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Lap-by-Lap: Loudon

July 17, 2011, ,

Lap 301 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Ryan Newman has the fuel to finish and takes the checkers at Loudon, becoming the 13th different race winner this season. Newman's win moves him up one spot in the standings to eighth.

Lap 300 -- WHITE FLAG: Ryan Newman holds on to a small lead. Tony Stewart is coming. Juan Montoya runs out of gas.

Lap 299 -- Ryan Newman's lead is less than a second. Jamie McMurray is out of gas.

Lap 297 -- Tony Stewart is faster the Ryan Newman and closing the gap with less than five laps to go.

Lap 295 -- Ryan Newman is closing in on lapped traffic and praying he's got the fuel to go the distance.

Lap 294 -- Tony Stewart makes it stick off the corner and passes Denny Hamlin for second.

Lap 293 -- Jimmie Johnson moves up to seventh.

Lap 291 -- With 10 laps to go, Ryan Newman's lead is 1.715 seconds.

Lap 289 -- Tony Stewart is closing on Denny Hamlin in second and turning faster lap times than the No. 11.

Lap 288 -- Jimmie Johnson is up to eighth. Carl Edwards rounds out the top 10.

Lap 286 -- Tony Stewart moves up to third after passing Jeff Gordon. Kurt Busch drops to fifth.

Lap 282 -- Jamie McMurray is in seventh and has lost radio contact with his team. They're on pit road scribbling a message to save fuel on a piece of cardboard. They're going to need a bigger sign.

Lap 283 -- Ryan Newman continues to put space between the No. 39 and the rest of the field. HIs lead is now 1.8 seconds.

Lap 282 -- No change to the top 10 running order.

Lap 278 -- Kurt Busch can't close the gap on Ryan Newman as Tony Stewart rounds out the top five.

Lap 276 -- Jimmie Johnson is back up to 10th. Thirty-three cars are on the lead lap.

Lap 274 -- Ryan Newman's lead is now 1.25 seconds.

Lap 270 -- Considering the pattern of cautions so far, you can't blame drivers and crew chiefs for planning on another one as fuel mileage becomes a larger issue late in the race.

Lap 269 -- Ryan Newman isn't conserving an ounce of fuel and opens up a 1.1-second lead ahead of Kurt Busch.

Lap 267 -- Jimmie Johnson trades paint with Bobby Labonte as the two do battle for 11th.

Lap 265 -- Tony Stewart is coming; he passes Carl Edwards for fifth and is closing the gap on Jeff Gordon in fourth.

Lap 262 -- While his crew sets him back on pit road, Jimmie Johnson gains back position on the track. The No. 48 is back up to 12th after serving a penalty for a missing lug nut, then spinning moments later.

Lap 260 -- Matt Kenseth started in 30th and has only been able to gain four spots all day. Kenseth has struggled at New Hampshire in recent seasons; his last top-10 came in 2007, and in the six races since, he failed to crack the top 15 with an average finish of 23.8.

Lap 257 -- With less than 50 laps to go, there have been 14 race leaders and 21 lead changes. The final lead change has taken place with 19 laps or less to go in 13 of the 18 races in 2011 including six of the past seven races.

Lap 255 -- Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin make up the top four, but Jeff Gordon -- in fifth -- is much better on fuel and poised to make a move as final laps approach.

Lap 253 -- Jamie McMurray started 25th and has gained 19 spots as the No. 1 settles into sixth.

Lap 251 -- Kurt Busch is fast into the turns, but Ryan Newman is faster on exit.

Lap 249 -- Tony Stewart gets back to ninth.

Lap 248 -- Ryan Newman is strong off the exits and leads another lap.

Lap 247 -- Jeff Gordon is back up to fifth as Kurt Busch closes the gap on Ryan Newman.

Lap 246 -- Dale Jr. is back in 33rd after trouble on pit road. Ryan Newman holds off Kurt Busch to lead another lap.

Lap 245 -- GREEN FLAG: Ryan Newman brings the field back up to speed as Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin give chase.

Lap 243 -- One to go until green.

Lap 241 -- Pit road is open, but track position is crucial this late in the game. Greg Biffle gives up second to pit. Ryan Newman stays out. The 88 team is penalized for a tire violation after giving up a top 10 spot to take tires. .

Lap 240 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 10: Jimmie Johnson hits the wall in Turn 2. Brad Keselowski gets the free pass. Regan Smith joins the top 10.

Lap 239 -- Greg Biffle is closing the gap on pole-sitter and current race leader Ryan Newman. The No. 16 is on the bumper of the No. 39.

Lap 237 -- Ryan Newman leads another lap as 33 cars remain on the lead lap.

Lap 235 -- Greg Biffle gets to the inside of Clint Bowyer and takes second. The No. 16 is about eight laps short on fuel, but needs to continue to race for points and hope for the caution.

Lap 234 -- Kurt Busch is told to conserve fuel; the No. 22 is five laps short.

Lap 233 -- Tower is reporting left front tire rub on the No. 88.

Lap 232 -- Greg Biffle moves up third. Biffle has four top-five and six top-10 finishes at Loudon.

Lap 230 -- Pole-sitter Ryan Newman passes Clint Bowyer on fresher tires.

Lap 229 -- GREEN FLAG: Clint Bowyer brings the field back up to speed and is followed by Ryan Newman and Jeff Burton.

Lap 228 -- One to go until green.

Lap 227 -- Joey Logano pits, gives up the lead. Clint Bowyer stays out. Logano takes two tires and fuel. Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart top off with fuel.

Lap 226 -- Brian Vickers heads to the garage.

Lap 225 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 9: Brian Vickers spins, hits the wall on the front straightaway. Mark Martin is back on the lead lap.

Lap 223 -- Juan Montoya has momentum and claims fourth.

Lap 222 -- Marcose Ambrose gets past Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap 221 -- GREEN FLAG: Joey Logano brings the field back up to speed and is followed by Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya.

Lap 220 -- One to go until green.

Lap 218 -- Pit road troubles continue to plague Jimmie Johnson and team this season. The No. 48 has to return to pit road for a missing lug nut.

Lap 217 -- The field heads to pit road: Brian Vickers takes four tires and fuel. Tony Stewart takes four tires and fuel. Jimmie Johnson takes fuel. Clint Bowyer gains 10 spots off pit road after taking fuel only. Joey Logano stays out to lead.

Lap 216 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 8: Debris on the track in Turn 1. Mark Martin gets the free pass.

Lap 214 -- Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are now running 6-7 as the pair continues to charge toward the front.

Lap 211 -- Tower is reporting a left front tire rub on the No. 43. Green-flag pit stops are coming up.

Lap 210 -- Tony Stewart's lead is now 2.15 seconds.

Lap 208 -- Juan Montoya will take two tires only from here on out.

Lap 207 -- Jimmie Johnson is up to seventh after topping off fuel in the No. 48 on Lap 166.

Lap 206 -- Brian Vickers rounds out the top five after a track bar adjustment.

Lap 204 -- Tony Stewart reports the car is tight in the center but great on forward bite. Kurt Busch and team are starting to calculate fuel mileage and doing battle with Carl Edwards for second. Edwards will have to pit for tires soon.

Lap 203 -- The No. 14 records a best lap time of 29.514 seconds.

Lap 200 -- Tony Stewart continues to lead with 101 laps to go.

Lap 198 -- Jimmie Johnson moves up to eighth.

Lap 197 -- While most drivers have elected to take a two-tire strategy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been to pit road five times and taken four tires on every stop.

Lap 196 -- Pole-sitter Ryan Newman is back up to fourth.

Lap 194 -- Tony Stewart goes to the inside of the No. 22 and passes Kurt Busch for the lead.

Lap 193 -- Tony Stewart has already led 25 laps today and has closed the gap on Kurt Busch.

Lap 192 -- Dale Jr. moves up to ninth as teammate Jimmie Johnson is back up to 10th.

Lap 191 -- Tony Stewart runs around Carl Edwards for second. Kasey Kahne and Juan Montoya trade paint but save their cars.

Lap 190 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins the party in 10th. Earnhardt finished in the top-10 in both NHMS races in 2010.

Lap 189 -- GREEN FLAG: Kurt Busch brings the field back up to speed with 33 cars on the lead lap. Brad Keselowski is back in the race.

Lap 188 -- One lap to go until green. Eight times in the past nine races at New Hampshire, the margin of victory has been less than 1 second, including the closest race here in July 2007 when Denny Hamlin edged Jeff Gordon by .068 seconds.

Lap 186 -- Joey Logano takes four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. David Ragan takes two tires.

Lap 185 -- Mark Martin pits and struggles to enter his stall. Jeff Burton gives up second to pit for two tires.

Lap 184 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 7: Mark Martin spins in Turn 2. The No. 5 was running in 14th when it cut a tire.

Lap 182 -- Jeff Gordon's last pit stop came at Lap 171. Depending on future cautions, the No. 24 could easily get back into contention.

Lap 179 -- Tony Stewart started on the front row and is now in seventh as Carl Edwards looks to get back in the top 3, challenging Brian Vickers for the spot.

Lap 178 -- Thirty-four cars are on the lead lap. Kurt Busch leads Jeff Burton by 1.1 seconds.

Lap 177 -- Greg Biffle started 20th and is running in 10th. Jeff Burton passes Brian Vickers for second.

Lap 174 -- GREEN FLAG: Kurt Busch brings the field back up to speed.

Lap 173 -- One to go until green.

Lap 171 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 6: Denny Hamlin spins after A.J. Allmendinger gets into the bumper of the No. 11. Jeff Gordon gets back on the lead lap.

Lap 170 -- Kurt Busch slides in front of Brian Vickers and leads the lap. Vickers is now doing battle for the spot with Carl Edwards.

Lap 169 -- GREEN FLAG: Kurt Busch brings the field back up to speed with Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton close behind.

Lap 163 -- Jeff Gordon pits, replaces the battery on the No. 24 and goes a lap down. The fresh battery may mean the difference later. The No. 18 is penalized for speeding on pit road and Kyle Busch's day continues to worsen as he drops to fourth in the standings. What a difference a week makes.

Lap 162 -- Pit road is open. Juan Montoya takes tires and fuel. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick pit as well

Lap 161 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Debris in Turns 3 and 4. Kyle Busch gets the free pass. Brad Keselowski is in the garage and now 28 points outside the top 20.

Lap 160 -- Jimmie Johnson is moving forward and is back up to 25th.

Lap 158 -- David Reutimann is up to fourth as Jeff Burton passes Juan Montoya for fifth.

Lap 156 -- Carl Edwards continues to climb and moves up to third.

Lap 154 -- Thirty-five cars remain on the lead lap as the No. 24 loses all power and drops to 35th.

Lap 152 -- David Ragan is closing on Juan Montoya for fifth as Carl Edwards runs in fourth.

Lap 151 -- Kurt Busch leads another lap with Brian Vickers close behind.

Lap 150 -- GREEN FLAG: Kurt Busch brings the field back up to speed.

Lap 147 -- One to go until green. Andy Lally pits and gives up the lead.

Lap 146 -- Andy Lally stays out to lead the lap. Mike Bliss is caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 145 -- The field heads to pit road: Jeff Burton takes four tires and fuel. Jeff Gordon takes four tires and doesn't switch out the battery. Ryan Newman takes four tires for the first time today. Kurt Busch wins the race off pit road after taking two tires. Brian Vickers and Joey Logano take two tires.

Lap 144 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Brad Keselowski cuts a tire in Turn 3. Jimmie Johnson gets the wave around.

Lap 143 -- Mark Martin reports he may have the same battery issue as Jeff Gordon.

Lap 142 -- Jeff Gordon continues to lead but may lose track position during his next pit stop. The No. 24 needs a new battery.

Lap 137 -- Greg Biffle is up to seventh after starting 20th. With four top-five and six top-10 finishes at Loudon, Biffle has completed all but three laps in the past 12 races at NHMS; he finished three laps down in September 2004.

Lap 136 -- Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton and Kasey Kahne make up the top three. Kyle Busch is back in the race, 76 laps down.

Lap 135 -- Jimmie Johnson is forced to pit and goes a lap down.

Lap 133 -- Kurt Busch is in fifth and closing on Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 131 -- Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are running 6-7 on the same left sides tires they started the race with.

Lap 128 -- With Kyle Busch behind the wall, Jimmie Johnson would now take over the top spot in the standings with a strong finish.

Lap 127 -- Jeff Gordon takes the lead from Kasey Kahne.

Lap 125 -- Jeff Burton passes Jimmie Johnson for third as the No. 48 fades back on old tires.

Lap 124 -- Jeff Gordon passes the No. 48 for second. Jimmie Johnson needs a caution soon, or he'll have to pit for tires.

Lap 123 -- Jeff Gordon is now up to third.

Lap 120 -- Kasey Kahne gets past Jimmie Johnson for the lead.

Lap 117 -- Jeff Gordon may prove to have the car to beat at the end as the No. 24 passes Ryan Newman for fourth. Gordon has run fast all day.

Lap 116 -- Kasey Kahne takes back second from Jeff Burton.

Lap 114 -- Jeff Burton wants clean air and streaks past Kasey Kahne for second.

Lap 113 -- Kasey Kahne is knocking on the door of his future teammate and is poised to pass the No. 48 for the lead.

Lap 112 -- Joey Logano cracks the top 10.

Lap 109 -- Jeff Gordon makes his way back to seventh on two new tires. The No. 24 needs a new battery.

Lap 108 -- Brian Vickers joins the party and is running in eighth.

Lap 106 -- Jimmie Johnson leads another lap and no doubt is praying for another yellow in the next 20 or so laps in order for the No. 48 to keep its track position.

Lap 105 -- GREEN FLAG: Jimmie Johnson brings the field back up to speed and is followed by Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart.

Lap 104 -- One to go until green.

Lap 103 -- No one in the top 10 before the yellow took more than two tires.

Lap 101 -- Two tires or four? The field heads to pit road: Mark Martin takes four tires and fuel. Kasey Kahne takes two tires. Tony Stewart takes two tires. Ryan Newman takes two tires and wins again on pit road. Jimmie Johnson stays out to lead the lap.

Lap 100 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Debris (metal) in Turn 3. No free pass.

Lap 99 -- Jeff Burton's only complaint today is that he'd like more forward bite. Which driver wouldn't?

Lap 98 -- Jeff Gordon says the car is getting better with each lap. The 24 is currently in sixth.

Lap 96 -- Kasey Kahne is in third and says the car is tight. Mark Martin wants the car to turn better in the center and will get an adjustment when the No. 5 enters its stall in about eight laps.

Lap 95 -- Ryan Newman leads on the same left side tires he started the race with.

Lap 93 -- The No. 46 out: Brakes

Lap 92 -- Clint Bowyer has dropped to 22nd, down 10 spots since the start of the race. Bowyer is the only driver in the past seven races at New Hampshire to win after leading the most laps.

Lap 90 -- Thirty-six cars remain on the lead lap.

Lap 87 -- Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart run 1-2 and are starting to put space between themselves and Kasey Kahne in third.

Lap 86 -- Jeff Gordon gets ahead of Kurt Busch for 10th.

Lap 85 -- Casey Mears heads tot he garage.

Lap 84 -- Ryan Newman has now led 30 laps.

Lap 80 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. started 27th and hasn't gained any ground. He's not happy at all with the No. 88 and wants to consider a two-tire strategy as the race goes on. Earnhardt has eight top-10 finishes in 17 races in 2011; he had 8 in all 36 races last season.

Lap 77 -- Tony Stewart passes Mark Martin for second and is 1.7-seconds behind leader Ryan Newman.

Lap 76 -- Ryan Newman's lead is now 1.6 seconds. Mark Martin remains in second.

Lap 75 -- No. 46 heads to the garage.

Lap 72 -- Kevin Harvick is up 12 spots since the start of the race and is doing battle with Martin Truex Jr. for fifth. Harvick's past nine races on flat tracks have all ended with top-15 finishes with an average of 5.3.

Lap 70 -- Greg Biffle joins the top 10. His only win at New Hampshire came in September 2008 -- Ford's last win at the track

Lap 68 -- Kasey Kahne started 10th and is knocking on the door of Mark Martin for second.

Lap 66 -- Ryan Newman passes Mark Martin coming out of Turn 4 and takes the lead. Kyle Busch is out of his car and frustrated. Before today, Busch's past four Cup races at flat tracks have all ended with top-five finishes. In fact, his worst attempt on this track type this season resulted in a pair of thirds at Martinsville and Pocono.

Lap 65 -- GREEN FLAG: Mark Martin leads the field to green and is followed by Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.

Lap 63 -- Mark Martin leads another lap under yellow as Ryan Newman moves up to third, behind Erik Darnell.

Lap 61 -- Kyle Busch heads to the garage as most of the field heads to pit road. Kurt Busch takes four tires and fuel. Tony Stewart gets a chassis adjustment and two tires. Ryan Newman wins the race off pit road for the second time today. Mark Martin stays out to lead the lap.

Lap 60 -- YELLOW FLAG NO 2: Points leader Kyle Busch cuts a tires and the No. 18 slams into the wall at Turn 3.

Lap 58 -- Jeff Burton owns the current top speed of the race at 159.62 mph.

Lap 57 -- Jimmie Johnson started 28th and has gained just two spots since the first green flag.

Lap 54 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a left front tire going down. He's currently running in 22nd.

Lap 53 -- Martin Truex Jr. moves up to 10th. Jamie McMurray falls back to seventh.

Lap 49 -- Jeff Burton passes Jeff Gordon for fourth.

Lap 45 -- Jeff Burton rounds out the top five.

Lap 44 -- Kurt Busch continues to lead with Ryan Newman close behind.

Lap 43 -- Jeff Gordon is showing early signs of being fast as he passes Brad Keselowski for seventh.

Lap 41 -- Kurt Busch gets underneath Ryan Newman as the No. 39 backs off the throttle and lets Busch pass.

Lap 40 -- Martin Truex Jr. is up a spot to 12th.

Lap 38 -- Ryan Newman gets past Jamie McMurray as the No. 1 fades on old tires. Kurt Busch moves up to second.

Lap 37 -- Jamie McMurray remains out front but pole-sitter Ryan Newman is charging hard.

Lap 35 -- GREEN FLAG: Jamie McMurray brings the field back up to speed.

Lap 34 -- Brad Keselowski slides up to third as Andy Lally pits. Kyle Busch serves a pass through penalty.

Lap 32 -- Jamie McMurray stayed off pit road and will get credit for leading a lap. He's followed by Casey Mears and Andy Lally.

Lap 31 -- The field heads down pit road: Tony Stewart is tight and takes tires and fuel. Brad Keselowski gets a slight adjustment and is off. Ryan Newman takes two tires to a loose car and wins the race off pit road. Keselowski gains four spots after passing on tires and fuel.

Lap 29 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Debris on the track. Pit road is open.

Lap 28 -- The top 10 have settled in and aren't trading positions as the rest of the field spaces out. Lapped traffic is starting to grow as five drivers are at least one lap down.

Lap 27 -- Tony Stewart puts Joe Nemechek and Michael McDowell a lap down.

Lap 26 -- Juan Montoya is moving in the wrong direction, down two spots to 10th. Paul Menard passes the No. 42 for ninth.

Lap 24 -- Jeff Gordon joins the top five after passing Brad Keselowski. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch trade some pain but save their cars.

Lap 22 -- Kevin Harvick started 18th and hasn't gained much ground. Harvick's past nine races on flat tracks have all ended with top-15 finishes with an average of 5.3.

Lap 20 -- A.J. Allmendinger is knocking on the door of the top 10 and doing battle with Kasey Kahne.

Lap 19 -- Jeff Burton gets past Juan Montoya for seventh.

Lap 17 -- Tony Stewart has opened up a 1.361-second lead ahead of teammate and pole-sitter Ryan Newman.

Lap 15 -- Jeff Gordon gets past Juan Montoya for sixth. In 32 career races for Gordon, he's finished second five times at NHMS and leads all drivers with 14 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes at the track.

Lap 13 -- A.J. Allmendinger is on the move, up five spots and into 12th.

Lap 11 -- Jimmie Johnson is up six spots to 22nd.

Lap 10 -- Paul Menard drops a spot to 10th.

Lap 9 -- Kyle Busch comes off the wall but saves the No. 18 and is back on track.

Lap 8 -- David Reutimann drops to fourth.

Lap 7 -- Tony Stewart leads for a second lap.

Lap 6 -- Tony Stewart gets around Ryan Newman and takes the lead.

Lap 5 -- Juan Montoya gains another spot, passing Jeff Gordon for sixth.

Lap 4 -- Kasey Kahne moves up to ninth. Tony Stewart takes back second.

Lap 3 -- Juan Montoya moves up to seventh.

Lap 2 -- Kurt Busch moves up to second, passing Tony Stewart.

Lap 1 -- Ryan Newman gets off to a goof start and lead the first lap.

1:16 p.m. -- GREEN FLAG: Ryan Newman brings the field to the green for 301 laps at New Hampshire.

1:11 p.m. -- The cars are rolling off pit road for three warm-up laps.

1:08 p.m. -- The Joseph family (Tom, Karen, Nick, Alex and Brian), honorary grand marshals for today's Lenox Industrial Tools 301, gives the command: "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

1:01 p.m. -- Edens Edge performs the national anthem.

1 p.m. -- Pastor John White of Church of the Nazarene in Loudon delivers the Invocation.

Noon -- Countdown to Green is under way on TNT.

10 a.m. -- Jeff Burton rolls off sixth for today's Lenox Industrial Tools 301. Burton led all 300 laps in winning at Loudon in September 2000. It was the first race since 1978 that a driver led every lap (Cale Yarborough, Nashville) and only the sixth time in Cup Series history. Burton also is the only race winner to take the checkers by leading the fewest laps; he led just two for the win in 1999.

9:25 a.m. -- Possible milestones at New Hampshire: Clint Bowyer is scheduled to make his 200th Cup start; Matt Kenseth's next top-10 finish will be his 200th; Denny Hamlin needs to lead one more lap to reach 5000 career laps led; Jeff Gordon needs to lead 92 more laps to reach 22,000 laps led.

9:20 p.m. -- For fans at the track, Jimmie Johnson says via Twitter that he's coming to the tweetup at 9:45 a.m. in the back right corner of the S3 lot (up the hill from the infield tunnel).

9:05 a.m. -- Martin Truex Jr. will arrive at the Toyota Owners hospitality suite at 10 a.m. ET. David Ragan and Joey Logano will soon be heading to their souvenir haulers to sign autographs.

8:40 a.m. ET -- It's currently a picture-perfect day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. It's 71 degrees under sunny skies and temperatures are expected to climb into the 80s by race time. With a track-record run at 135.232 mph (28.165 seconds) Friday, Ryan Newman claimed his first pole of the season, his fifth at NHMS and the 47th of his career; he'll lead the field to green at 1:16 p.m. ET.