News & Media

Lap-by-Lap: Darlington

May 11, 2012, ,

Lap 151 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Joey Logano claims the victory over his hard-charging teammate Denny Hamlin. It's his second Nationwide Series victory in a row, and his first at Darlington.

Lap 150 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr. are the top five. Here we go! Keselowski pushes Logano well clear of the field in Turn 1.

Lap 146 -- Joey Logano is apologizing for causing the accident, saying he didn't mean to get into Elliott Sadler on the restart. The race will end with at least one green-white-checkered attempt. This is going to be crazy!

Lap 142 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 6: Elliott Sadler is turned into the outside retaining wall by Joey Logano as the green flag comes back out. Kasey Kahne is also involved. Denny Hamlin has damage on the right front of his car.

Lap 142 -- GREEN FLAG: Elliott Sadler, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski are the top five.

Lap 137 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Brendan Gaughan has made contact with the wall in Turn 3. Ten laps to go.

Lap 136 -- Elliott Sadler slams the door on Denny Hamlin.

Lap 134 -- Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano are fighting hard for second place, but Hamlin gets the position coming off Turn 4.

Lap 132 -- GREEN FLAG: Elliott Sadler, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon and Brendan Gaughan are the top five. Sadler clears for the lead coming off Turn 2. Matt Frohm is smoking heavily, but the track appears to be clear.

Lap 128 -- The leaders pit road for what's probably going to be the final time. Elliott Sadler takes just two tires, giving him the lead out of the pits.

Lap 125 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Joey Logano scoots by Kurt Busch for second place on the frontstretch, and then Busch pounds the wall coming off Turn 2.

Lap 120 -- NASCAR officials are checking the right side of Sam Hornish Jr.'s car for signs of damage. It's clear, which is a good thing for him. He's running seventh.

Lap 118 -- The water temperature on fourth-place Elliott Sadler's car has reached a scorching 260 degrees.

Lap 115 -- The gap between Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch is more than 6.7 seconds.

Lap 113 -- There are 12 drivers on the lead lap.

Lap 108 -- The top five are Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Elliott Sadler and Brad Keselowski.

Lap 101 -- That didn't take long. Denny Hamlin is now your leader.

Lap 98 -- Justin Allgaier is about six seconds of Denny Hamlin, who is coming after him hard and fast.

Lap 97 -- Fifty laps to go. Justin Allgaier has still not come in. Denny Hamlin is in second place.

Lap 96 -- Justin Allgaier has not yet pitted, and is now shown as the leader.

Lap 95 -- Cole Whitt, Danica Patricks and several others are making their stops.

Lap 94 -- Joey Logano hits the pits.

Lap 93 -- Kurt Busch rolls down pit road.

Lap 92 -- Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are pitting.

Lap 84 -- NASCAR is looking at Danny Efland's car for signs of damage following the run-in with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 80 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has a close call with the lapped car of Danny Efland coming off Turn 2, and Kurt Busch takes advantage and scoots into second.

Lap 77 -- Baseball has Vin Scully and NASCAR has Barney Hall. Listening to him call a race on MRN is like listening to history.

Lap 74 -- The race has reached the haflway point. Denny Hamlin leads by 2.8 seconds.

Lap 73 -- Carl Edwards is discussing fifth-palce Brad Keselowski. He says, "We've had a lot of experience together." Well, yeah. That's one way to put it.

Lap 70 -- Denny Hamlin is large and in charge in the Help A Hero 200. He's 1.7 seconds in front of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 67 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has moved around Kurt Busch for second place.

Lap 63 -- Teams on pit road are going to be given an extra person over the wall to clean the windshield and assist the driver.

Lap 59 -- Along with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.,. several series regulars are having top-10 runs at the moment. elliott Sadler is fifth, Sam Hornish Jr. seventh, Austin Dillon ninth and Brian Scott 10th.

Lap 56 -- Kurt Busch has fallen back from Denny Hamlin, and is going to be challenged for second place by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. any time now.

Lap 53 -- Denny Hamlin isn't done yet. He goes back around Kurt Busch for the lead on the frontstretch.

Lap 51 -- GREEN FLAG: The top five are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler. Busch goes three wide under Hamlin and Logano in Turn 2 to take the lead. Wow. That was a move!

Lap 47 -- The leaders are staying on the track during the caution.

Lap 46 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: T.J. Bell has crashed on the frontstretch after contact with Josh Richards.

Lap 43 -- Denny Hamlin gets a great run off Turn 4 to reclaim the top spot from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano.

Lap 42 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler are the top five when the race goes back under the green. Hamlin and Logano stay side by side for most of the lap, until Logano clears for the lead coming off the last corner.

Lap 39 -- Justin Allgaier is on pit road with the hood up.

Lap 37 -- The leaders are pitting.

Lap 35 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Mike Wallace slaps the wall between Turns 3 and 4. He had just been passed by second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 34 -- The top five are currently Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Elliott Sadler.

Lap 30 -- In other news, action sports superstar Travis Pastrana is running in 27th place. He just got lapped.

Lap 27 -- The gap between Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is now up to 1.3 seconds.

Lap 25 -- Denny Hamlin has opened up a lead on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of about 6/10ths of a second.

Lap 22 -- Denny Hamlin started from the pole and won in three straight starts here at Darlington -- 2006, 2007 and 2010.

Lap 19 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pulls to the inside on the frontstretch, allowing Denny Hamlin to take the point going into Turn 1.

Lap 17 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has a mirror full of second-place Denny Hamlin, but Hamlin isn't pushing the issue. It's way too early for anything overly aggressive.

Lap 14 -- Denny Hamlin has pulled up onto the bumper of leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 11 -- Most of the field has sorted itself out single file. Drivers appear to be content to make laps and not poke the Lady in Black in the eye right now.

Lap 9 -- GREEN FLAG: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano are the top five on the restart. Again, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gets the advantage between Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 6 -- As Ryan Blaney is being interviewed on ESPN about the accident, he is a study in frustration and embarrassment. He's not the first rookie to be bitten by Turn 2 at Darlington, and he won't be the last. He probably won't even be the last in this race.

Lap 4 -- Listening to race director David Hoots call the shots during a caution is fascinating. He comes across as equal parts traffic cop, air traffic controller and three-star general directing troops in the field.

Lap 2 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Ryan Blaney has popped the wall in Turn 2. That's a big time Darlington stripe. Jeremy Clements, Matt Frohm and Chase Miller are also involved.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race gets under way at 7:49 p.m. ET, and sure enough, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has the point as he hits the first corner.

7:46 p.m. ET -- Denny Hamlin says that it's his intention to give pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. the lead going into Turn 1 and then pass him the old-fashioned way. We'll see how that works out.

7:44 p.m. ET -- The field is beginning to roll off pit road for the start of what should be three pace laps.

7:40 p.m. ET -- Gordon Logan, founder and CEO of Sport Clips Haircuts, and Jerry Newberry, the director of communications and public for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, give the command to fire engines.

7:33 p.m. ET -- Tech. Sgt. Steven David of the 169th Fighter Wing of the South Carolina Air National Guard, is singing the national anthem.

7:33 p.m. ET -- Jordy Gandy, the associate pastor of youth ministries at First Baptist Church of Darlington, is giving the invocation. The colors are presented by the South Carolina Air National Guard Honor Guard. Hey, that's redundant. Hey, that's redundant.

7:32 p.m. ET -- There's a moment of silence in honor of the legendary Carroll Shelby, who passed away on the afternoon of this race.

7:27 p.m. ET -- Just how many NASCAR officials are working the Darlington race? Their sound check is still in progress!

7:21 p.m. ET -- Only ten minutes left before the start of the invocation and national anthem.

7:15 p.m. ET -- Loud and clear, tower!

7:07 p.m. ET -- All kinds of drivers making their first Darlington starts in the Help A Hero 200 , plus Carl Edwards in the ESPN booth helping call the race. Rookies everywhere!

6:35 p.m. ET -- Twenty-five minutes to the start of driver introductions. Who have you got in the race? Me, I'm taking Sam Ard in a photo finish over Jack Ingram and Tommy Houston.

6:20 p.m. ET -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is on the pole for Friday's race, after turning in a lip of 173.546 mph during qualifying. Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano start second through fifth. Elliott Sadler, Brian Scott, Sam Hornish Jr., Kasey Kahne and Justin Allgaier round out the top 10.

2:35 p.m. ET -- Qualifying for the Help A Hero 200 is set to begin in one hour, two laps for all 43 positions.