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Lap-by-Lap: Atlanta

September 01, 2012, ,

Lap 195 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Kevin Harvick appears to slow on the last lap, allowing both Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski to get by in a stunning turn of events. Stenhouse gets the win, Keselowski second.

Lap 194 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is on Kevin Harvick's bumper for the lead.

Lap 193 -- GREEN FLAG: Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler are the leaders. Stenhouse stays with Harvick for most of the lap, but Harvick clears for the lead in Turn 4.

Lap 190 -- Five laps to go.

Lap 189 -- The red flag has been withdrawn after a brief stoppage.

Lap 188 -- RED FLAG: The cars are stopped to allow time to clean up debris from the accident.

Lap 187 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 8: Mike Bliss, Kyle Fowler and James Buescher crash on the backstretch. The accident was triggered when Buescher and Danica Patrick made contact.

Lap 187 -- GREEN FLAG: Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler are the leaders. Harvick is clear by the time he reaches the stripe. No big surprise there.

Lap 184 -- Justin Allgaier is pitting at long last. Brad Keselowski is also on pit road.

Lap 183 -- In-car footage shows Brad Keselowski throwing a water bottle out the window of his car just before the caution. NASCAR, however, confirmed for ESPN that the debris was not the water bottle.

Lap 182 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 7: There's debris on the track. Justin Allgaier radios his crew, "Yeah, baby!" He's going to pit for tires and then hope for the best as he roars back through the field.

Lap 181 -- Kevin Harvick is now in second, and he's catching leader Justin Allgaier.

Lap 179 -- Danica Patrick lights her tires up as she drops into the pits.

Lap 178 -- Justin Allgaier has still not pitted.

Lap 175 -- Twenty laps to go. Justin Allgaier and Brad Keselowski have not pitted yet. Kevin Harvick is lurking behind them in third place.

Lap 174 -- Travis Pastrana's car is sparking fairly heavily.

Lap 171 -- Cole Whitt and Sam Hornish Jr. are in their pit stalls. Hornish locks his brakes up trying to get onto pit road, but it wasn't enough. He'll be penalized for speeding.

Lap 170 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Elliott Sadler are pitting.

Lap 169 -- Leader Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are on pit road.

Lap 167 -- Kevin Harvick has been unflappable, unstoppable and unpassable -- wait a second, is that a word?

Lap 166 -- Kevin Harvick's lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stands at 10.9 seconds.

Lap 165 -- Thirty laps to go.

Lap 162 -- Travis Pastrana has scraped the outside retaining wall.

Lap 159 -- Elliott Sadler gets by Austin Dillon for third place.

Lap 149 -- The top five are Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Elliott Sadler and Cole Whitt.

Lap 147 -- Kevin Harvick's lead is up to ... oh, never mind. He's the leader, by a lot!

Lap 145 -- Back in sixth place, Kyle Busch says his car is "pathetic." Fifty laps to go.

Lap 143 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in second, but he's not happy with his car. He says it's loose.

Lap 142 -- Kasey Kahne has taken his car to the garage.

Lap 137 -- Travis Pastrana has dropped back to ninth place following the restart.

Lap 135 -- Austin Dillon goes to the high side of Richard Childress Racing teammate Elliott Sadler for second place.

Lap 133 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in second place, several car lengths ahead of third-place Austin Dillon.

Lap 131 -- Kevin Harvick just ran his fastest lap of the race -- 178.493 mph -- a couple of circuits ago.

Lap 128 -- Regardless of whether you're a fan or not, Kevin Harvick's charge on that restart was an amazing thing to see.

Lap 127 -- GREEN FLAG: Travis Pastrana, Michael Annett, Mike Bliss and Joe Nemechek did not pit and are the leader. Kevin Harvick is fifth ... this should be fun. Harvick blows by everybody to recapture the lead in Turn 1. Holy hot rod, Batman!

Lap 126 -- The restart has been waived off a couple of times as NASCAR tries to sort out whether Brian Scott should get back on the lead lap. He won't.

Lap 125 -- Interesting stat from ESPN. Kevin Harvick has failed to win the last seven races in which he has led the most laps.

Lap 119 -- Kevin Harvick brings the rest of the lead-lap cars onto pit road. Travis Pastrana stays on the track to assume the lead.

Lap 118 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 6: Eric McClure gets into the wall.

Lap 117 -- Brad Keselowski is in 14th place, and he's slicing his way through traffic to get to Kevin Harvick and unlap himself.

Lap 115 -- This just in ... Kevin Harvick's car is going to be inspected for rocket fuel following the race. OK, so not really, but he IS exceptionally fast.

Lap 113 -- There are currently 13 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 112 -- GREEN FLAG: Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler, Sam Hornish Jr. and Kyle Busch are the leaders. Harvick clears for the lead in Turn 1, and teammate Sadler follows him into second.

Lap 107 -- Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, Travis Pastrana and a few others drop onto pit road under the caution. Kevin Harvick, however, stays out.

Lap 105 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Kasey Kahne has blown a right-rear tire. When it shreds, pieces of the tread tear out some inner panels on his car.

Lap 104 -- Kevin Harvick's lead is now about 6.5 seconds.

Lap 100 -- The top five are Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler, Sam Hornish Jr. and Kyle Busch.

Lap 99 -- Elliott Sadler is catching Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for second place.

Lap 98 -- Halfway in The Kevin Harvick Show.

Lap 95 -- The gap between first-place Kevin Harvick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in second now stands at a little more than two seconds.

Lap 93 -- Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are side by side for second before Stenhouse is able to clear for the spot.

Lap 91 -- Elliott Sadler is on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s bumper for second place.

Lap 90 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has second place, with Sam Hornish Jr. and Elliott Sadler fighting hard for third right behind him.

Lap 88 -- Kyle Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. very nearly make contact coming off Turn 2 in their battle for third place.

Lap 87 -- GREEN FLAG: Kevin Harvick (who else?), Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Sam Hornish Jr., Elliott Sadler and Kyle Busch are the leaders are the leaders on the restart. Harvick powers clear with the lead in Turn 1.

Lap 85 -- The leaders are pitting.

Lap 83 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Denny Hamlin has a flat right-rear tire between Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 81 -- Sam Hornish Jr. is going after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the honor of running second to Kevin Harvick.

Lap 80 -- Travis Pastrana is in ninth place, one lap down. Let's just call the race now!

Lap 77 -- Brad Keselowski is struggling in 17th place with a very loose race car.

Lap 76 -- Kevin Harvick is once again in the process of leaving the rest of the field in his wake.

Lap 72 -- GREEN FLAG: Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Sam Hornish Jr. Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier are the top five. The other two cars on the lead lap are Cole Whitt and Kyle Busch in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Lap 67 -- Kyle Busch is pitting. Kevin Harvick stayed out, if for no other reason than to keep most of the field from getting back on the lead lap with the wave around.

Lap 66 -- There are only seven cars on the lead lap.

Lap 65 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: Reed Sorenson and Robert Richardson Jr. crash in Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 64 -- Sam Hornish Jr. is having a decent night in fourth place.

Lap 58 -- Kevin Harvick has one previous Nationwide Series victory here. It came in September 2009.

Lap 56 -- After the cycle of stops, the top five are Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Sam Hornish Jr. and Elliott Sadler. Harvick leads Busch by -- get this -- 15.1 seconds!

Lap 54 -- Oooops. Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne are both black-flagged again for speeding.

Lap 53 -- Brad Keselowski has had to roll down pit road again for speeding on his previous stop. Kasey Kahne was also penalized.

Lap 51 -- Kasey Kahne, Sam Hornish Jr. and others are pitting.

Lap 50 -- Elliott Sadler and leader Kevin Harvick are on pit road. Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are also stopping.

Lap 49 -- Austin Dillon makes his stop, as does Brad Keselowski.

Lap 48 -- Cole Whitt is pitting.

Lap 47 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has given up second place to Kasey Kahne, and he's now under fire from Brad Keselowski for third.

Lap 44 -- Uhhhhhh ... 11 seconds. Those aren't car lengths between Kevin Harvick and the rest of the field. They're zip codes.

Lap 42 -- Kevin Harvick has already lapped up to 19th place in the running order.

Lap 40 -- Wow. Kevin Harvick has 6.7 seconds on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 38 -- Kasey Kahne is able to clear Kyle Busch for second place coming off the second corner.

Lap 37 -- Kyle Busch tried to go to the high side to get some momentum, and it cost him. Kasey Kahne is going after Busch for second place in Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 36 -- Kyle Busch is still trying to track Ricky Stenhouse Jr. down for the runnerup spot.

Lap 34 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a bit of debris on the grille of his car, which caused the water temperature to rise to about 250 degrees. The debris, however, is gone now.

Lap 30 -- Kyle Busch has closed on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for second place, but Stenhouse uses a lapped car as a pick to impede Busch's progress.

Lap 28 -- Kevin Harvick must be trying to put as much distance as possible between himself and Kyle Busch. His margin of comfort is now up to 2.1 seconds over second place.

Lap 26 -- Kyle Busch takes third place from Elliott Sadler, soon to be followed by Kasey Kahne.

Lap 25 -- Denny Hamlin has dropped back a little bit since the start of the race. He's now in eighth place.

Lap 24 -- Kevin Harvick has opened up a lead of 1.1 seconds over second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 23 -- Most of the leaders are strung out single file.

Lap 22 -- Kasey Kahne says that his car is tight, but it's a "good tight."

Lap 20 -- Kasey Kahne moves back into the top five as he slides under Denny Hamlin.

Lap 18 -- Kevin Harvick clears Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the top spot in Turn 2.

Lap 17 -- Kevin Harvick gets a fender under Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the lead coming off Turn 4.

Lap 16 -- GREEN FLAG: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne make up the top five when the green comes back out. Stenhouse scoots out front as a big fight for second place breaks out behind him between Harvick, Busch and Kahne.

Lap 12 -- Until the sun goes down, there's going to be a huge glare from the sun facing the drivers as they head into Turn 1. Hey ... who needs to see at 200 mph?

Lap 11 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Fain Skinner has smoke coming out of the exhaust headers. There's oil reported on the track.

Lap 10 -- GREEN FLAG: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick Elliott Sadler and Denny Hamlin are the leaders. Stenhouse is clear with the lead between Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 6 -- Kevin Harvick is displeased with Kyle Busch and how he started the race. Harvick says it would be easier "to go ahead and wreck him." Well, now ...

Lap 4 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Joey Gase has pounded the wall after an apparent tire problem.

Lap 3 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. isn't wasting any time as he blows by Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 2 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. flashes past Kevin Harvick for second place on the backstretch.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race goes green at 7:25 p.m. ET. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick string out single file in the top-two spots going into Turn 1.

7:19 p.m. ET -- The field is beginning to roll off pit road for the start of the pace laps. It's time to go racing!

7:14 p.m. ET -- Children of Fallen American Heroes Nathan and Savannah Brown; Michael Jaina and Ethan Houston; and Barret, Sepp and Sophi Ratzlaff give the command to fire engines.

7:09 p.m. ET -- A T-45 from NAS Meridian does the fly-over.

7:08 p.m. ET -- The all-female group Von Grey sings the national anthem.

7:07 p.m. ET -- The colors are presented by the US Customs and Border Protection Guard. After that, Pastor Emeritus Ralph Easterwood of Glen Haven Baptist Church and chaplain of the Hendry County Police Department gives the invocation.

7:03 p.m. ET -- Awwwww, man ... the race is 195 laps? That's going to make doing the math tough when ESPN goes to its "56 laps to go" countdown!

6:53 p.m. ET -- Analyst Rusty Wallace must have ate his Wheaties again this week. He says Travis Pastrana, who drives for Michael Waltrip Racing, might need to be with a better team in order to grow in his NASCAR career.

6:51 p.m. ET -- ESPN2's pre-race show has begun.

6:49 p.m. ET -- The football game is over, and after an on-field interview or two, ESPN2's pre-race show should be starting.

6:40 p.m. ET -- Travis Pastrana is in the field for Saturday's Nationwide Series race. There's a thought ... have somebody here at Atlanta stick a ramp off Turn 4. THAT would be a show.

6:25 p.m. ET -- Nebraska is leading Southern Miss with about 11 minutes to go, so it looks like ESPN2's pre-race show will be delayed by a few minutes. That's OK ... the kids will be off the gridiron in plenty of time for the green flag!

6:15 p.m. ET -- Kyle Busch is on the pole with a lap of 176.280 mph that he laid down during qualifying earlier Saturday. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin are second through fifth, while Sam Hornish Jr., Elliott Sadler, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Mike Bliss round out the top 10. John Jackson failed to qualify for the event.

11:35 a.m. ET -- Qualifying for Saturday night's NRA American Warrior 300 is set for 3:35 p.m. ET.