News & Media

Lap-by-Lap: Loudon

September 23, 2012, ,

Lap 300 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Denny Hamlin cruises to the victory, 2.6 seconds over Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 297 -- Darian Grubb just shooed an ESPN camera off the team pit box. It really isn't over yet!

Lap 295 -- The fat lady isn't singing yet, but she's warming up backstage!

Lap 292 -- It's now two seconds from Denny Hamlin back to Jimmie Johnson, who faces no pressure from behind for the runnerup spot.

Lap 290 -- There are 10 laps remaining. The gap between first and second remains steady. Jeff Gordon is in third place another couple of seconds back.

Lap 287 -- It's all Denny Hamlin, all the time right now at New Hampshire.

Lap 285 -- Fifteen laps to go.

Lap 282 -- Denny Hamlin, plus 1.7 seconds. Enough said!

Lap 279 -- Denny Hamlin, in case you haven't noticed, is the class of the field here at New Hampshire. He's already 1.3 seconds ahead of second-place Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 278 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski are the leaders. Gordon jumps to the inside, cutting Bowyer off in Turn 1. Hamlin is clear for the lead.

Lap 274 -- Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman are pitting. The top-eight cars stayed on the track.

Lap 272 -- YELLOW FLAG: The race's fourth caution is out for debris. Denny Hamlin was leading by well over five seconds.

Lap 270 -- Denny Hamlin's driving his car like he stole it. Bandit!

Lap 266 -- Darian Grubb was the king of crew chiefs during last year's Chase. He ain't doing too bad here today, either!

Lap 264 -- Denny Hamlin's advantage continues to widen.

Lap 261 -- Jeff Gordon has moved past Brad Keselowski for fourth place.

Lap 260 -- Forty laps to go. The gap between leader Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson remains nearly a full straightaway.

Lap 255 -- Denny Hamlin leads second-place Jimmie Johnson by 5.5 seconds.

Lap 253 -- After the cycle of green-flag stops, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon.

Lap 249 -- Brad Keselowski is pitting.

Lap 248 -- Jeff Gordon pits.

Lap 247 -- Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard and Matt Kenseth pit.

Lap 246 -- Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman are in their pit stalls.

Lap 245 -- Carl Edwards is on pit road.

Lap 244 -- Brian Vickers, Martin Truex Jr. and Jeff Burton are pitting.

Lap 243 -- Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are pitting.

Lap 239 -- Jeff Gordon takes fourth place from Brian Vickers.

Lap 234 -- Marcos Ambrose is on pit road.

Lap 231 -- Jeff Gordon goes by Tony Stewart for fifth place. It's less than 10 laps until the leaders should be pitting again.

Lap 230 -- Denny Hamlin leads Jimmie Johnson by 3.3 seconds.

Lap 226 -- Clint Bowyer goes to the high side of Tony Stewart for fourth place as they charge toward Turn 3.

Lap 225 -- The top five are Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 220 -- Denny Hamlin leads Jimmie Johnson by 2.6 seconds. There's another round of pit stops remaining.

Lap 209 -- Kyle Busch slows dramatically on the backstretch, allowing Denny Hamlin to close up to his rear bumper. The disruption of air flow removes the debris from the nose of Hamlin's car.

Lap 205 -- There's even more junk on the front of Denny Hamlin's car now. He reports that the water temperature is rising.

Lap 203 -- Denny Hamlin's car has a fairly sizable piece of plastic covering part of the grille.

Lap 200 -- One hundred laps to go. It's going to be hard to beat Denny Hamlin the way he's running right now!

Lap 196 -- Jimmie Johnson looks like his might be reeling in Brian Vickers for the runnerup slot.

Lap 191 -- Denny Hamlin's Toyota has developed some sort of problem with the steering box. He's maintaining a comfortable lead of about 9/10ths of a second over Brian Vickers.

Lap 189 -- Clint Bowyer takes fifth place from Joey Logano.

Lap 187 -- Jimmie Johnson gets position on Joey Logano for third place going into the third corner.

Lap 185 -- Denny Hamlin goes back to the top of the leaderboard with a pass on Brian Vickers in Turn 2.

Lap 184 -- GREEN FLAG: Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer bring the field to the green. Vickers is clear in Turn 2 with the lead, but Hamlin gets a good run on him down the backstretch.

Lap 180 -- The leaders are on pit road. Brian Vickers and Joey Logano take just two tires.

Lap 178 -- YELLOW FLAG: There's debris in Turn 1. This is the third caution of the race.

Lap 176 -- Kevin Harvick just gave Kyle Busch a hearty shove coming off Turn 2.

Lap 174 -- Kyle Busch continues to fall through the field. Jeff Gordon just dropped him to seventh.

Lap 171 -- Denny Hamlin should be pitting in less than 10 laps.

Lap 170 -- Kasey Kahne gets by Kyle Busch for fourth place.

Lap 168 -- Kyle Busch remains on the track, but he's given up third place to Clint Bowyer.

Lap 166 -- Kyle Busch may have developed an engine problem. He's off the pace.

Lap 164 -- Jimmie Johnson is working under Kyle Busch for second place. He clears for the spot going into Turn 4.

Lap 161 -- It's probably going to be another 15-20 laps or so until another round of green-flag pit stops for the cars that didn't pit under that last caution.

Lap 159 -- Jimmie Johnson gets under Clint Bowyer for third place between Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 157 -- Kyle Busch is about two seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin. On the track, that's about a quarter of a straightaway.

Lap 155 -- Jimmie Johnson has sneaked past Tony Stewart for fourth place.

Lap 153 -- The top-five cars are separated by 4.9 seconds.

Lap 150 -- Halfway! Denny Hamlin leads Kyle Busch by 1.6 seconds.

Lap 144 -- Jimmie Johnson moves back into the top five with a pass on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 142 -- Tony Stewart grabs fourth place from Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 141 -- Tony Stewart is running much better than he was before the caution. He's now shown in fifth place.

Lap 138 -- Juan Montoya and Aric Almirola make contact on the frontstretch, and Almirola responds with a hand out the window!

Lap 136 -- Most of the cars that pitted took two tires. Joey Logano was the first of those who took four. He's back in 16th place.

Lap 134 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth are the leaders on the restart. Hamlin is clear for the lead on the backstretch.

Lap 131 -- Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano and a handful of others are pitting. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth stayed on the track.

Lap 129 -- YELLOW FLAG: The caution is out for debris. It's just the second yellow of the afternoon.

Lap 126 -- Kyle Busch hasn't been able to gain any ground on Denny Hamlin.

Lap 123 -- Denny Hamlin's crew clicked off a 12.1-second pit stop. Holy cow ... that's fast.

Lap 121 -- Denny Hamlin leads Kyle Busch by 2.9 seconds.

Lap 116 -- Kurt Busch pits, which moves Jimmie Johnson into the top five.

Lap 114 -- After their stops, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon make up the top five.

Lap 113 -- Brad Keselowski completes the cycle of green-flag pit stops.

Lap 112 -- Matt Kenseth brings his car to pit lane.

Lap 111 -- Jimmie Johnson is pitting.

Lap 110 -- Kasey Kahne drops into his pit stall.

Lap 109 -- Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick pit.

Lap 108 -- Kyle Busch gives up the lead to bring his car onto pit road.

Lap 107 -- Paul Menard and Jeff Burton are in their stalls.

Lap 106 -- Sam Hornish Jr., Regan Smith and Brian Vickers are on pit road.

Lap 105 -- Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano, Juan Montoya and others are pitting.

Lap 102 -- The top five is Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Tony Stewart has fallen all the way back to 10th place.

Lap 100 -- One hundred down, 200 to go.

Lap 97 -- Kyle Busch has fallen about half a second behind leader Denny Hamlin.

Lap 94 -- Denny Hamlin flies by Kyle Busch on the frontstretch for the lead.

Lap 92 -- Denny Hamlin is there!

Lap 90 -- Kyle Busch catches a lapped car in Turn 1, which allows Denny Hamlin to close even more ground.

Lap 88 -- Denny Hamlin is catching Kyle Busch very, very quickly!

Lap 86 -- Tony Stewart continues his so-so run following the competition caution. Jimmie Johnson just passed him for fifth place.

Lap 84 -- Fourth-place Jeff Gordon is having a hard time getting his car to turn in the corners. Denny Hamlin gets by Kasey Kahne for second place.

Lap 81 -- The margin between Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne remains about the same.

Lap 78 -- Kyle Busch leads Kasey Kahne by about one second.

Lap 76 -- Denny Hamlin continues his charge to the front as he takes third place from Jeff Gordon in Turn 2.

Lap 73 -- Denny Hamlin is still in fourth place, but he's picked up more than half a second on leader Kyle Busch. Also, Kasey Kahne has taken over second place from Jeff Gordon.

Lap 69 -- Kasey Kahne is closing on Jeff Gordon for second place.

Lap 65 -- Fourth-place Denny Hamlin is about three seconds behind leader and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Let's see how long it takes for Hamlin to catch him!

Lap 60 -- Kasey Kahne has gotten by Tony Stewart for third place, and now Denny Hamlin is in the process of wrestling fourth place away from him.

Lap 59 -- After starting 32nd, Denny Hamlin has already charged up to fifth place.

Lap 57 -- Kyle Busch leads Jeff Gordon by a little less than a second.

Lap 55 -- Only two of the top-10 cars right now are not involved in the Chase. One is the leader, Kyle Busch, while the other is fifth-place Ryan Newman.

Lap 52 -- Tony Stewart doesn't appear to be running quite as well as he was before the caution. He's back in third place, about 1.6 seconds behind leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 50 -- Jeff Gordon hasn't yet lost touch with Kyle Busch.

Lap 47 -- Denny Hamlin goes three wide under Jimmie Johnson and Paul Menard going into Turn 3 to take eighth place.

Lap 46 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are the leaders on the restart. Busch clears for the lead on the high side of Turn 2.

Lap 43 -- The leaders are on pit road.

Lap 41 -- YELLOW FLAG: The competition caution is out. It's the first caution of the event. Several teams are having problems with debris on the nose of the car.

Lap 39 -- It appears that Kyle Busch may just ride it out. Who? Really? Kyle Busch, ride it out? No way.

Lap 37 -- Tony Stewart has a mirror full of Kyle Busch at the moment. Will Busch make a move, or will he be content to ride it out until the caution?

Lap 35 -- Kyle Busch continues to close on Tony Stewart.

Lap 33 -- The competition caution is coming up in less than 10 laps.

Lap 31 -- Kyle Busch has closed to within just a few car lengths of Tony Stewart.

Lap 29 -- Tony Stewart now leads Kyle Busch by about 8/10ths of a second.

Lap 26 -- The top five is currently Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 23 -- Kyle Busch has picked up a few car lengths on Tony Stewart as the leader picks his way through traffic.

Lap 21 -- Tony Stewart is starting to put some cars a lap down.

Lap 19 -- Joey Logano has picked up a huge baggie or something similar on the nose of his Joe Gibbs Racing entry.

Lap 17 -- Tony Stewart is less than a straightaway from catching the tail-end of the field. He's also picked up some debris on the grille of his car.

Lap 13 -- The struggle for the runnerup spot has allowed Tony Stewart to open up a lead of 1.4 seconds.

Lap 11 -- Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch are still side by side for second place, until Busch clears for the position in Turn 4.

Lap 9 -- Kyle Busch is working under Jeff Gordon for second place in the third and fourth turns.

Lap 8 -- Kevin Harvick has made contact with Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton.

Lap 5 -- The top-10 cars have sorted themselves out single file.

Lap 4 -- Tony Stewart is pressuring Jeff Gordon hard for the lead. He takes the spot going into Turn 3.

Lap 2 -- Tony Stewart clears Kyle Busch for second place between Turns 1 and 2.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race gets under way at 2:19 p.m. ET. Pole-sitter Jeff Gordon is clear for the lead in Turn 1. Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch slug it out for second.

2:17 p.m. ET -- One lap to go until the green flag at the stripe. The field is between Turns 1 and 2.

2:16 p.m. ET -- There will be a competition caution at Lap 40.

2:15 p.m. ET -- The field is beginning to roll of pit road.

2:12 p.m. ET -- The drivers are ready to participate!

2:10 p.m. ET -- Graham Wark, vice president of Sylvania Lighting Services, gives the command to fire engines.

2:04 p.m. ET -- A monstrous B-52 from the 307th BW at Barksdale Air Force Base does the fly over. That thing is HUGE!

2:03 p.m. ET -- Vermont's Own 40th Infantry Army Band plays an instrumental version of the American national anthem.

2:02 p.m. ET -- The Department of Defense Combined Services Color Guard presents the colors, and just after they do, Chaplain Kevin Forrester of the U.S. Army gives the invocation.

2 p.m. ET -- Meredith Eib is singing the Canadian national anthem.

1:54 p.m. ET -- Denny Hamlin guaranteed a victory this week at New Hampshire. He starts 32nd. This should be fun to watch!

1:47 p.m. ET -- Great segment on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s fantasy football teams. He gets status updates during the races. Who knew?

1:38 p.m. ET -- ESPN's Nicole Briscoe asks the in-studio about the single most important factor in winning. That's an easy one. Finishing first!

1:28 p.m. ET -- Scott Miller, the executive vice president of competition for Michael Waltrip Racing, calls the organization "the little team that could." Two teams in the fight for the championship ... not bad. Not bad at all.

1:03 p.m. ET -- Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty agree on the first point of the day ... whether or not Jeff Gordon can rebound from last week's disappointing finish. Dang it. They're fun to watch when they disagree!

1 p.m. ET -- ESPN's pre-race coverage has started.

7:45 a.m. ET -- Jeff Gordon is on the pole for Sunday's Sylvania 300 with a lap of 134.911 mph. Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards are second through fifth. Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. and Dave Blaney qualified sixth through 10th. Blaney will turn the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge back over to Sam Hornish Jr., who was at Kentucky Speedway for the Nationwide Series event, for the start of the Sylvania 300.