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Lap-by-Lap: Watkins Glen

August 15, 2011, ,

Lap 92 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Carnage on the final lap as David Reutimann ends up upside down in Turn 2 with a multi-car crash that started with David Ragan hard into the wall. Ragan is limping to the ambulance. Reutimann able to get out and appears to be OK. Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer get together in Turn 5. Marcos Ambrose becomes the fifth first-time winner in the Cup Series this season. Brad Keselowski finishes second and doesn't appear to be happy with Ambrose and the way he raced.

Lap 91 -- WHITE FLAG: A crazy restart that had Marcos Ambrose spin the tires and Kyle Busch, Ambrose and Brad Keselowski three wide. Ambrose went to the inside in Turn 5 to pass Keselowski for the lead.

Lap 90 -- GREEN FLAG: Kyle Busch on the inside with Marcos Ambrose on the outside. Brad Keselowski on the inside of Row 2 with Martin Truex Jr. outside of the No. 2.

Lap 89 -- It looks like NASCAR will keep this race yellow meaning we will go to a green-white-checkered finish. This could really throw off some of the teams with their fuel strategy.

Lap 88 -- Clean up continues and some drivers are trying to save fuel by shutting their cars off.

Lap 87 -- Paul Menard has dropped debris and fluid from just outside Turn 2 all the way to where he stopped outside Turn 5. This clean up is going to take a while. As expected, none of the leaders pitted.

Lap 86 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Paul Menard hard into the wall out of the esses leaving debris all over the track. The No. 27 is on fire but he is able to stop the car and exit safely. Menard blew a tire and that is what forced him into the wall.

Lap 85 -- Five to go, Kyle Busch overdrives into Turn 6 but is able to hold the lead.

Lap 84 -- With six to go it looks like it's going to come down to Kyle Busch and Marcos Ambrose.

Lap 83 -- No change in the top 10 in the past few laps. Kyle Busch still leads but for how long?

Lap 82 -- Marcos Ambrose now on Kyle Busch's bumper and is looking to take the lead.

Lap 81 -- Marcos Ambrose has closed to 0.5 seconds on Kyle Busch.

Lap 80 -- Terry Labonte has some issues and is on pit road.

Lap 79 -- Jimmie Johnson challenging Juan Montoya for fifth. Marcos Ambrose starting to close on leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 78 -- Jeff Gordon has plateaued at 13th, as he is a few car lengths behind Clint Bowyer in 12th.

Lap 77 -- The top-five is running single-file right now with not a lot of action on the track.

Lap 76 -- Jeff Gordon up to 14th on fresh tires. Joey Logano having a great run today, currently ninth.

Lap 75 -- Fifteen laps to go and Kyle Busch has a three-second lead on the field as Marcos Ambrose passes Brad Keselowski for second.

Lap 74 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. got lucky with track position early, but as the laps wind down he finds himself in 22nd.

Lap 73 -- Marcos Ambrose passes Martin Truex Jr. in Turn 1 for third. Jimmie Johnson gets around Tony Stewart for sixth.

Lap 72 -- Brad Keselowski back to second after a great pass in the inner loop. A.J. Allmendinger up to 12th. Kevin Harvick having a great day in eighth.

Lap 71 -- Jeff Gordon up to 18th on the freshest tires on the track.

Lap 70 -- Martin Truex Jr. has a great restart and passes Brad Keselowski for second. Marcos Ambrose challenging Keselowski for third.

Lap 69 -- GREEN FLAG: Kyle Busch brings the field to the green for the final 21 laps.

Lap 68 -- David Ragan, Regan Smith, David Gilliland and Andrew Ranger the wave-around cars that will be back on the lead lap.

Lap 67 -- Pit road is open. Jeff Gordon pits along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ron Fellows and Brian Vickers. Gordon very happy with his car as he takes four tires and fuel. Kyle Busch is the new race leader.

Lap 66 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Denny Hamlin with a hard crash into the wall in Turn 1 after it looked like he blew a tire and had no brakes. Hamlin was able to get out of the car and appears OK. Mark Martin gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 65 -- Jeff Gordon leads as Jimmie Johnson hits pit road for four tires and fuel. A.J. Allmendinger also on pit road.

Lap 64 -- Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya pit giving the lead to Jimmie Johnson. Ambrose with four tires and fuel. Montoya with four tires and fuel. Jamie McMurray also pits.

Lap 63 -- Marcos Ambrose continues to lead. The top 11 have yet to pit including Juan Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and A.J. Allmendinger.

Lap 62 -- Casey Mears gives up a top-10 position and pits. Kyle Busch the highest-running car that pitted in 12th.

Lap 61 -- Marcos Ambrose gets the lead as Clint Bowyer hits pit road. Carl Edwards also pits along with Greg Biffle and Mark Martin.

Lap 60 -- Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr. all pit. Matt Kenseth has slowed on the track and Greg Biffle is pushing him around to pit road.

Lap 59 -- Brad Keselowski has cleared Kyle Busch and is out front. Dale Earnahrdt Jr. and Kasey Kahne pitted and have fallen out of the top 10. Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte on pit road.

Lap 58 -- Brad Keselowski beats Kyle Busch in a drag race to the stripe and leads the lap.

Lap 57 -- Thirty cars are on the lead lap. David Reutimann is running 30th. David Ragan is the first driver one lap down.

Lap 56 -- Kyle Busch leads but Brad Keselowski is right on his bumper. Pit stop could be upcoming soon as we approach the 30-lap fuel window to the finish.

Lap 55 -- Marcos Ambrose running 13th. Juan Montoya is 15th. Jeff Gordon up to 17th.

Lap 54 -- Everyone will have to make one more stop for fuel before this day is over.

Lap 53 -- Kyle Busch holds the lead. Tony Stewart passes Martin Truex Jr. for fourth.

Lap 52 -- GREEN FLAG: Kyle Busch brings the field to the green.

Lap 51 -- Jeff Gordon will restart 22nd. The top five are: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Tony Stewart.

Lap 50 -- Pit road is open. Jeff Gordon in third the highest running car to pit. A.J. Allmendinger, Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin among those to pit.

Lap 49 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Kurt Busch blows a tire and slams into the tire wall in Turn 5. Boris Said gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 48 -- T.J. Bell to the garage. Denny Hamlin up to 12th. Matt Kenseth running a quiet 13th. Regan Smith on pit road.

Lap 47 -- A.J. Allmendinger up to ninth as he looks to recover from his early-race woes.

Lap 46 -- Brad Keselowksi closing on Kyle Busch.

Lap 45 -- As the race hits the halfway point, Kyle Busch inherits the lead as Jeff Gordon falls to third. Brad Keselowski up to second for the first time today.

Lap 44 -- Brian Vickers and Jamie McMurray are on pit road as teams are looking to make one more stop before the end of the race.

Lap 43 -- Jimmie Johnson in for his scheduled pit stop. Four tires and a chassis adjustment for Johnson.

Lap 42 -- Jeff Gordon grabs the lead as Juan Montoya hits pit road. Montoya with four tires, fuel and no changes.

Lap 41 -- Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr. in a great battle for eighth.

Lap 40 -- Ron Fellows up to 23rd after getting the free pass. Kurt Busch has rallied from being a lap down to 20th.

Lap 39 -- Juan Montoya and Jeff Gordon will have to pit before Kyle Busch so it's a matter of time before the No. 18 is out front again.

Lap 38 -- Marcos Ambrose hits pit road giving the lead to Juan Montoya. Four tires and a track bar adjustment for Ambrose. Jimmie Johnson passes Brian Vickers for eighth.

Lap 37 -- Kyle Busch closing on Jeff Gordon for third. Brad Keselowski has worked his way up to sixth.

Lap 36 -- Marcos Ambrose leads by more than two seconds. David Reutimann able to stay on the lead lap after pitting.

Lap 35 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. lets Kyle Busch pass for fourth.

Lap 34 -- Kyle Busch up to fifth on this restart. Tony Stewart has gone from 14th to 11th. A.J. Almendinger up to 15th.

Lap 33 -- David Reutimann has some major damage to the rear of his car as he gets tapped by Mark Martin and goes for a spin. Reutimann being black-flagged and will need to pit to fix the damage.

Lap 32 -- Marcos Ambrose able to hold off Juan Montoya and lead. Dale Earnhardt Jr. the benefactor of great timing and now runs fourth. David Ragan is a lap down after all of his caution issues.

Lap 31 -- GREEN FLAG: Marcos Ambrose brings the field to the green.

Lap 30 -- Jimmie Johnson and A.J. Allmendinger with two-tire stops. The top seven stayed out. Marcos Ambrose leads followed by Juan Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Burton. Five cars are using the wave-around and will be back on the lead lap: Bobby Labonte, Robby Gordon, Andy Lally, Casey Mears and T.J. Bell.

Lap 29 -- Pit road is open. David Ragan didn't stop on pit road, came back out and ran out of gas. Carl Edwards is pushing Ragan to pit road. Kyle Busch on pit road for four tires and fuel. Clint Bowyer with four tires and a air pressure adjustment. Martin Truex Jr. with a wedge adjustment. Brad Keselowski with four tires and no changes.

Lap 28 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Greg Biffle has stalled in the inner loop bringing out the caution. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton were on pit road when the caution came out. David Ragan hit pit road as the caution came out. Ron Fellows gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 27 -- Of guys who have pitted, Marcos Ambrose is running 10th. Jimmie Johnson is 12th. A.J. Allmendinger is 18th.

Lap 26 -- Kyle Busch close to lapping Carl Edwards as Edwards spent a long time on pit road for the spring rubber addition.

Lap 25 -- Brad Keselowski has worked his way into the top five as he runs third. Kasey Kahne on pit road.

Lap 24 -- David Gilliland on pit road along with Carl Edwards, who gives up fifth. Edwards with four tires and they are adding a spring rubber.

Lap 23 -- T.J. Bell on pit road. Jeff Gordon also on pit road for four tires and a track bar adjustment. The fog is really starting to settle on the track and some drivers are complaining about visibility.

Lap 22 -- Pit road is surprisingly quiet as team's try to figure out fuel mileage.

Lap 21 -- Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton run 16th and 17th after starting 42nd and 40th, respectively.

Lap 20 -- Thanks to pit stops by others, Martin Truex Jr. is now fourth with Carl Edwards fifth. Robby Gordon on pit road.

Lap 19 -- Kyle Busch stays out and has a huge seven-second lead. There are a bunch of different strategies playing out early on at Watkins Glen.

Lap 18 -- Jimmie Johnson with a green-flag stop. Johnson with four tires and fuel.

Lap 17 -- Kyle Busch inherits the lead as Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya hit pit road. Four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment for Ambrose.

Lap 16 -- Ron Fellows is reporting some rain in certain spots on the track. Brian Vickers is on pit road.

Lap 15 -- Marcos Ambrose is out front by 2.1 seconds. Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Montoya and Tony Stewart round out the top five.

Lap 14 -- Denny Hamlin continues to move through the field as he is now up to 21st. Jeff Burton also making some passes as he is 20th after starting 40th. Joe Nemechek to the garage.

Lap 13 -- Jeff Gordon has moved up to 10th. Jimmie Johnson is closing on Kyle Busch's bumper for second.

Lap 12 -- A.J. Allmendinger very unhappy with Kurt Busch and let it be known on his radio. Allmendinger is now 35th.

Lap 11 -- A.J. Allmendinger forced to pit out of second as grass clogged up his grill. This will now alter the No. 43's strategy for the rest of the race. Marcos Ambrose out front.

Lap 10 -- Ron Fellows on pit road. Kurt Busch able to get back on the lead lap. Scott Speed goes for a spin but is able to get his car fired up and continue.

Lap 9 -- Marcos Ambrose gets around A.J. Allmendinger after Allmendinger gets forced into the grass by Kurt Busch. Jeff Gordon up to 13th after starting 17th.

Lap 8 -- Ryan Newman on pit road for a scheduled stop. A.J. Allmendinger leads with no change in the top five.

Lap 7 -- Michael McDowell and J.J. Yeley to the garage. Kevin Harvick is on pit road for a scheduled stop.

Lap 6 -- There is some grass on the track through the inner loop. Kurt Busch is now a lap down as he runs directly behind leader A.J. Allmendinger.

Lap 5 -- A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose have opened up a sizable lead on third-place Kyle Busch. Mike Skinner takes the No. 60 to the garage.

Lap 4 -- Kurt Busch goes for a spin in the inner loop but he is able to continue. He will have to make an unscheduled pit stop though due to some damage to the car. Jamie McMurray and Boris Said also on pit road.

Lap 3 -- A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose still hold the first two spots. Denny Hamlin up to 33rd after starting 42nd. Kevin Harvick is reporting there is water on the track.

Lap 2 -- Marcos Ambrose gets around Kyle Busch for second. Boris Said went for a spin in Turn 5 but he was able to continue.

Lap 1 -- A.J. Allmendinger gets aggressive and takes the lead in Turn 1. A very clean first lap. Casey Mears will serve a pass-through penalty for changing lanes before the start/finish line.

10:14 a.m. ET -- GREEN FLAG: Kyle Busch brings the field to the green and the Heluva Good! at the Glen is under way.

10:11 a.m. ET -- Pace car driver Brett Bodine has given the thumbs up on the track and we will go green in one more lap.

10:06 a.m. ET -- Good news ... the cars are rolling off pit road!

10:02 a.m. ET -- Adam Richman, star of Man vs. Food, delivers the command very slowly ... "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

10 a.m. ET -- The drivers are strapping in, getting ready to get this race started.

9:44 p.m. ET -- Track dryers are on the 2.45-mile road course getting the track ready for the race.

9:18 a.m. ET -- Green for the Heluva Good! at the Glen is set for 10:09 a.m. ET. Kyle Busch is on the pole.

9:14 a.m. ET -- Take two at Watkins Glen and things are looking a little better. Right now, it's a balmy 68 degrees under cloudy skies. There is a 30 to 60 percent chance of rain all morning and afternoon, but hopefully the rain will stay away until we get 90 laps of road racing action in the books.


4:25 p.m. ET -- Rain has started to fall once again at Watkins Glen and the race has been postponed until 10 a.m. Monday morning. Coverage will be on ESPN.

3:54 p.m. ET -- Steve O'Donnell, senior vice president of racing operations, posted on Twitter: "Here's situation, if rain subsides-it has-we can dry and race, 1 more rain shower though and we'll be unable to get it in." He also tweeted the latest the race can start is between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. ET because they will not start a race without trying to get all 90 laps completed.

3:33 p.m. ET -- The rain has slowed at Watkins Glen and NASCAR has sent the dryers onto the track to see how much water has puddled on the racing surface.

3:18 p.m. ET -- An announcement is expected soon regarding today's race. If the race is run Monday, it looks like the plan is to run the race shortly after 10 a.m. ET, although nothing is official yet.

3:09 p.m. ET -- A look at the radar shows hope might be approaching. There looks to be some clearing on the horizon, but will it come soon enough?

2:32 p.m. ET -- There is a hope that the skies will clear this afternoon, but right now the rain is still falling.

1:45 p.m. ET -- The rain is still falling at Watkins Glen and the radar doesn't look promising.

1:03 p.m. ET -- Casey Mears will start from the rear due to an engine change.

1:02 p.m. ET -- Generators are being plugged back into the cars, the drivers are taking cover under umbrellas and the race is officially on hold.

12:59 p.m. ET -- Unfortunately the rain has started to fall so drivers will not be climbing in their cars at this time.

12:57 p.m. ET -- Taylor Acorn, Twin Tiers Idol champion, performs the national anthem.

12:56 p.m. ET -- Reverend David Fife from Bentley Creek Wesleyan Church delivers the Invocation.

12:01 p.m. ET -- NASCAR has moved the start time of the race to 1:10 p.m. ET in an effort to beat in the incoming weather.

8:41 a.m. ET -- Right now it's a picture-perfect day in Watkins Glen International, but the forecast is looking gloomy. Currently it's 70 degrees under sunny skies, but the rain clouds are expected to move in around noon with an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. The good news, there could be a slight break in the rain to get the Heluva Good! at the Glen in. Green is set for 1:18 p.m. ET with Kyle Busch on the pole.