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Lap-by-Lap: Bristol

August 28, 2011, ,

Lap 500 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Brad Keselowski continues to dominate the Cup Series as he wins the Irwin Tools Night Race. In the past four races, Brad Keselowski has two wins, a second and a third and could lock up his Chase berth next week at Atlanta. Martin Truex Jr. held off Jeff Gordon for second.

Lap 499 -- WHITE FLAG: Brad Keselowski one lap away from his third victory of the season.

Lap 495 -- Jeff Gordon still trying for second and can't get it.

Lap 493 -- Denny Hamlin up to seventh for another valuable point.

Lap 490 -- Ten to go, this is Brad Keselowski's race to win barring a caution.

Lap 488 -- Jeff Gordon still can't complete the pass on Martin Truex Jr. They trail Brad Keselowski by 1.1 seconds.

Lap 485 -- Some great racing for position among the cars from seventh through 15th.

Lap 482 -- He's baaaack. Jeff Gordon back challenging Martin Truex Jr. for second.

Lap 477 -- Brad Keselowski has never finished in the top 10 at Bristol. He's closing in on his third victory of the season.

Lap 471 -- Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin doing some bumping as they battle for eighth and ninth. Hamlin apologized.

Lap 468 -- Jeff Gordon has backed off Martin Truex Jr. to cool his tires off.

Lap 465 -- Bobby Labonte to pit road with some engine troubles. Dave Blaney to the garage.

Lap 461 -- Jeff Gordon just can't get around Martin Truex Jr. for second, allowing Brad Keselowski to open up his lead.

Lap 455 -- Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr. side-by-side for multiple laps as they battle for second. Jamie McMurray challenging Jimmie Johnson for fourth.

Lap 452 -- Kevin Harvick used the wave-around to get back on the lead lap, but he hasn't done much with it as he runs 22nd.

Lap 448 -- Jeff Gordon closing on Martin Truex Jr. for second.

Lap 446 -- Jimmie Johnson able to clear Matt Kenseth for fourth.

Lap 443 -- David Reutimann and David Stremme are racing right next to each other but it appears as if any hard feelings are gone.

Lap 440 -- Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon are starting to bump each other a little as they battle for third.

Lap 438 -- Jeff Gordon is giving it his all as he passes Jimmie Johnson for fourth.

Lap 435 -- Kyle Busch stuck in 16th as the laps tick away. Kurt Busch right behind him in 17th.

Lap 433 -- Jeff Gordon goes low as he tries to pass Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth.

Lap 428 -- Brad Keselowski leads by 1.2 seconds as his fantastic month of August continues.

Lap 426 -- Jamie McMurray trying to get around Ryan Newman for sixth. Mark Martin back to the garage.

Lap 424 -- Jeff Gordon side-by-side with Jimmie Johnson for fourth.

Lap 421 -- Brad Keselowski beats Martin Truex Jr. on the restart to take the lead.

Lap 420 -- GREEN FLAG: Martin Truex Jr. brings the field to the green followed by Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon.

Lap 418 -- Kyle Busch went from ninth to 17th following his minor crash and pit stop. Mark Martin back on the track.

Lap 417 -- David Ragan, Brian Vickers and Kevin Harvick are back on the lead lap thanks to the wave-around. A bunch of other cars also using the wave-around, including Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer, to get a lap back.

Lap 415 -- Jeff Gordon with four tires and fuel. Jimmie Johnson with a track bar adjustment. Wedge adjustment for Matt Kenseth. Jamie McMurray with no changes. Brad Keselowski with an air pressure adjustment. Martin Truex Jr. with two tires. Ryan Newman with two tires. Truex wins the race off pit road.

Lap 413 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 6: Kyle Busch and Terry Labonte got together in Turn 3 and Busch put some debris on the track. Bobby Labonte gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 409 -- Jeff Gordon has extended his lead to more than two seconds thanks to Brad Keselowski being stuck in lap traffic.

Lap 406 -- All the leaders are borderline on fuel to go the rest of the way.

Lap 402 -- David Reutimann is back on the track so we will have to see if he exacts revenge on David Stremme.

Lap 400 -- You have to go back to 1996 to find a Cup race at Bristol with five or fewer cautions. We are currently at five with a 100 to go.

Lap 393 -- We got us a three-way battle for third as Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson have caught Matt Kenseth.

Lap 388 -- Jamie McMurray challenging Jimmie Johnson for fourth.

Lap 384 -- Jeff Gordon out front by 1.1 seconds. Regan Smith having an exceptional night in 16th.

Lap 378 -- Brad Keselowski up to second.

Lap 374 -- Denny Hamlin up to ninth as he continues to recover from his spin.

Lap 371 -- Jeff Gordon passes Matt Kenseth in Turn 3.

Lap 369 -- Matt Kenseth holds the lead but Jeff Gordon keeping the pressure on.

Lap 368 -- GREEN FLAG: Matt Kenseth brings the field to the green followed by Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Jamie McMurray.

Lap 364 -- Juan Montoya, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte using the wave-around to get back on the lead lap.

Lap 363 -- Pit road is open. This is the edge of the fuel window so this could be the last stop. Jeff Gordon with four tires. Jimmie Johnson with four tires and a wedge adjustment. Matt Kenseth with a chassis adjustment. Jamie McMurray with no changes and four tires. Brad Keselowski with four tires and no changes. Matt Kenseth wins the race off pit road again.

Lap 360 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Mark Martin hard into the wall on the back straightaway after he drifts up the track and into Brian Vickers. Martin with some serious damage. Kasey Kahne gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 356 -- Jimmie Johnson has fallen off the pace and is now 3.6 seconds behind.

Lap 352 -- Jeff Gordon stretching his lead to 0.7 seconds.

Lap 343 -- Joey Logano closing on Jimmie Johnson for fifth.

Lap 337 -- Joey Logano having a great night as he runs sixth.

Lap 334 -- Matt Kenseth down to third as Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski both try to get around him.

Lap 332 -- Jeff Gordon is the class of the field tonight and he looks like he has his 85th victory in his sights.

Lap 326 -- Jeff Gordon back out front.

Lap 324 -- Jeff Gordon wouldn't let Jamie McMurray sniff the front for long and is challenging Matt Kenseth for the lead.

Lap 322 -- A.J. Allmendinger, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch in a heated battle for ninth.

Lap 320 -- Jamie McMurray has come from nowhere and is now side-by-side with Matt Kenseth for the lead.

Lap 318 -- Denny Hamlin 14th. Marcos Ambrose having a great night in eighth.

Lap 311 -- Jamie McMurray rockets to second despite contact with Jeff Gordon. Jimmie Johnson falls to fourth on the restart.

Lap 310 -- GREEN FLAG: Matt Kenseth brings the field to the green.

Lap 308 -- Eleven cars are using the wave-around to try and get some laps back. Mark Martin will rejoin the lead lap, everyone else multiple laps down. Kurt Busch too fast again on pit road and will start at the tail end of the field.

Lap 307 -- Denny Hamlin kept his No. 11 off the wall when he spun and remains on the lead lap.

Lap 305 -- Pit road is open. All the leaders hit pit road. Jeff Gordon with four tires. Jimmie Johnson with four tires, a track bar and a wedge adjustment. Brad Keselowski with four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray with four-tire stops. Kenseth wins the race off pit road.

Lap 302 -- It looks like Denny Hamlin and Paul Menard will be able to continue. David Reutimann took the No. 00 to the garage.

Lap 300 -- Pit road is closed. Travis Kvapil being penalized two laps but he's more than 120 laps down so it doesn't really matter.

Lap 297 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: David Reutimann spins after getting pushed hard by David Stremme. Denny Hamlin and Paul Menard can't avoid each other as they try to miss Reutimann. Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 296 -- Jeff Gordon working to put Regan Smith a lap down.

Lap 292 -- Kevin Harvick is not happy right now and is letting his team know as he runs two laps down.

Lap 290 -- A.J. Allmendinger has finished better than 30th at Bristol just twice, but he is having a great night currently sixth.

Lap 285 -- This could be a huge points day for Denny Hamlin. He's currently 14th but most of his Chase bubble competition are having rough nights.

Lap 276 -- Fifteen cars on the lead lap. Regan Smith in 15th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. the first car a lap down.

Lap 272 -- Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose and Martin Truex Jr. in a great battle for eighth.

Lap 268 -- Paul Menard has a tire rub and is really smoking on the track.

Lap 266 -- Jeff Gordon gets around Matt Kenseth and re-takes the lead.

Lap 262 -- Kevin Harvick has now gone two laps down. Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer both three laps down.

Lap 257 -- The top five following green-flag stops: Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski.

Lap 250 -- David Starr on pit road giving the lead to Matt Kenseth.

Lap 249 -- David Starr, David Gilliland and Andy Lally all have yet to pit.

Lap 246 -- Joey Logano on pit road for four tires and an adjustment. David Starr out front.

Lap 245 -- Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch on pit road. Joey Logano leads.

Lap 243 -- Denny Hamlin on pit road as is Juan Montoya.

Lap 242 -- Jamie McMurray pits for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Martin Truex Jr. also on pit road.

Lap 241 -- Jamie McMurray leads. Carl Edwards and Regan Smith on pit road.

Lap 239 -- Ryan Newman and Brad Keselowski pit. Four tires for both.

Lap 238 -- Jeff Gordon pits for four tires and a wedge adjustment. Jimmie Johnson with four tires.

Lap 237 -- Matt Kenseth gives up second to pit. Four tires and a wedge adjustment.

Lap 236 -- Paul Menard and A.J. Allmendinger on pit road. Allmendinger with four tires and an air pressure adjustment.

Lap 233 -- David Ragan and Kasey Kahne are now a lap down. Just 20 cars are on the lead lap as we approach half way.

Lap 228 -- Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth have put a three-second lead on the field.

Lap 223 -- David Reutimann is running 19th but he may have a tire rub.

Lap 218 -- Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray side-by-side for sixth. Martin Truex Jr. trying to get into the battle as well.

Lap 211 -- Matt Kenseth not happy with his crew as he is complaining that he has no front brakes.

Lap 208 -- Just 24 cars are on the lead lap. Bobby Labonte is 24th. David Gilliland is the first car one lap down.

Lap 200 -- If we stay green, we should be coming up on green-flag stops in 25-30 laps.

Lap 197 -- Kevin Harvick is about to go a lap down as Jeff Gordon checks out from the field.

Lap 195 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. having a quiet night in 17th.

Lap 190 -- Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer are two laps down, making this a horrible points night for the guys who need it most. Greg Biffle also two laps down.

Lap 187 -- Jimmie Johnson down to third as Matt Kenseth gets around the No. 48.

Lap 183 -- Jeff Gordon finally gets around Jimmie Johnson and is back out front.

Lap 181 -- Jimmie Johnson is close to putting Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer two laps down.

Lap 177 -- Jeff Gordon has caught Jimmie Johnson and is now challenging for the lead.

Lap 168 -- Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards are each using information learned in the Nationwide race Friday night to help fix handling issues tonight.

Lap 165 -- Is anyone else surprised that we are 165 laps in and haven't had a yellow for an accident yet? Just me thinking out loud.

Lap 161 -- Kurt Busch up to 15th. Martin Truex Jr. having a great run in eighth.

Lap 155 -- Kyle Busch up to sixth as he looks for his second victory of the weekend.

Lap 153 -- Jimmie Johnson has rocketed out front to a 1.7-second lead.

Lap 144 -- Jeff Burton the highest-running car to pit in 16th. Kasey Kahne still struggling down in 27th.

Lap 136 -- Brad Keselowski down to fifth on the restart.

Lap 135 -- GREEN FLAG: Jimmie Johnson brings the field to the green followed by Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.

Lap 131 -- Pit road is open. Just a handful of guys make stops. Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Juan Montoya, Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano among those to stop.

Lap 128 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Travis Kvapil has his engine blow on the backstretch bringing out the caution. Mike Bliss gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 126 -- Kurt Busch trying to work his way back through the field after his penalty. He is up to 25th.

Lap 124 -- Jeff Gordon gets around Brad Keselowski for second.

Lap 121 -- Greg Biffle fell in the running order due to a flat tire. He is on pit road and will go two-laps down.

Lap 118 -- Kasey Kahne not having a great day as he is 25th. After running up front early, Greg Biffle down to 24th.

Lap 113 -- Carl Edwards struggles on the restart and is down to fourth.

Lap 111 -- Jimmie Johnson holds the lead on the restart. Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski side-by-side for second.

Lap 110 -- GREEN FLAG: Jimmie JOhnson brings the field to the green followed by Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman.

Lap 107 -- Jimmie Johnson wins the race off pit road and has the lead. Kurt Busch too fast exiting and will start from the rear. Busch came out in the fifth position.

Lap 105 -- Pit road is open. Jeff Gordon with four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Jimmie Johnson with a wedge adjustment and four tires. Matt Kenseth with four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Brad Keselowski with four tires and no changes. Ryan Newman with a wedge adjustment. Jeff Burton with a two-tire stop.

Lap 103 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Debris in Turn 1 brings out the caution. David Starr gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 101 -- David Starr now a lap down and Paul Menard is next.

Lap 95 -- Lap traffic has allowed Brad Keselowski to take a second off of Matt Kenseth's lead.

Lap 93 -- Kevin Harvick in ninth in quite a battle with Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann.

Lap 88 -- Matt Kenseth now out front by more than two seconds as Casey Mears goes a lap down.

Lap 76 -- Matt Kenseth leads by 1.5 seconds in front of Brad Keselowski.

Lap 72 -- Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart are both a lap down. Not good for drivers on the Chase bubble.

Lap 66 -- Jeff Gordon up to eighth after restarting 14th.

Lap 62 -- Terry Labonte and Travis Kvapil go a lap down.

Lap 61 -- Clint Bowyer running 25th. Tony Stewart is 32nd.

Lap 56 -- Kyle Busch up to ninth after starting 23rd.

Lap 54 -- Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards the highest-running cars to pit in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Lap 52 -- Kevin Harvick on the move as he passes Greg Biffle for sixth.

Lap 50 -- Joe Nemechek has gone to the garage. Brad Keselowski thinks he may have a slow leak on the left hand side.

Lap 47 -- Jimmie Johnson passes Brad Keselowski for second but trails Matt Kenseth by 1.4 seconds.

Lap 42 -- Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch get three-wide in Turn 4 but get through. Truex may have a tire rub as he has lot a bunch of spots.

Lap 40 -- Regan Smith gets around Greg Biffle for fifth.

Lap 38 -- Brad Keselowski gets loose opening the door for Matt Kenseth, who takes the lead.

Lap 37 -- GREEN FLAG: Brad Keselowski brings the field to the green followed by Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle.

Lap 36 -- The top-10 cars stayed out. Brad Keselowski the race leader.

Lap 34 -- Paul Menard, Dave Blaney and Travis Kvapil all too fast on pit road.

Lap 33 -- Pit stops under way. Jeff Gordon pits for four tires. Carl Edwards with four tires and a track bar adjustment. Denny Hamlin also pits. Jamie McMurray with four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Brad Keselowski stays out and takes the lead. Kurt Busch with a two-tire stop.

Lap 32 -- Mike Skinner and Scott Speed to the garage.

Lap 31 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Debris in Turn 1 brings out the caution. Andy Lally gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap.

Lap 30 -- Chase bubble drivers Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin are 18th and 19th, respectively.

Lap 28 -- Scott Speed goes a lap down.

Lap 23 -- Brad Keselowski has caught Ryan Newman and is challenging for third.

Lap 19 -- Andy Lally goes a lap down. Tony Stewart up to 31st.

Lap 17 -- Jeff Gordon has opened up a 0.8-second lead.

Lap 14 -- Jamie McMurray down to seventh as Kurt Busch gets around him.

Lap 12 -- Carl Edwards up to second, dropping Ryan Newman to third.

Lap 11 -- Robby Gordon and Michael McDowell to the garage.

Lap 9 -- Jimmie Johnson up to 11th. Greg Biffle right behind in 12th.

Lap 7 -- Tony Stewart up to 34th after starting 42nd.

Lap 5 -- Jeff Gordon works the inside in Turn 4 and passes Ryan Newman for the lead.

Lap 3 -- Jeff Gordon challenging Ryan Newman for the lead.

Lap 1 -- Ryan Newman jumps out to the lead followed by Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.

7:49 p.m. ET -- GREEN FLAG: Ryan Newman brings the field to the green and the Irwin Tools Night Race is under way.

7:44 p.m. ET -- The drivers are rolling off pit road for four warm-up laps.

7:41 p.m. ET -- Newell Rubbermaid CEO Mike Polk and 250 guests give the command: "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

7:33 p.m. ET -- The children of Motor Racing Outreach perform the national anthem.

7:32 p.m. ET -- Joe Gibbs delivers the Invocation.

7:31 p.m. ET -- Second Lieutenant Trint R. Callison from the Tenn. Army National Guard gives the Pledge of Allegiance.

6:30 p.m. ET -- The magic number to clinch a Chase berth is 97. If a driver is 97 points ahead of 11th place after Bristol, they are locked into the Chase. Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch can all clinch a spot tonight. Harvick, Kenseth, Gordon and Edwards can also lock a Chase berth with a victory at Bristol.

6:21 p.m. ET -- This is the final opportunity for drivers to qualify for the Sprint Summer Showdown. Five drivers will be in contention for the $3 million prize at Atlanta Motor Speedway and four have already punched their tickets with victories: Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Busch. Who will join them for a chance at the millions?

6:16 p.m. ET -- It's a gorgeous evening at Bristol Motor Speedway, but the weather is the only thing that will play nice tonight. Five-hundred laps at Bristol with three races to go until the Chase ... expect some serious carnage on the World's Fastest Half-Mile. As for the weather, it's currently 77 degrees under partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will dip to the low 60s as the sun drops.