.

Lap 257 -- Jimmie Johnson is now in second place, followed closely by Marcos Ambrose and Jeff Gordon.

Lap 254 -- Matt Kenseth goes under Greg Biffle for the lead, and Biffle falls to fifth place before he's able to get back in line.

Lap 253 -- The first six cars in the rundown are single file, just off the rear bumper of leader Greg Biffle.

Lap 250 -- Halfway!

Lap 247 -- Greg Biffle looks like he might be holding up the line of traffic behind him. Doesn't matter ... he's still the leader!

Lap 242 -- Matt Kenseth is shadowing Greg Biffle's every move. Jimmie Johnson and Marcos Ambrose are still right behind that battle.

Lap 238 -- After going a lap down earlier, Tony Stewart is back on the lead circuit in ninth place.

Lap 234 -- Matt Kenseth falls in behind Greg Biffle. Jimmie Johnson is right behind them in third place.

Lap 232 -- Matt Kenseth is challenging Greg Biffle for the top spot.

Lap 230 -- GREEN FLAG: Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are the leaders. Biffle shoots clear with the lead in Turn 1.

Lap 226 -- Denny Hamlin leads about half the field down pit road.

Lap 224 -- YELLOW FLAG: Aric Almirola and David Gilliland get together in Turn 1 and both go into the outside retaining wall.

Lap 223 -- Denny Hamlin has put about half a second on Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 217 -- After his earlier problems, Kurt Busch has managed to race his way into ninth place.

Lap 214 -- Clint Bowyer is now in fifth place.

Lap 211 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. has lost a little bit of ground on leader Denny Hamlin, but there's really no need to push the issue right now. We're not even halfway yet!

Lap 209 -- Denny Hamlin still has Dale Earnhardt Jr. in tow.

Lap 206 -- Denny Hamlin muscles his way past Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the lead between Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 202 -- Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin are fighting for second place.

Lap 200 -- GREEN FLAG: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Juan Montoya, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer are the leaders. Earnhardt is clear with the lead.

Lap 193 -- Again, strategies are split between pitting and not. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and several others stayed on the track.

Lap 191 -- YELLOW FLAG: Ryan Newman and Jeff Burton crash on the frontstretch. The accident was triggered when Juan Montoya tagged Newman coming off Turn 4.

Lap 185 -- Joey Logano is going to have company any time now in the form of Brian Vickers.

Lap 181 -- After taking over second place, Brian Vickers is hustling after Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap 176 -- Brian Vickers takes second place from Jeff Gordon.

Lap 172 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is reeling Kyle Busch in for fourth place.

Lap 170 -- Matt Kenseth is trying to rebound from his brake problems earlier tonight. He's now shown in ninth place.

Lap 167 -- The top-four cars are Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch. They're running single file, just under a second apart.

Lap 163 -- There's a huge pack of traffic just behind Kevin Harvick. That could get really ugly really quickly.

Lap 161 -- Jeff Gordon blasts past Brian Vickers for second place.

Lap 159 -- GREEN FLAG: Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose are the leaders. Logano clears for the lead. The first 15 cars in the running order did not pit.

Lap 154 -- Kasey Kahne is pitting again. He's lost a lap, and is shown in 32nd place.

Lap 152 -- Kasey Kahne is back on pit road.

Lap 150 -- Most of the leaders are pitting, but Joey Logano stays on the track.

Lap 148 -- YELLOW FLAG: David Ragan spins, with fire coming out from under his car very briefly. This is the race's fourth caution. Leader Kasey Kahne slips in oil spilled on the track, causing him to get into the wall.

Lap 147 -- Jimmie Johnson dives under Greg Biffle for position, and Biffle gives him a nudge when he clears.

Lap 144 -- Jimmie Johnson got very loose in the turn last time around. He's not having the best of nights so far.

Lap 141 -- Denny Hamlin has still not gotten around Juan Montoya. Chrome horn, anyone?

Lap 138 -- Kasey Kahne has several car lengths on second-place Joey Logano.

Lap 137 -- Denny Hamlin is having a hard time getting around Juan Montoya for third place.

Lap 131 -- Joey Logano slides into second place.

Lap 130 -- GREEN FLAG: Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Jeff Burton, Juan Montoya and Kevin Harvick are the leaders. Kahne is clear with the lead going into Turn 3.

Lap 124 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr., Aric Almirola and a few others are pitting.

Lap 122 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's third caution is out for Sam Hornish Jr.'s encounter with the wall. Kurt Busch is also in trouble with his rear deck lid standing straight up.

Lap 117 -- ESPN's Rusty Wallace says that Tony Stewart is "getting his doors blown off." Well, yeah. That's one way to put it.

Lap 115 -- Kasey Kahne is setting sail. His lead over Joey Logano is now up to 2.6 seconds.

Lap 110 -- PRN is discussing plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Richard Petty's last race and Jeff Gordon's first at Atlanta. Wow. No way it's been two decades.

Lap 108 -- Kasey Kahne pulls a power move and rolls around Joey Logano for the lead on the high side.

Lap 105 -- Kasey Kahne has been looking under Joey Logano for an opening, but it's not there just yet.

Lap 102 -- Kasey Kahne is going after leader Joey Logano as hard as he possibly can.

Lap 99 -- Kasey Kahne gets back around Jeff Burton for second place.

Lap 97 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch were penalized on the pit stop for speeding.

Lap 93 -- Jeff Burton is now in second place.

Lap 90 -- GREEN FLAG: Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin are the leaders. Logano gets a great jump and is clear for the lead.

Lap 85 -- The leaders are on pit road. ESPN says that Jeff Burton is really happy with his car, and that the crew doesn't plan to make any changes. Then why pit?!? Landon Cassill hammers the right side of Denny Hamlin's car as he tries to enter his pit stall.

Lap 81 -- YELLOW FLAG. There's debris in Turn 2. Sam Hornish Jr. had just scraped the wall. Jimmie Johnson has also sustained some damage in a separate incident.

Lap 80 -- Matt Kenseth continues to struggle mightily on the track. Also, Kurt Busch has some damage on the rear of his car after contact with another car.

Lap 77 -- Move Kasey Kahne up to third, with Denny Hamlin following him into fourth place.

Lap 74 -- Joey Logano puts Tony Stewart a lap down. Stewart is 34th on the leaderboard.

Lap 70 -- Matt Kenseth might be making a pit stop shortly with some sort of problem, possibly with his brakes.

Lap 67 -- Now it's Kasey Kahne's turn to be on the move. He's in fourth place, and challenging Aric Almirola for third.

Lap 63 -- No matter who's behind the wheel, it's always cool to see car number 43 doing well. Its current driver, Aric Almirola, is running in third place.

Lap 60 -- The top-five cars are separated on the track by about 4.6 seconds. On the track, that's a little more than a full straightaway.

Lap 58 -- Jeff Gordon moves into fourth place.

Lap 55 -- The top five is Joey Logano, Jeff Burton, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon.

Lap 52 -- Although he was able to move into second, Jeff Burton is still lagging about 2.7 seconds off leader Joey Logano's pace.

Lap 49 -- Casey Mears continues to drop back through the field. He's now in ninth place.

Lap 47 -- Kyle Busch says that his car has a horrible vibration. He's currently shown in eighth place.

Lap 44 -- Jeff Burton has gotten by Casey Mears for third place, and he's going after Aric Almirola for second.

Lap 40 -- Aric Almirola has been able to pick up second place from Casey Mears.

Lap 37 -- Wow. Joey Logano is picking up right where he left off in Friday night's Nationwide Series race. His lead now stands at 2.4 seconds.

Lap 35 -- Second-place Casey Mears has a fairly long line of cars hot on his bumper.

Lap 32 -- Joey Logano has already opened up a lead of 1.3 seconds over second-place Casey Mears.

Lap 30 -- Aric Almirola gets a fender under Casey Mears for second place coming off the last corner.

Lap 28 -- Joey Logano is FINALLY clear of Casey Mears for the lead.

Lap 25 -- Joey Logano has a run on Casey Mears for the race lead, but he still can't quite clear him.

Lap 22 -- Casey Mears is running higher than Joey Logano in the turns, which opens a little bit of running room for Logano.

Lap 20 -- Casey Mears clears for the lead very briefly, but Joey Logano comes right back after him.

Lap 18 -- GREEN FLAG: Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola and Jeff Burton are the leaders. Mears and Logano stay side by side for the whole lap.

Lap 16 -- Fifth-place Greg Biffle has a donut just in front of the left-rear tire. He's not happy with the handling on his car.

Lap 15 -- Jimmie Johnson leads a few cars back in the running order down pit road. Among those also pitting is Danica Patrick.

Lap 13 -- Pit road is still closed. After getting out of his car, Ken Schrader expressed a little bit of displeasure with Jason Leffler.

Lap 9 -- YELLOW FLAG: Ken Schrader crashes on the frontstrech after contact with Jason Leffler. This is the race's first caution.

Lap 8 -- Casey Mears has been able to hold Joey Logano off. Logano has pressure from behind in the form of Aric Almirola.

Lap 6 -- Joey Logano is looking under Casey Mears for the lead.

Lap 4 -- Joey Logano grabs second from Brad Keselowski.

Lap 3 -- Brad Keselowski is still going after Casey Mears for the top spot.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race gets under day at 7:50 p.m. ET. Casey Mears can't quite clear Brad Keselowski for the lead.

7:49 p.m. ET -- Kurt Busch stops briefly on the track, but is able to keep going and retain his starting position.

7:47 p.m. ET -- Bristol's new racing surface had a bad case of the munchies Friday night, eating up cars and spitting them out left and right. We'll have to wait and see how it goes tonight!

7:46 p.m. ET -- The field is rolling off pit road.

7:44 p.m. ET -- Race director David Hoots asks if the drivers are ready to participate. We're about to rock and roll, folks!

7:40 p.m. ET -- Led by Scott Hatcher, the vice president of operations for operations and development at Bristol Motor Speedway, the command to fire engines is given by Irwin tradesmen.

7:37 p.m. ET -- Sad day following the passing of Neil Armstrong, the first person to step foot on the lunar surface. David Pearson won here at Bristol on the day that Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traipsed through the dust of Tranquility Base.

7:33 p.m. ET -- Two T-45s from VT-9 Naval Air Station Meridian do the fly-over from Turn 3 to Turn 1. C'mon ... somebody out there has some pull. Hook me up with a hop in one of those bad boys!

7:32 p.m. ET -- Tradition continues ... the MRO Children sing the national anthem.

7:31 p.m. ET -- After the Tennessee Army National Guard presents the color, driver Michael McDowell delivers the invocation.

7:30 p.m. ET -- 1st Lieutenant Trint R. Callison of the Tennessee Army National Guard is leading the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

7:15 p.m. ET -- Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace are at it again. Daugherty doesn't think Carl Edwards will win tonight, and Wallace does. Fight! Fight!

7:09 p.m. ET -- ESPN's studio crew is sitting on stools, except for seven-foot Brad Daugherty, who appears to be ... well ... slumping a little bit on his perch.

7:06 p.m. ET -- ESPN's pre-race show is beginning, just a few minutes late because of the baseball game.

7 p.m. ET -- Take a deep breath while you can. The action in Friday night's Nationwide Series race was frenetic from the drop of the green flag to the checkered ... and there's twice as much racing on tap for Saturday!

6:55 p.m. ET -- Is that a Little League World Series game or a track meet that's pushing back ABC's pre-race show? The score is 24-15.

6:35 p.m. ET -- Driver introductions are scheduled to begin in 15 minutes.

11:10 a.m. ET -- Casey Mears was placed on the pole position after rain washed out qualifying Friday. Because the field was set via practice speeds, the pole went to Mears. Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola will start second through fifth, while Jeff Burton, Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin, Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Busch round out the top 10.