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Lap-by-Lap: Michigan

August 22, 2011, ,

Lap 204 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Kyle Busch holds off five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and takes the checkers for the first time at Michigan. With his fourth win this season, Busch becomes the first driver to secure a Chase berth.

Lap 203 -- WHITE FLAG: Kyle Busch leads at the line with plenty of room. Jimmie Johnson can't close.

Lap 202 -- GREEN FLAG NO. 1: Kyle Busch brings the field back up to speed on the outside and clears Jimmie Johnson out of Turn 2.

Lap 201 -- Under full sun, it will be one to go until green. Juan Montoya gets the free pass.

Lap 200 -- Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson lead Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth to the line -- still under caution.

Lap 199 -- Ryan Newman -- in eighth -- is the first to pit. Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes two tires and is away. Newman takes two tires. Greg Biffle takes two tires. Marcos Ambrose hits the wall entering his stall.

Lap 198 -- The field prepares for a G-W-C- finish.

Lap 197 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Kurt Busch hits the wall. Kyle Busch had grown his lead to 2.309 seconds before the yellow. Thanks, brother.

Lap 196 -- Mark Martin is marching forward and running in fifth.

Lap 195 -- Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon do battle for sixth. Black flag with the white cross for the No. 99 as Carl Edwards heads to the garage.

Lap 194 -- Carl Edwards is warned to pick up speed.

Lap 193 -- Mark Martin slides ahead of Jeff Gordon for fifth to allow debris to fall from the grill of the No. 24.

Lap 192 -- Kyle Busch is holding on and running just a little faster than the No. 48.

Lap 191 -- Kurt Busch is sideways but saves the car in 11th.

Lap 190 -- Ten laps to go! Jimmie Johnson is on the back of the No. 18 as Jeff Gordon -- in sixth -- reports the water temperature is rising with debris on the grill..

Lap 189 -- Jimmie Johnson tries a different line to gain back the lead. Kyle Busch stays out front through Turn 4.

Lap 188 -- Jeff Gordon rounds out the top five.

Lap 187 -- With just one win this season, Jimmie Johnson could use the bonus points, but Kyle Busch has taken the lead in Turn 2.

Lap 186 -- The No. 18 works over Jimmie Johnson, but the No. 48 shuts Kyle Busch down at the line.

Lap 185 -- Kyle Busch is coming but can't catch Jimmie Johnson as the line. Both drivers have debris on their grills and that should make things interesting.

Lap 184 -- Jimmie Johnson's lead has all but diminished as the No. 18 finds the bumper of the No. 48.

Lap 183 -- Brad Keselowski is holding on to the No. 2 as it exits Turn 4. To say it's loose would be an understatement.

Lap 182 -- Jimmie Johnson makes up time on the No. 48 with a lap of 39.914 seconds. Johnson turned a lap of 40.285 seconds.

Lap 181 -- Clint Bowyer's strong showing continues as he puts the No. 33 in sixth, up 29 positions since the start of the race.

Lap 180 -- Greg Biffle drops to 10th.

Lap 179 -- Jimmie Johnson's lead continues to grow as the field does battle for position behind the No. 48.

Lap 178 -- Dale Earnhardt running strong in seventh and has teammate Mark Martin on his bumper.

Lap 177 -- Jimmie Johnson grows his lead to 1.652 seconds as Dale Jr. gets rid of trash on his grill by tucking behind Greg Biffle and the No. 16 in eighth.

Lap 176 -- Kyle Busch takes second from Jeff Gordon, then drops to fourth as Matt Kenseth pounds on the gas. Busch answers using the high line in Turn 4 and claims second at the line.

Lap 175 -- Jimmie Johnson has all the clean air as the field races three-wide into Turn 1.

Lap 174 -- After a good pit stop, pole-sitter Greg Biffle is back in the mix and running in fifth.

Lap 173 -- GREEN FLAG: Seeking his first win at Michigan, Jimmie Johnson brings the field back up to speed. Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon are in pursuit. Johnson jumps out front and leads coming off Turn 2.

Lap 172 -- One lap to go until green. Five cars are wave around eligible. The No. 36 heads to the back of the field for pitting too soon.

Lap 171 -- Jimmie Johnson crosses the start/finish line out front and still under yellow.

Lap 170 -- Matt Kenseth gets an air adjustment. Kyle Busch is a little snug in the center and takes four tires, track bar adjustment. Brad Keselowski gets an air adjustment and four tires. Jeff Gordon takes four tires. Matt Kenseth wins the race off pit road and will have to contend with the No. 48 on the restart.

Lap 169 -- Jeff Gordon remains out front. Will the leaders pit?

Lap 168 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Dave Blaney was slow on the track and creating a dangerous scenario for drivers up to speed. Jimmie Johnson was on pit road when the yellow came out -- they're more than pleased with the development. David Reutimann gets the free pass.

Lap 167 -- Kyle Busch is on the bumper of the No. 24 but can't make the pass coming out of Turn 4.

Lap 166 -- Brad Keselowski rounds out the top five.

Lap 165 -- Greg Biffle takes away ninth from Dale Earnhardt Jr. after briefly giving up the spot.

Lap 164 -- Kyle Busch leads Jeff Gordon into Turn 4, but Jeff Gordon slams the door shut at the line to lead another lap.

Lap 163 -- Jeff Gordon's lead: 0.214 seconds. Pole-sitter Greg Biffle is running in ninth.

Lap 162 -- Kasey Kahne gives up sixth to Mark Martin.

Lap 161 -- Mark Martin says the car is too tight.

Lap 160 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves to ninth as Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus agree the car is the best its ever been today. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski is dragging the splitter and loose in the turns.

Lap 159 -- Jimmie Johnson hasn't one at Michigan, but he's fast today. It should be interesting if he's close to the fron at the end.

Lap 158 -- Another round of pit stops will be needed to finish as the top four put some space between their cars and the rest of the field.

Lap 157 -- Mark Martin fights off Clint Bowyer for seventh.

Lap 156 -- Jimmie Johnson does battle with Matt Kenseth for third but can't make the pass coming out of Turn 4.

Lap 155 -- Kyle Busch cuts down the lead of Jeff Gordon and should soon be on the bumper of the No. 24.

Lap 154 -- Dale Jr. joins the party in 10th.

Lap 153 -- The splitter bar cut the tires down on the No. 11, which is the reason Denny Hamlin headed to the garage. He's back on track, 15 laps down.

Lap 152 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. gains a spot and slides into 11th.

Lap 151 -- Jeff Gordon's lead at the line: 0.825 seconds. Gordon has led more than 22,000 laps in his career -- amazing!

Lap 150 -- The top five put 7.5 seconds between their cars and the rest of the field.

Lap 149 -- No change in running order to the top 12.

Lap 148 -- Kyle Busch catches Matt Kenseth for second. Next up, leader Jeff Gordon.

Lap 147 -- Ryan Newman drops to ninth.

Lap 146 -- Kyle Busch is in third, but can't catch Matt Kenseth -- yet.

Lap 145 -- Clouds are over the track as conditions change again.

Lap 144 -- Jeff Gordon closes on leader Matt Kenseth as the two approach Turn 3. Gordon gets him at the line as Denny Hamlin returns from the garage.

Lap 143 -- Jimmie Johnson rounds out the top five. Greg Biffle holds onto 10th and reports debris in the groove.

Lap 142 -- Matt Kenseth is back out front and being chased by Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. Gordon took back second from Busch.

Lap 141 -- Kyle Busch passes Jeff Gordon for second on a fresh set of tires.

Lap 140 -- Brad Keselowski takes four tires and is away. Matt Kenseth takes four tires on a loose car. Kyle Busch is snug, center off and takes an air adjustment. Jeff Gordon takes four tires and fuel on a loose car. Matt Kenseth assumes the lead.

Lap 139 -- Tony Stewart is free and takes four tires. Jimmie Johnson isn't happy with the car and wants help turning in the corner; he takes four tires.

Lap 138 -- Kurt Busch pits to have the fender adjusted after hitting the wall. Clint Bowyer pits for tires and fuel. Ryan Newman is loos and wants an air, chassis adjustment.

Lap 137 -- Jeff Gordon holds off a push from Matt Kenseth. Mark Martin pits for tires and fuel.

Lap 136 -- Brad Keselowski says the No. 2 feels like it's got a flat tire as pit stops approach.

Lap 135 -- Debris is confirmed by officials. A water bottle?

Lap 134 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves up to 12th. Tony Stewart is holding off the No. 88 from 11th.

Lap 133 -- Jimmie Johnson drops to fifth as Brad Keselowski slides the Blue Deuce into fourth.

Lap 132 -- Jeff Gordon turns a lap of 40.682 seconds. He leads Matt Kenseth at the line.

Lap 131 -- Clint Bowyer moves up to sixth as officials investigate a report of debris on the back straightaway.

Lap 130 -- Not good -- Denny Hamlin is back on pit road, then he's sent to the garage.

Lap 129 -- Greg Biffle again joins the party and rounds out the top 10. Dale Jr. is making up ground in 14th. He says the car is tough to turn and he wants more speed. Who doesn't?

Lap 128 -- Kevin Harvick brushes the wall next to Joey Logano but saves the car.

Lap 127 -- Jeff Gordon takes back the lead from Matt Kenseth.

Lap 126 -- Matt Kenseth pulls down to break the draft with Jeff Gordon into Turn 1.

Lap 125 -- Matt Kenseth passes Jeff Gordon for the lead out of Turn 2. Greg Biffle says Denny Hamlin is still leaking something.

Lap 124 -- The No. 11 is clear of oil leaks and back on the track. Jeff Gordon leads another lap at the line but says the No. 24 is loose.

Lap 123 -- Denny Hamlin slows and heads to pit road for four tires and fuel. Drivers report oil on the track from the No. 11. Officials are checking to see if the car is dry on pit road.

Lap 122 -- Drive it like you stole it, Rowdy! The No. 18 moves up to fifth and prepares to challenge Jimmie Johnson. Update: Passes Jimmie Johnson for fourth.

Lap 121 -- Jeff Gordon's lead: 1.772 seconds.

Lap 120 -- Clint Bowyer is in eighth, up 27 spots since the start of the race.

Lap 119 -- Brad Keselowski is back up to fourth. Kyle Busch moves to seventh.

Lap 118 -- Greg Biffle had led the most laps, but struggling to gain ground from 13th.

Lap 117 -- Ryan Newman rounds out the top 10. Kyle Busch moves up to eighth.

Lap 116 -- Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch battle for third. The No. 48 makes the pass -- without incident.

Lap 115 -- Jeff Gordon leads the field into Turn 1 with Matt Kenseth on his bumper.

Lap 114 -- Kasey Kahne drops to fifth as Kyle Busch dials in the No. 18 from 11th. Jeff Gordon gets Matt Kenseth at the line.

Lap 113 -- Jeff Gordon moves up to second ahead of Kurt Busch.

Lap 112 -- Jimmie Johnson moves up to fourth.

Lap 111 -- Matt Kenseth holds on and leads another lap.

Lap 110 -- Clint Bowyer challenges Mark Martin for 11th.

Lap 109 -- Dale Jr. is all the way back in 24th. Matt Kenseth is out front and is a little tight.

Lap 108 -- GREEN FLAG: Kasey Kahne brings the field back up to speed. The field moves four wide into Turn 1. Matt Kenseth gets to the front and leads.

Lap 107 -- David Reutimann is nabbed for exiting pit road too fast and moves to the tail end of lead lap cars. Greg Biffle will restart 11th after electing to take four tires; we'll see what he's made of in traffic.

Lap 106 -- Kasey Kahne crosses the line out front. He's followed by Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin. Jimmie Johnson is up to sixth.

Lap 105 -- The leaders pit. Mark Martin takes two tires. Kyle Busch takes four tires and fuel. Greg Biffle is tight and takes a half round of wedge. Kasey Kahne wins the race off pit road as several drivers elect to take two tires only. The field is shuffled up.

Lap 104 -- The No. 18 is still out front.

Lap 103 -- Officials allow an extra man for the windshield and the driver as the field makes its way through Turn 4.

Lap 102 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Debris on back straightaway. Kyle Busch's lap time before the yellow: 40.322.

Lap 101 -- Rowdy settles into clean air with a half second of breathing room.

Lap 100 -- Kyle Busch leads at the line and holds off Greg Biffle through Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 99 -- Jimmie Johnson holds onto 10th and doing his best to make up for lost time on pit road.

Lap 98 -- The sun is out and the track is heating up. Greg Biffle leads another lap.

Lap 97 -- Kasey Kahne is up to third. Kyle Busch has been out front, but Greg Biffle refuses to let him lead at the line.

Lap 96 -- Mark Martin falls back to fifth. Kurt Busch rounds out the top 10.

Lap 95 -- Greg Biffle passes Kyle Busch in Turn 1 as the weather outlook improves at the track.

Lap 94 -- Kyle Busch passes Greg Biffle for the lead.

Lap 93 -- Andy Lally gives up the lead to Greg Biffle as green-flag pit stops conclude. Kyle Busch is closing.

Lap 92 -- Greg Biffle is back to second and closing on Andy Lally.

Lap 91 -- Andy Lally stays out to lead another lap. Kyle Busch closes the gap on Greg Biffle.

Lap 90 -- Jeff Gordon is in for tires and fuel. Denny Hamlin started tight, then free. He takes four tires and a tearoff the windshield. Jimmie Johnson struggle to get the car in the stall. NASCAR officials confirm he's legal. Andy Lally assumes the lead.

Lap 89 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes tires and fuel. Leader Greg Biffle comes down pit road for four tires, fuel on a loose car.

Lap 88 -- Kurt Busch takes four tires. Kasey Kahne takes four tires and an air adjustment on a loose car. Kyle Busch loves the car and takes four tires.

Lap 87 -- Mark Martin is in for four tires on a loose car.

Lap 86 -- Greg BIffle's lead: 3.641 seconds. Brad Keselowski heads to pit road under green. The No. 2 is tight and gets a track bar adjustment as the sun comes back out. Martin Truex Jr. takes two tires and a major chassis adjustment.

Lap 85 -- Kasey Kahne moves to fourth. He's been hot and cold this season and could use a strong finish today.

Lap 84 -- Clint Bowyer is in 12th, up 23 spots since the start of the race.

Lap 83 -- Kurt Busch says no vibration, tire rub to the No. 22 but is considering short-pitting.

Lap 82 -- Kurt Busch has some damage to the right side of the No. 22.

Lap 81 -- Brad Keselowski moves to 10th, then passes Tony Stewart to take back ninth.

Lap 80 -- Kyle Busch screams to second as he stays on the gas. Busch loves the car after the last pit stop and thanks the team.

Lap 79 -- Green-flag pit stops are coming. Greg Biffle's lead hints at 5 seconds; at 200 mph, that's an eternity.

Lap 78 -- Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson run 5-6. Mark Martin remains in second.

Lap 77 -- Tony Stewart is up to ninth -- no doubt he needs a win.

Lap 76 -- Greg Biffle could take a nap. He leads Mark Martin and the rest of the field by more than 4 seconds.

Lap 75 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. reports the No. 88 has no right-rear grip.

Lap 74 -- Jimmie Johnson is up to sixth and setting sail in the No. 48.

Lap 73 -- Mark Martin says the balance in the No. 5 is perfect. Teammate Jeff Gordon likes his car as well as the team discusses saving fuel.

Lap 72 -- Kurt Busch reports debris, but nothing is confirmed.

Lap 71 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. drops to 12th as Brad Keselowski takes 11th.

Lap 70 -- Kyle Busch is up to fourth with a lap time of 40.083 seconds.

Lap 69 -- Guess what? Greg Biffle is pulling away again with a lead of more than 2 seconds. Mark Martin is chasing from second.

Lap 68 -- Jimmie Johnson moves up to eighth.

Lap 67 -- Greg Biffle picks up trash to the grill on the No. 16; we'll see if that matters.

Lap 66 -- Tony Stewart moves to 12th; he started 18th.

Lap 65 -- The track has cooled about 10 degrees since first green. Jimmie Johnson moves up to ninth.

Lap 64 -- Greg Biffle's lead: 1.012 seconds. Jeff Gordon takes back fifth from Kyle Busch. Jimmie Johnson finds the top 10 as track conditions change.

Lap 63 -- Kyle Busch joins the top five, up 12 spots since the start of the race. Carl Edwards is back in the race.

Lap 61 -- Mark Martin hangs in the top three and steal second from Matt Kenseth.

Lap 60 -- Jimmie Johnson's car is coming alive; he's up to 14th and never won at Michigan.

Lap 59 -- With rain clouds forming, Greg Biffle jumps past Mark Martin to take the lead. Ryan Newman looks to the inside of Jeff Gordon and takes fifth.

Lap 58 -- GREEN FLAG: Mark Martin brings the field back up to speed. Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth restart 2-3. Jimmie Johnson says the No. 48 is starting to feel better.

Lap 57 -- Travis Kvapil pits; Mark Martin moves to the front.

Lap 56 -- Ken Schrader stays out and enters Turn 1 in second. Mark Martin files in behind the No. 32.

Lap 55 -- Pit road is open: Greg Biffle takes track, air adjustment. Jeff Gordon makes no changes, takes four tires and fuel. Mark Martin wins the race off pit road as several drivers short pit to gain track position. Travis Kvapil stays out and leads the field through Turn 4.

Lap 54 -- Carl Edwards in the garage: Something broke! David Gilliland gets the free pass.

Lap 53 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Debris in Turn 2. Brad Keselowski drops to fifth. Jeff Gordon moves up to third.

Lap 52 -- Matt Kenseth takes the lead.

Lap 51 -- Marcos Ambrose moves up to ninth. Dale Jr. falls to 10th. Rain is in the area, but forecasts reflect just a 30 percent chance of it hitting the track.

Lap 50 -- Kyle Busch is up five spots and running 12th.

Lap 49 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. falls back to where he started the race -- eighth.

Lap 48 -- Carl Edwards is still in the garage, 13 laps down.

Lap 47 -- Greg Biffle is starting to pull away from Matt Kenseth. Thirty-four cars remain on the lead lap.

Lap 46 -- Greg Biffle has led 41 laps.

Lap 45 -- Jeff Gordon moves to fifth; Marcos Ambrose remains in 10th.

Lap 44 -- Biggest Mover: Clint Bowyer -- up 20 positions to 15th.

Lap 43 -- Dale Jr. drops to seventh but is keeping pace with Kasey Kahne in sixth.

Lap 42 -- Greg Biffle puts a little space between the No. 16 and Matt Kenseth.

Lap 41 -- A sore David Ragan takes 11th away from David Reutimann.

Lap 40 -- Brad Keselowski holds onto third. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounds out the top five.

Lap 39 -- David Reutimann moves to 11th. Marcos Ambrose rounds out the top 10.

Lap 38 -- Matt Kenseth is doing a better job of hanging with the No. 16 on the green-flag stretch. Greg Biffle's lead: 0.352 second.

Lap 37 -- The No. 99 team confirms engine trouble and sends Carl Edwards to the garage. Greg Biffle remains out front.

Lap 36 -- Greg BIffle holds the lead as Carl Edwards returns to pit road with the hood up.

Lap 35 -- GREEN FLAG: Greg Biffle brings the field back up to speed. He's followed by Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski. Kenseth and Biffle race side-by-side into Turn 2.

Lap 34 -- Greg BIffle will lead the field back to green and it should be one to go.

Lap 33 -- Travis Kvapil gives up the lead to pit; Casey Mears pulls aside as the field doubles up. Kevin Harvick returns to pit road for a missing lug nut -- he isn't happy. Ken Schrader gets the free pass.

Lap 32 -- Travis Kvapil stays out to lead a lap. Casey Mears and Andy Lally follow suit and claim 2-3.

Lap 31 -- Pit road is open: Matt Kenseth takes to the first stall and gets a track bar adjustment. Kurt Busch is tight in the corner and takes an air, track bar adjustment. Brad Keselowski takes tires and fuel. Greg Biffle takes an air adjustment in a clean stop. Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth leave pit road 1-2.

Lap 30 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Debris in Turn 1. The field bunches up and prepares for pit road. Most of the start-and parkers have gone to the garage.

Lap 29 -- Kasey Kahne moves to sixth after passing Jeff Gordon.

Lap 28 -- Brad Keselowski is in third, up three spots since the green flag dropped.

Lap 27 -- David Reutimann moves up to 11th; Denny Hamlin falls to 10th.

Lap 26 -- No one has been able to challenge Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth will have to make up ground before that can happen.

Lap 25 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. passes Kurt Busch for fourth.

Lap 24 -- Greg Biffle's lead: 1.664 seconds.

Lap 23 -- Matt Kenseth has trash on the grill, and it's effecting water temperature.

Lap 22 -- Greg Biffle chats with his spotter and compares his line around the track to those behind the No. 16.

Lap 21 -- Greg Biffle had led every lap; Kurt Busch moves up to fourth.

Lap 20 -- Jimmie Johnson can't make a move and remains in 20th.

Lap 19 -- Carl Edwards doesn't like the No. 99 in traffic and needs to find clean air.

Lap 18 -- Marcos Ambrose is up to 12th after starting 16th.

Lap 17 -- Biggest mover: Kevin Harvick -- up 10 spots into 14th.

Lap 16 -- Ryan Newman drops to ninth as Jeff Gordon passes for eighth.

Lap 15 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves up to fifth after starting eighth.

Lap 14 -- Joey Logano -- in 20th -- reaches a top speed of 213.49 mph, the fastest of the race so far.

Lap 13 -- Denny Hamlin drops to sixth after starting fourth. Greg Biffle's best lap time: 38.386 seconds.

Lap 12 -- Mark Martin is moving in the wrong direction, losing five spots and running in 10th; Kasey Kahne is up to seventh, just behind Dale Jr.

Lap 11 -- Greg Biffle is super fast and well ahead of Matt Kenseth in second.

Lap 10 -- Tony Stewart started 18th and gains two spots.

Lap 9 -- Kurt Busch passes Ryan Newman for fifth. The No. 22 is turning fast lap times early.

Lap 8 -- Kurt Busch passes Dale Jr. for sixth; Kyle Busch is up to 11th.

Lap 7 -- Kurt Busch is in seventh, up six spots.

Lap 6 -- Jamie McMurray drops out of the top 10 and into 11th; Greg Biffle's lead grows to 1.234 seconds.

Lap 5 -- Ryan Newman rounds out the top five as Greg Biffle puts some space between the No. 16 and Matt Kenseth in second.

Lap 4 -- Greg Biffles remains out front; David Ragan drops back five spots to 12th.

Lap 3 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is up two spots to sixth; Kasey Kahne joins the top 10, up four spots.

Lap 2 -- Matt Kenseth slides in front of Denny Hamlin to claim second.

Lap 1 -- Greg Biffle jumps out front as the field falls in line. The No. 16 leads the first lap.

1:16 p.m. ET -- GREEN FLAG: Greg Biffle brings the field to the green for 200 laps at Michigan.

1:08 p.m. ET -- Former Michigan football star, Heisman Trophy winner and recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee Desmond Howard gives the command: "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

1:01 p.m ET -- Members of the U.S. Army Band from Livonia, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio perform the national anthem.

1:00 p.m. ET -- Father Geoff Rose from Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Mich., delivers the Invocation.

Noon ET -- NASCAR Countdown is under way on ESPN.

9:16 a.m. ET -- It's a beautiful morning in the Irish Hills of Michigan as the Cup Series prepares for 400 miles at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway. Temperatures should remain in the 70s all afternoon. Greg Biffle will start from the pole. Green set for 1:16 p.m. ET.