Lap By Lap Comments









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Goodnight:

Thanks for following along tonight's race with Lap-by-Lap! Be sure to tune in to Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Press Pass:

To watch live post-race interviews, go here: http://nas.cr/PressPass

7:32 p.m. ET:

Unofficially, the top five in the driver standings: 1. Chase Elliott, 2. Regan Smith, 3. Elliott Sadler, 4. Brian Scott, 5. Ty Dillon

7:32 p.m. ET:

An emotional interview from Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has tears in his eyes watching Chase Elliott celebrate his championship.

7:31 p.m. ET:

Chevrolet has clinched the manufacturer's title. Unofficially, it finished 26 points ahead of Toyota.

7:30 p.m. ET:

Perhaps not the finish he wanted, but Chase Elliott gets the championship flag from his crew. Unofficially, he finishes 2014 with 42 more points than second-place Regan Smith.

7:29 p.m. ET:

By finishing eighth, Brad Keselowski clinches the owner championship for Roger Penske.

7:28 p.m. ET:

Matt Kenseth will head to Victory Lane for the first time this season.

Lap 206:

Checkered flag: Matt Kenseth wins the Ford EcoBoost 300. Kyle Busch beats Kyle Larson to the line to finish second.

Lap 206:

White flag: Matt Kenseth is in the lead with one to go.

Lap 205:

Green flag: First attempt at a green-white-checkered coming up with Kyle Larson on the inside and in the lead.

Lap 202:

The top 10: 42-20-12-54-60-7-11-3-2-22.

Lap 201:

Beneficiary here is David Starr. Kyle Larson is scored as the leader.

Lap 199:

Caution flag: Big wreck prohibits this race from concluding. Josh Berry, Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Preece among the many cars involved. The caution flag came out just before the white flag was displayed.

Lap 199:

Green flag: Again, Kenseth chooses the outside. There are two laps to go.

Lap 195:

The running order is Kenseth, Larson, Blaney, C. Buescher, Busch, Smith, Keselowski, Sadler, Reed, Dillon.

Lap 194:

Caution flag: Chase Elliott blows a right rear, and debris brings out the yellow. It's the 10th of the day. The beneficiary is Jake Crum.

Lap 193:

And Elliott gets into the wall pretty good. He keeps control, but his car is pretty battered. Was sixth, is now 17th.

Lap 192:

As things fan out a little bit, Kenseth maintains his lead. He's led the past 16 laps. Behind him: Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher and Kyle Busch. All are running the top lane. Somehow, Chase Elliott is sixth.

Lap 190:

It goes four-wide for second place and still isn't decided yet. Larson appears to have a run.

Lap 190:

Green flag: Matt Kenseth again chooses the outside.

Lap 187:

Your running top 10: 20-42-54-60-7-12-9-22-11-16

Lap 186:

Caution flag: Debris from Dylan Kwasniewski's car scatters on the track and brings out the ninth yellow flag of the day. Matt Kenseth is your leader.

Lap 185:

Dylan Kwasniewski smacks the wall once more.

Lap 183:

Chris Buescher is running fifth. What a closing run for him.

To the garage:

The No. 39 of Ryan Sieg.

Lap 180:

Kyle Busch with a power move and sweeps by Elliot Sadler down low. Meanwhile, Trevor Bayne gets into the wall again.

Lap 179:

Don't look now, but Regan Smith is up to third. He's looking to play the role of spoiler tonight.

Lap 178:

Matt Kenseth takes the lead heading into Turn 1. Menard dropped about 10 spots on that lap/

Lap 177:

Green flag: Leader Paul Menard is lined up on the outside. With old tires, he may not hold the lead for long.

Lap 174:

The top 10 cars off pit road: 20-7-54-42-12-11-22-60-16-9.

Race off pit road:

Matt Kenseth wins the race off, and a great stop by Regan Smith has him out second. Paul Menard did not pit and is the leader.

Lap 173:

Bayne was running just behind Brad Keselowski in the top 10. All the leaders come down pit road.

Lap 172:

Caution flag: Eighth caution of the day comes out in Turn 2 when Trevor Bayne loses a right rear tire. The 43 is the beneficiary.

Lap 170:

Closest battle right now is Elliott Sadler holding off Regan Smith for fifth place. They are separated by 0.1 seconds.

Lap 167:

Matt Kenseth has pulled away from the field. He leads Kyle Busch by 1.9 seconds. As noted on ESPN2, he has not won a race in any series this year.

Points as they run:

The closest battle in the driver standings right now is for third place. At this moment, Elliott Sadler leads Brian Scott by three points. Scott entered the race in third place.

Lap 164:

The battle for third remains intense! Ryan Blaney is ahead of Kyle Larson and Elliott Sadler, but less than 0.3 seconds separate the three.

Lap 161:

Brendan Gaughan is the latest to kiss the wall. MInor damage, but he kept his car straight.

Lap 160:

Kenseth and Busch have pulled away a bit from the pack and are running 1-2. It's Larson, Sadler, Blaney and Bayne behind them.

Lap 158:

Trevor Bayne tried to make it three-wide going low, but Ryan Blaney beat him down there.

Lap 158:

Green flag: Matt Kenseth on the outside lane as we go green.

Lap 156:

Here's the running top 10: Kenseth-Busch-Blaney-Larson-Bayne-Smith-Sadler-Scott-Buescher-Keselowski.

Lap 155:

Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney both fake pitting, but all the leaders stay out.

Lap 154:

Caution flag: Ryan Sieg takes a spin in Turn 2. The 93 of TJ Bell is the beneficiary.

Lap 150:

Just some great racing with 50 laps to go. JGR teammate Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch are running 1-2 right now. Ryan Blaney is holding off Kyle Larson for third place. Chase Elliott, meanwhile, is down to 12th.

Lap 148:

Matt Kenseth wasted absolutely no time in taking the lead. Kyle Busch is second, and Chase Elliott slips way down to sixth.

Lap 148:

Green flag: Chase Elliott wants the outside lane and has Matt Kenseth to his inside.

Lap 146:

One to go until it's green. Ryan Preece is the beneficiary, by the way.

Race off pit road:

Some strategy! Chase Elliott, who is on a different pit strategy, gets fuel only. He is first off pit road. Matt Kenseth's fast stop has him second. The top 10 in the race: 9-20-54-42-6-12-11-7-22-60.

Lap 144:

Pit road is open, and the cars are coming.

Lap 143:

Caution flag: John Wes Townley brings out the sixth caution. His right rear tire is cut.

Lap 142:

Ty Dillon pits unexpectedly from the top 10. He's down to 25th now.

Lap 140:

Brad Keselowski just passed Ty Dillon for eighth place. Kyle Larson, meanwhile, has opened up a lead of nearly 1.5 seconds.

Lap 138:

Ryan Blaney pulls ahead of Kyle Busch for third place. 'Rowdy' was all over the back of Blaney's No. 12 Ford, and then he gets on the radio to say it takes about 12 laps for his car to come to life.

Lap 137:

Brad Keselowski and the bright yellow No. 22 Ford are back in the top 10 (ninth). It's that Team Penske car that leads the No. 54 Toyota of Joe Gibbs in the owner standings.

Out of the race:

The No. 98 of Corey Lajoie.

Lap 133:

Been a rough run for Trevor Bayne so far. He's down to fifth after Ryan Blaney motors past him.

Lap 131:

Larson rockets ahead of the field on that restart while Kyle Busch moves up to second. Now Matt Kenseth is challenging Trevor Bayne for third.

Lap 130:

Green flag: Leader Kyle Larson is choosing the inside lane. He's had a ton of success there on restarts.

Lap 128:

Your top 10: 42-6-20-54-3-12-11-33-22-62. Regan Smith is 11th. Chase Elliott is one of the only cars to come down pit road.

Lap 127:

Yellow flag: Debris in Turn 2 brings out the yellow. Ross Chastain is the beneficiary.

Lap 126:

Chase Elliott emerges from a four-wide battle unscathed., but he's dropped out of the top 15.

Lap 124:

Trevor Bayne wiggles, but Matt Kenseth can't make the pass for second. Kyle Busch is right on Kenseth's bumper.

Lap 123:

Green flag: Trevor Bayne chooses the outside lane, and Kyle Larson promptly passes him out of Turn 2.

Lap 122:

Kyle Busch says his left-side mirror is "MIA." Oops.

Lap 121:

Trevor Bayne will go down as the sixth different leader tonight. It's the second time in the past three races he'll lead at least one lap.

Race off pit road:

Incredible race off as three cars nearly stack up. Trevor Bayne squeaks out ahead of Kyle Larson, and will be the leader. He's followed by Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney. Behind them are Dillon (sixth), Menard, Sadler, Gaughan and Smith. Chase Elliott is all the way down to 12th.

Lap 119:

Replay on ESPN2 shows Ross Chastain getting loose and into Lajoie, which caused the incident. Lajoie's No. 98 is pretty beat up.

Lap 117:

Caution flag: Fourth yellow comes out as Corey Lajoie gets into the wall. The beneficiary is Mike Bliss.

Lap 116:

Not satisfied with just being IN the top five, Chase Elliott is now up to fourth.

Lap 114:

Sadler gets a huge run and takes the lead back. Now Dillon dives down low to reclaim the position. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski is just behind both drivers and challenging.

Lap 113:

Another pass! This time it's Ty Dillon getting around Elliott Sadler for seventh.

Lap 112:

Chase Elliott passes Kyle Busch down low for fifth. Trevor Bayne has caught second-place Kyle Larson and is pressuring.

Lap 110:

Kyle Busch, in fifth place, getting pressured by Chase Elliott. Elliott Sadler, in seventh, getting pressured by Ty Dillon.

Lap 106:

Ryan Blaney continues the trend we've seen from others in the lead. He's gradually pulling away from the field, stretching his lead to more than a second ... at least until he hits lapped traffic.

Lap 103:

After getting fresh tires and adjustments, Chase Elliott is already up to seventh place after restarting 17th. Ty Dillon, who also pitted under the last caution, is 10th. He restarted 20th. So both guys have gained 10 spots.

Lap 101:

As we pass the halfway point, it's 12-42-6-54-20-22-11-9-7-3-60.

Lap 99:

Blaney still leads Kyle Larson, and now Trevor Bayne is up to third. Bayne will move on to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year.

Lap 96:

Ryan Blaney into the lead for the first time tonight.

Lap 96:

Green flag: Kyle Larson, from the lead, is restarting on the outside.

Lap 93:

Here's the top 10: 42-12-20-54-11-6-7-22-60-01. Chris Buescher (60) and Landon Cassill (01) are new additions to the top 10 after Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott pit. Elliott is now 17th and Dillon is 20th.

Lap 92:

In discussion over the radio, Brad Keselowski and his No. 22 team said they would do whatever Kyle Busch did. Those are the two cars contending for an owner championship. (Both stayed out, by the way)

Lap 91:

Two cars in the top 10 pit: Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott.

Lap 91:

Pit road is open. Will we have many takers?

Lap 90:

Your top 10: 42-12-20-54-11-6-3-9-7-22. Great effort by Brad Keselowski getting back into the top 10.

Lap 89:

Caution flag: John Wes Townley spins in Turn 2 to bring out the third caution of the day. James Buescher is the beneficiary.

Lap 88:

Ryan Blaney gets a run down low and pulls ahead, but he cannot complete the pass. Now he's 0.097 seconds behind Larson.

Lap 87:

Ryan Blaney is all over leader Kyle Larson.

Lap 86:

Ty Dillon is up to seventh place and ahead of Chase Elliott, who had gotten into the top five before slipping.

Lap 82:

Kyle Busch may be in trouble. Trevor Bayne is right on his bumper for fourth place. Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott are also challenging.

Lap 81:

Bayne takes fifth back just as quickly. Now Kyle Busch has dropped to fourth, with Blaney occupying second and Kenseth in third.

Lap 80:

Chase Elliott also had a good restart. He's up to fifth after passing Trevor Bayne.

Lap 79:

Kyle Larson passes Busch on the inside coming out of Turn 2.

Lap 79:

Green flag: On the outside this time, Kyle Busch leads the field into Turn 1.

Penalty:

An uncontrolled tire on that pit stop sends the No. 43 of Dakoda Armstrong back in the line.

Race off pit road II:

The top 10: Busch-Larson-Blaney-Kenseth-Bayne-Elliott-Smith-Sadler-Dillon-C. Buescher. Brad Keselowski has plummeted after stalling on pit road and is 18th.

Race off pit road:

Another great stop from the No. 54 team sends Kyle Busch out ahead of Kyle Larson. That stop was right at 12.0 seconds.

Lap 75:

Given the length of that green-flag run, expect everyone to come down for four tires and Sunoco fuel. Pit road is open.

Lap 74:

Dylan Kwasniewski is the beneficiary of this caution. The No. 40 is getting a push off the access road.

Lap 72:

Caution flag: Matt DiBenedetto is stalled on the access road, so the second yellow of the day comes out. Kyle Busch was unable to complete the pass of leader Kyle Larson.

Lap 71:

James Buescher goes a lap down. Next in leader Kyle Larson's sights: 22nd-place Blake Koch.

Lap 69:

Chase Elliott has joined the top five with his pass of Elliott Sadler.

Lap 69:

Kyle Busch gained more than 1 second while Larson dealt with Chastain. The No. 42's lead is now just 0.29 seconds.

Lap 66:

It took some doing, but Kyle Larson puts Ross Chastain one lap down. Chastain driving a watermelon-colored car. Looks great on TV. That battle, though, allows Kyle Busch to make up serious ground.

Lap 64:

Kyle Larson is getting into lapped traffic, but not losing any ground. He's running the high groove and leads Busch by 1.4 seconds.

Lap 60:

Brad Keselowski is really having trouble with his car. Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith both got around him in the same turn. The No. 22 is down to 10th place.

To the garage:

The No. 52 of Joey Gase.

Lap 59:

Chase Elliott completes the pass of Brad Keselowski and immediately jumps back up to the top lane. Kyle Busch, meanwhile, uses the top lane to get around Matt Kenseth.

Lap 56:

Matt Kenseth has breezed into second place ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.

Lap 55:

Brad Keselowski is pushing Elliott Sadler for fifth place. That's the closest battle within the top 10 right now.

Lap 53:

After a subpar qualifying effort in which he barely advanced to the second round, Chase Elliott is all the way up to seventh place. He started 14th.

Points as they run:

Regan Smith is second as they run, 10 ahead of Elliott Sadler. Positions 2-4 could all change hands today.

Lap 49:

Ryan Blaney is up to fourth. His Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski is up to sixth.

Lap 47:

Ty Dillon has cracked the top 10 and is running ninth. Paul Menard is up to 13th. Both guys started from the back.

Lap 45:

Larson's lead is nearly up to one second. Behind Kyle Busch, running 3-4-5, is Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler and Ryan Blaney.

Back in the race:

The No. 40 of Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 42:

We've got some great, tight racing in Turn 3 and Turn 4. Brian Scott jumps in front of Brad Keselowski for seventh place, and Chase Elliott squeezes in behind the No. 22 for ninth place.

Lap 40:

Kyle Busch chose the inside, Kyle Larson prefers the outside. Naturally, Larson makes the pass for the lead.

Lap 40:

Green flag: Kyle Busch, on the inside, leads the field to green.

Lap 38:

Just outside the top 10 is Ty Dillon in 11th place. Remember, Dillon started from the rear.

Race off pit road:

Kyle Busch beats Kyle Larson after his 12.8-second pit stop. The top 10: Busch-Larson-Matt Kenseth-Regan Smith-Ryan Blaney-Elliott Sadler-Chase Elliott-Brad Keselowski-Brian Scott-Brendan Gaughan.

Lap 36:

Larson leads cars down pit road. Keselowski among the guys looking for a big change.

To the garage:

The No. 40 of Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 35:

Landon Cassill may have gotten into the wall a bit, too. Kwasniewski's right rear is shredded. Meanwhile, the beneficiary is Ross Chastain.

Lap 34:

Caution flag: Dylan Kwasniewski tries to get to pit road, but can't when his tire goes flat. First caution of the day comes out.

Lap 32:

Kyle Busch is the only guy that leader Kyle Larson isn't pulling away from. In fact, Busch is narrowing the gap. He's cut the lead to 0.657 seconds.

Lap 29:

Proof that kissing the wall isn't THAT big of a deal ... those who have continued to pass people. Elliott Sadler is now fourth, with Trevor Bayne up to 10th and Dylan Kwasniewski 11th.

Lap 27:

We mentioned earlier that Kyle Larson has the best driver rating here over the past nine races, but he only had one start. Well, he finished second last year and has led 21 laps today so far. He must like this oval.

Lap 25:

Brad Keselowski will need some adjustments. After starting on the pole and leading the first five laps, he's fallen to sixth.

Lap 22:

As Chase Elliott gets by Dylan Kwasniewski down low for 10th, Dylan gets too aggressive and his No. 31 Chevy gets into the wall a bit.

Lap 22:

Ryan Blaney led both practices Friday, and was quick in qualifying. He's finding it hard to gain ground, though, running sixth after starting fifth.

Lap 20:

Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are absolutely hugging the outside wall when they get into the turns. Busch has cut into the lead as Kyle Larson hits lapped traffic.

Lap 18:

Elliott Sadler and Trevor Bayne have both gotten into the wall thus far. Bayne was just ahead of Chase Elliott, who avoided damage. Sadler is running fifth with Bayne in 12th.

Lap 16:

So Matt Kenseth wrested the No. 2 spot away from Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch followed suit. Kes is now running P4.

Lap 14:

Sadler slips a little bit on the track and drops to fifth place. Sprint Cup stars Kenseth, Keselowski and Busch in a fight for second place.

Lap 13:

Kyle Larson just extended his lead to more than 1 second over Brad Keselowski. It's at 1.7, with third-place Matt Kenseth 2.1 seconds behind.

Out of the race:

The No. 91 of Jeff Green (vibration)

Lap 10:

Another 1-2-3 trend: Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota are running in that order right now. It's Larson-Keselowski-Sadler.

Lap 7:

The Joe Gibbs Racing cars are running 3-4-5, with Elliott Sadler, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch, respectively, occupying those positions.

Lap 6:

Kyle Larson goes low this time and gets by Brad Keselowski to lead a lap.

Lap 5:

Regan Smith, who started 15th, has cracked the top 10. He's running 10th.

Lap 3:

Kyle Larson has experimented with different lines during his Sprint Cup and Nationwide practice sessions. It looks like he prefers the top line. Still running second.

Lap 1:

We've already gone three-wide, with Elliott Sadler, Ryan Blaney and Matt Kenseth. Sadler gained a spot to third.

Lap 1:

Green flag: The Ford EcoBoost 300 is underway!

4:43 p.m. ET:

Brad Keselowski chooses the inside lane. Kyle Larson is to his outside on the front row.

Driver sub:

Paul Menard driving the No. 33 is a late addition. Scott Lagasse was originally slated to be in the seat. Menard will start from the rear.

4:39 p.m. ET:

Engines have roared to life as we get ready for the pace car to lead the field onto the track. The scheduled green-flag time is 4:45 p.m. ET.

Drivers, start your engines!:

The command is given by Nat Moore, former Miami Dolphins player

Flyby:

Team Aerodynamix, with nine planes

National Anthem:

By Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Carson, lead singer of the USAF Band, Max Impact

Invocation:

By Pastor Sammy Flores, Christ Fellowship

Intro Presentation of Colors:

By 482nd Fighter Wing Base Honor Guard, Homestead Air Reserve Base

Pledge of Allegiance:

By Major Sammie Thomas, Troop Commander, Florida Highway Patrol

God Bless America:

Performed now by Arabella Jones

To the rear:

The No. 3 of Ty Dillon (unapproved adjustments) and No. 33 of Paul Menard (missing the driver's meeting).

Top-five picture:

Regan Smith is second in the points standings and leads Brian Scott by 13 points. Scott, in third, is one point above fourth-place Elliott Sadler, and Sadler is eight points ahead of Ty Dillon. Keep an eye today as the standings shuffle. http://www.nascar.com/en_us/nationwide-series/standings.live.html

Top rate:

The best driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the loop data era (past nine races here) belongs to Kyle Larson at 130.7. He's competed in just one series event, though. The highest driver rating during that era among Nationwide Series regulars belongs to Trevor Bayne at 102.5.

One for the owners:

Keselowski, who is driving the No. 22 Ford, will play a prominent role in the owner championship race. The No. 22 of Roger Penske leads the No. 54 of Joe Gibbs by 29 points. The No. 22 will clinch with a finish of 24th or better; or 25th with at least one lap led; or 26th and the most laps led.

Driver Introductions:

The drivers are currently being introduced. Brad Keselowski will start from the front today after winning the Coors Light Pole Award. It's his fifth pole of the season.

Track talk:

Homestead-Miami Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval, with progressive banking between 18 and 20 degrees in the turns.

Welcome:

Thanks for joining us for today's Lap-by-Lap. The Ford EcoBoost 300, televised on ESPN2, is a 200-lap, 300-mile race. It is the NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale.