News & Media

Lap-by-Lap: Martinsville

April 01, 2012, ,

Lap 515 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Ryan Newman scoots away from A.J. Allmendinger on the last lap to score the victory. It's his first at Martinsville.

Lap 513 -- GREEN FLAG: Ryan Newman, A.J. Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. are the leaders. Allmendinger and Newman are side by side the whole lap.

Lap 507 -- Jeff Gordon is out of fuel and very slow on the backstretch.

Lap 503 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 7: Clint Bowyer dive bombs his car into Turn 1, and he and Jimmie Johnson wind up spinning. Ryan Newman takes the lead in the scramble. Bowyer must've been jacked up on Five-Hour Energy on that wild move.

Lap 503 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman are the leaders.

Lap 500 -- Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and A.J. Allmendinger are pitting.

Lap 498 -- The race will end with a green-white-checkered finish. David Reutimann and his crew chief have been ordered to report to the NASCAR hauler after the race.

Lap 496 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 6: Jeff Gordon gets the lead coming off Turn 4, just as the caution comes out for David Reutimann's stalled car.

Lap 494 -- Jeff Gordon gets a run between Turns 3 and 4, but Jimmie Johnson keeps the lead off the corner.

Lap 493 -- It's the same up front. Jimmie Johnson leads, Jeff Gordon runs a very close second.

Lap 490 -- Ten laps to go. Jeff Gordon is still right there on Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 487 -- Jeff Gordon is on Jimmie Johnson's bumper for the race lead.

Lap 483 -- Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have both been told that they need to save fuel.

Lap 480 -- There are 20 laps remaining, and Jimmie Johnson is about to catch Greg Biffle and Marcos Ambrose to lap them.

Lap 475 -- Twenty-five laps to go. Jimmie Johnson leads Jeff Gordon by nearly a second.

Lap 469 -- Jimmie Johnson dives under Tony Stewart going into Turn 1 to put him a lap down.

Lap 466 -- Tony Stewart, in 15th place, is the next car in danger of going a lap down to leader Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 462 -- Jeff Gordon doesn't appear ready to press the issue up front just yet.

Lap 456 -- Jeff Gordon is closing on Jimmie Johnson for the lead, just as Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes third from Clint Bowyer. Hentrick Motorsports cars are now 1-2-3.

Lap 453 -- Clint Bowyer is running third, 4.7 seconds behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 450 -- Fifty laps to go. Jimmie Johnson's lead is now about 7/10ths of a second.

Lap 447 -- Dale Earhardt Jr. gave Brad Keselowski a shot a couple of laps ago, and this time, he is able to take over fourth place.

Lap 445 -- The gap between first and second is now about half a second.

Lap 439 -- Brian Vickers goes a lap down in Turns 3 and 4, and that allows Jeff Gordon to close to within about 6/10ths of a second of leader Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 436 -- Jimmie Johnson asks if Brian Vickers is still on the lead lap, and in fact, he is. Vickers is the last car on the lead circuit, in 16th place.

Lap 432 -- Jeff Gordon has cut into Jimmie Johnson's lead by a few 10ths of a second.

Lap 430 -- Seventy laps to go.

Lap 427 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. moves into the top five with a move past Denny Hamlin.

Lap 425 -- Jimmie Johnson's advantage over Jeff Gordon is now up to 1.6 seconds.

Lap 422 -- Brad Keselowski is working on Denny Hamlin for fourth place.

Lap 417 -- Jeff Gordon trails Jimmie Johnson by a little more than a second.

Lap 415 -- Jimmie Johnson's spotter this time tells him to take it easy on his brakes.

Lap 411 -- Brad Keselowski scrambles past Ryan Newman for fifth place on the backstretch.

Lap 409 -- Jimmie Johnson's most recent victory was at Kansas last fall.

Lap 402 -- Jimmie Johnson's spottter tells him to save his tires. He's also going to be fairly close on fuel.

Lap 400 -- There are 100 laps to go. Clint Bowyer takes third place from Denny Hamlin.

Lap 397 -- Jeff Gordon is keeping Jimmie Johnson in his sights, running about 4/10ths of a second back.

Lap 393 -- Jimmie Johnson finally clears Denny Hamlin for the lead, and Jeff Gordon follows him into second place.

Lap 390 -- Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are slugging it out door to door for the lead, and Jeff Gordon is right behind them.

Lap 388 -- Jimmie Johnson gets a fender under Denny Hamlin in Turn 2 and then in Turn 4, but it doesn't stick yet.

Lap 386 -- Throw a blanket over leader Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. This could very interesting very quickly!

Lap 382 -- Ryan Newman has moved into fifth place.

Lap 378 -- The top-three cars -- Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon -- are all over each other for the lead.

Lap 374 -- Jimmie Johnson is right on Denny Hamlin's rear bumper for the race lead.

Lap 370 -- Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are still side by side for second place. Johnson clears for the spot off Turn 2.

Lap 368 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth are the top five on the restart. Hamlin clears for the lead off Turn 2.

Lap 362 -- The leaders are on pit road. As he exits his stall, Jimmie Johnson stops, thinking a lug might have been left loose.

Lap 361 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Travis Kvapil has spun in Turn 2.

Lap 360 -- Jimmie Johnson has six previous wins at Martinsville.

Lap 356 -- Jimmie Johnson moves under teammate Jeff Gordon for the lead.

Lap 354 -- Carl Edwards reports a problem with his transmission ... and then tells his crew chief, Bob Osborne, "April Fool's!"

Lap 348 -- Jimmie Johnson is closing on Jeff Gordon for the top spot.

Lap 346 -- Jeff Gordon has won seven races here. Could an eighth grandfather clock be headed his way?

Lap 337 -- Brian Vickers goes up the track between Turns 3 and 4, but doesn't hit anything.

Lap 333 -- Don't start engraving the trophy just yet, but Jeff Gordon has clearly been the class of the field today.

Lap 331 -- Jimmie Johnson clears Dale Earnhardt Jr. for second place.

Lap 329 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer are the leaders. Gordon clears for the lead going into Turn 1. Earnhardt gets under Johnson to try to take second.

Lap 323 -- The pit are open, and Jeff Gordon leads the field in. Brad Keselowski will be penalized for speeding on pit road.

Lap 321 -- There's still a lot of cleaning substance on the track at the entrance to pit road in Turn 3, from where Kasey Kahne's engine detonated. That's why pit road is still closed.

Lap 319 -- The pits are still closed.

Lap 317 -- Cole Trickle is now the leader, with Stroker Ace running a close second. April Fool's!!!

Lap 315 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Kasey Kahne blows an engine on the backstretch, and then spins on pit road.

Lap 313 -- Jimmie Johnson goes to the outside of Clint Bowyer for second on the backstretch.

Lap 309 -- Bobby Labonte is having a decent run in 11th place.

Lap 307 -- Move Jimmie Johnson to third place.

Lap 300 -- Jeff Gordon's lead over Clint Bowyer is now 1.9 seconds. There are 200 laps to go.

Lap 294 -- If any of the three Hendrick Motorsports cars currently in the top five win here, it will be the 200th victory for the organization.

Lap 291 -- Jimmie Johnson is now running in fourth place. That's three Hendrick Motorsports cars in the top five -- leader Jeff Gordon, third-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson.

Lap 287 -- Jeff Gordon's last short-track victory came here at Martinsville in 2007.

Lap 280 -- Jimmie Johnson tells his spotter to let Matt Kenseth know that he'll be passing along some driving tips the next time they come to Martinsville.

Lap 276 -- Jeff Gordon's lead over Clint Bowyer is already more than 6/10ths of a second.

Lap 274 -- Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards and David Gilliland go three wide off Turn 4 ... and they all survive!

Lap 271 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski are the leaders on the restart. Bowyer stays the outside of Gordon for most of the lap, but Gordon clears for the lead coming off Turn 4.

Lap 267 -- Aric Almirola and Bobby Labonte pit under the caution.

Lap 263 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Juan Montoya spins. Jest before the caution, Clint Bowyer takes second from Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 262 -- Clint Bowyer led 91 laps here last spring before finishing ninth.

Lap 257 -- Clint Bowyer has taken a couple of peeks to the inside of Dale Earnhardt Jr. for second place, but so far, nothing doing.

Lap 255 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski are the leaders on the restart. Gordon easily clears for the lead going into Turn 1.

Lap 251 -- NASCAR is using the caution to give the track a good sweeping.

Lap 250 -- The race has reached the halfway point.

Lap 247 -- Several of the lead-lap cars are pitting.

Lap 244 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: The caution is out for Dave Blaney's accident in Turn 2.

Lap 241 -- After the round of stops, the top five are Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth.

Lap 240 -- Kasey Kahne's car is beginning to show some smoke.

Lap 238 -- Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth are stopping.

Lap 237 -- Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards are in.

Lap 235 -- Denny Hamlin hits his pit stall.

Lap 234 -- Jeff Gordon is making his stop.

Lap 233 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle and Regan Smith are on pit road.

Lap 231 -- Kasey Kahne and A.J. Allmendintger are pitting. Kahne thinks something may have broken on his car.

Lap 229 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets a run on Jeff Gordon coming off Turn 2 to take the lead.

Lap 227 -- Jeff Burton and Paul Menard are pitting.

Lap 225 -- Something is reported dragging underneath Clint Bowyer's car. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are on pit road.

Lap 220 -- Kasey Kahne goes by Denny Hamlin for third place. Bobby Labonte pits to begin a cycle of green-flag stops.

Lap 220 -- Don't look now, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. is now second on the leaderboard.

Lap 217 -- NASCAR is giving crews an extra person to go over the wall for the windshield and driver.

Lap 212 -- Some of the drivers leader Jeff Gordon raced against in his debut here include Rusty Wallace (who won that day), Davey Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Harry Gant and -- yes!!! -- Dick Trickle.

Lap 207 -- Ryan Newman has reported debris on the track from Kurt Busch's car. Running in 17th place, Newman is about to be lapped by leader Jeff Gordon. He couldn't have an ulterior motive for reporting debris, could he?

Lap 205 -- Kurt Busch has another tire problem, and slides very high in Turn 2.

Lap 203 -- David Reutimann is off the pace, and there's a small flame showing under the right rear of his car.

Lap 194 -- Jeff Gordon made his first Cup start here at Martinsville on April 25, 1993. He started third and finished eighth that day.

Lap 189 -- The top five are currently Jeff Gordon (who else?), Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 185 -- Jeff Gordon's lead over Denny Hamlin is now about 2.3 seconds.

Lap 179 -- Many laps down, Kyle Busch comes back onto the track.

Lap 176 -- While Jeff Gordon cruises up front, Denny Hamlin has a lead of about a second over third-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 172 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. slides under Clint Bowyer for third place in Turn 3.

Lap 171 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is right on Clint Bowyer's bumper for third place.

Lap 166 -- Jeff Gordon's spotter tells him to take care of the car, and the four-time champion responds with a quick, "10-4."

Lap 163 -- Denny Hamlin is having to work to get around Juan Montoya's lapped car, which has allowed Jeff Gordon to open his lead back up 2.3 seconds.

Lap 159 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s second-place finish here last year was his best-ever result here at Martinsville.

Lap 150 -- There are 22 cars on the lead lap. Regan Smith is the first car a lap down.

Lap 144 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is closing in on Clint Bowyer for third place.

Lap 140 -- Joooooooon-yer!!! Dale Earnhardt Jr. is now up to fourth place.

Lap 138 -- Denny Hamlin has cut a couple 10ths of a second off Jeff Gordon's lead.

Lap 130 -- Jeff Gordon's spotter tells him that Denny Hamlin has not gained on him, adding, "You're doing good, bud." Well, yeah, you might say that!

Lap 127 -- Denny Hamlin has taken over second place from Kasey Kahne.

Lap 122 -- Another car not performing as it usually does here is Jimmie Johnson's. He's in 20th place.

Lap 120 -- Denny Hamlin has picked up his pace from earlier. He's now shown in third place, two seconds behind leader Jeff Gordon.

Lap 115 -- Jeff Gordon has picked right back up from where the left off before the caution. His lead over runnerup Kasey Kahne is more than 1.5 seconds.

Lap 109 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives Aric Almirola a little payback and retakes the eighth position.

Lap 107 -- Aric Almirola shoves Dale Earnhardt Jr. out of the way for eighth place.

Lap 105 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer are the top five on the restart. Jeff Gordon easily clears for the lead going into Turn 1.

Lap 99 -- The leaders are on pit road. Ryan Newman will be penalized for speeding at the entrance, and Jimmie Johnson for speeding at the exit to pit road.

Lap 97 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Kyle Busch has spun between Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 95 -- Look for pit stops to start in thirty laps or so, if there's no caution before then.

Lap 91 -- Kasey Kahne is running third, 2.3 seconds behind leader Jeff Gordon.

Lap 87 -- Jeff Gordon's issues are no more, evidently. He's now 1.1 seconds up on second-place Brad Keselowski.

Lap 84 -- Kasey Kahne goes to the high side of Clint Bowyer on the backstretch for third place. It looks like Bowyer just pulled over to let him go.

Lap 80 -- Jeff Gordon's lead over Brad Keselowski is getting bigger again. It's now back up to nearly 8/10ths of a second.

Lap 77 -- There's not been any chatter on Jeff Gordon's radio the last couple of laps, so he's either dealing with the problem or it's gone away.

Lap 73 -- Jeff Gordon's potential problem has allowed Brad Keselowski to close to within just 5/10ths of a second.

Lap 71 -- Hoping for a caution, Jeff Gordon's crew thinks that there might be debris on the backstretch.

Lap 69 -- Jeff Gordon thinks he might have a tire going down. He's told that if he needs to come in, to do so.

Lap 66 -- Jeff Gordon's spotter tells him that he has a lot of traffic ahead of him.

Lap 64 -- The margin between first and second has stabilized at about 3.4 seconds.

Lap 59 -- Kasey Kahne takes fourth place from Kevin Harvick. At the same times, Kurt Busch blows a tire on the frontstretch, but there's no caution.

Lap 56 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is running in eighth place. He finished second here last fall.

Lap 53 -- Brad Keselowski jumps under Kevin Harvick for second place between Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 51 -- Kevin Harvick is losing touch with Jeff Gordon. The gap between them is now 3.2 seconds -- half a straightaway.

Lap 47 -- In four Sprint Cup starts here, Brad Keselowski's best finish here is a 10th.

Lap 45 -- The top five are currently Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne.

Lap 43 -- Jeff Gordon's cushion over second-place Kevin Harvick continues to grow. It's now up to more than two seconds.

Lap 41 -- Or not. Brad Keselowski has moved past Clint Bowyer for third place.

Lap 38 -- Clint Bowyer is going to be making a move on Kevin Harvick for second place any time now.

Lap 35 -- There's another amazing stat for Jeff Gordon here. Just once since 2005 has he finished outside the top five.

Lap 30 -- Jeff Gordon has opened up a 1.3-second lead over Kevin Harvick.

Lap 24 -- Since 2003, Jeff Gordon has just one finish outside the top 10 here at Martinsville.

Lap 21 -- Move Jeff Gordon up to second place ... no wait. Move him into the lead, past Kevin Harvick.

Lap 18 -- Denny Hamlin isn't having a Denny Hamlin-like day at Martinsville. He's dropped from third on the starting grid to seventh.

Lap 16 -- Jeff Gordon wrestles third place away from Clint Bowyer.

Lap 14 -- Kasey Kahne isn't losing touch with leader Kevin Harvick. He's less than a car length behind.

Lap 11 -- Coming off Turn 2, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon power their way past Denny Hamlin for third and fourth place.

Lap 9 -- Leader Kevin Harvick won here last fall and Saturday's truck race. Think he has this place figured out?

Lap 6 -- The first few three or four cars are separated by at least a car length or so.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race goes green at 1:16 p.m. ET. Here we go!

Kevin Harvick clears off Turn 4 for the lead.

1:15 p.m. ET -- The fuel window is 125-135 laps.

1:14 p.m. ET -- Pit-road speed is just 30 mph.

1:12 p.m. ET -- The pace car gets the field back in motion.

1:11 p.m. ET -- The field has rolled off pit road for the start of the pace laps, but it then stops on the backstretch.

1:09 p.m. ET -- The NASCAR tower asks if drivers are ready to participate. It's time to put on their big-boy drawers and go racin'!

1:08 p.m. ET -- "The King," Richard Petty, gives the command to fire engines.

1:06 p.m. ET -- It is soooooo good to hear MRN legend Barney Hall back on the air!

1:02 p.m. ET -- Two F-18s from VFA-31 Tomcatters NAS Oceana do the fly-over. C'mon ... bucket list! I've got my helmet and flight suit all ready!

1:01 p.m. ET -- The national anthem is sung by the Virginia Tech Regimental Band, nicknamed the "Highty Tighties." If this race was sponsored by Hanes, could we call 'em the "Tighty Whities"?

1 p.m. ET -- After the presentation of colors by the Virginia Military Institute Regimental Honor Guard, Dr. Bob Hylton of Martinsville Raceway Ministries gives the invocation.

12:55 p.m. ET -- Five minutes to the invocation and national anthem.

12:33 p.m. ET -- Actor/musician Gary Sinise was scheduled to be the grand marshal, but he was involved in a car accident this week. He's OK, but Lieutenant Dan won't be giving the command to fire engines -- Richard Petty will.

8:23 a.m. ET -- Kasey Kahne is on the pole for the second time this season after turning in a lap of 97.128 mph during qualifying. It's the 24th pole of Kahne's Sprint Cup career and his first in 17 races at Martinsville.

Kevin Harvick, winner of Saturday's Camping World Truck Series event, will start second. Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman are third through fifth. Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano are slated to roll off sixth through 10th.