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Lap-by-Lap: Homestead

November 18, 2012, ,

Lap 267 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Jeff Gordon is your Homestead winner, and Brad Keselowski your 2012 Sprint Cup champion!

Lap 265 -- Hendrick Motorsports has never won here at Homestead. Until now, apparently.

Lap 264 -- Clint Bowyer's charge up to Jeff Gordon has stalled out. The gap remains about 1.6 seconds.

Lap 262 -- Aric Almirola is third, Ryan Newman fourth and Kurt Busch fifth, good runs all!

Lap 261 -- Clint Bowyer is now 1.2 seconds behind leader Jeff Gordon. Peddle, boy. Peddle.

Lap 259 -- Jeff Gordon. Clint Bowyer. Hmmmm ... wouldn't a green-white-checkered finish be cool between the two?

Lap 257 -- Ten laps to go. Jeff Gordon leads Clint Bowyer by 2.1 seconds.

Lap 254 -- Kyle Busch is on pit road. Martin Truex Jr. has also made his stop. The lead goes to Jeff Gordon.

Lap 252 -- Jimmie Johnson's car is still in the garage on jack stands.

Lap 251 -- Martin Truex Jr. scrapes the wall, but keeps going. He's still in second place.

Lap 250 -- Kyle Busch is reporting debris in Turn 2. He doesn't WANT to see caution, does he?

Lap 248 -- Brad Keselowski is pitting.

Lap 246 -- Martin Truex Jr. tries to get position under Kyle Busch for the top spot. Both, however, will have to pit again. Third-place Jeff Gordon should be able to make it the rest of the way.

Lap 244 -- Matt Kenseth pits.

Lap 243 -- Carl Edwards is pitting.

Lap 242 -- There are twenty-five laps to go.

Lap 239 -- Brad Keselowski is in eighth place.

Lap 236 -- The top five are Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards.

Lap 228 -- Jimmie Johnson's car is being pushed to the garage.

Lap 227 -- Jimmie Johnson hits pit road, his race going from bad to worse. Much, much worse.

Lap 226 -- Jimmie Johnson is off the pace!

Lap 216 -- Brad Keselowski is in seventh place, and Jimmie Johnson is one lap down in 25th. What a turn of events. Holy cow.

Lap 215 -- Jimmie Johnson is back in the pits.

Lap 214 -- Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard are on pit road.

Lap 213 -- Jimmie Johnson pits. Johnson is missing a lug nut! He'll have to pit again!

Lap 212 -- Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin are on pit road.

Lap 211 -- Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola are pitting.

Lap 209 -- Jimmie Johnson is first, Brad Keselowski 24th. Wow. Nail biting time!

Lap 206 -- Brad Keselowski is pitting. He reported that he's out of gas.

Lap 203 -- Kasey Kahne has been hit with a speeding penalty on pit road. He'll have to serve a pass-through.

Lap 201 -- Kasey Kahne is on pit road. So is Sam Hornish Jr.

Lap 200 -- Kyle Busch gives up the lead to pit. Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth are also in.

Lap 198 -- Carl Edwards is on pit road.

Lap 197 -- Kyle Busch's lead over Kasey Kahne now stands at 1.7 seconds.

Lap 195 -- NASCAR is checking Turns 3 and 4 for debris.

Lap 193 -- Jimmie Johnson will have to pit once more, while crew chief Chad Knaus tells him that those in front of him have to come in twice.

Lap 192 -- Jimmie Johnson is fourth, 5.7 seconds behind leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 191 -- Martin Truex Jr. has backed off in his pursuit of second-place Kasey Kahne.

Lap 189 -- Sam Hornish Jr. is running in 10th place.

Lap 187 -- There are 80 laps left.

Lap 186 -- Kyle Busch is checking out again. His lead over Kasey Kahne is now at three seconds.

Lap 184 -- There appears to be a windshield tearoff clogging part of the opening on Martin Truex Jr. grille. It blows away when Truex tucks up under Kasey Kahne's rear bumper.

Lap 183 -- Martin Truex Jr. is catching Kasey Kahne for second place.

Lap 180 -- Aric Almirola is in seventh place.

Lap 178 -- Kyle Busch's lead over Kasey Kahne has been extended to 1.8 seconds.

Lap 177 -- Kyle Busch has clinched the bonus for leading the most laps.

Lap 175 -- Kurt Busch is having a decent run in ninth place.

Lap 172 -- Kyle Busch has stretched his lead over Kasey Kahne to several car lengths.

Lap 170 -- Jimmie Johnson is currently fourth in the running order, while Brad Keselowski is back in 11th place.

Lap 169 -- Kasey Kahne is still going after Kyle Busch for the top spot.

Lap 167 -- Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch. Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne ... a heck of a battle for the lead! There are 100 laps left in the 2012 Sprint Cup season.

Lap 166 -- Kasey Kahne jumps under Kyle Busch for the lead in Turn 2, but Busch comes right back after him at the opposite end of the track.

Lap 163 -- Kyle Busch is your race leader!

Lap 162 -- GREEN FLAG: Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards are the leaders on the restart. Brad Keselowski is seventh, while Jimmie Johnson sits ninth. Johnson dives under Keselowski to get around him.

Lap 159 -- Most of the leaders drop onto pit road. Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Sam Hornish Jr., Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch stay on the track.

Lap 158 -- Pit road will be open next time by.

Lap 157 -- Jimmie Johnson is cutting his engine off down the straightaways in an attempt to save fuel.

Lap 156 -- Pit road is still closed.

Lap 154 -- YELLOW FLAG: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pops the outside retaining wall in Turn 3.

Lap 152 -- Jimmie Johnson leads Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne by 1.1 seconds.

Lap 150 -- Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski would be tied atop the point standings if the race ended the way it's running now.

Lap 149 -- GREEN FLAG: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano bring the field to the green. Kyle Busch, who took four tires, is seventh. Brad Keselowski is in 15th place! Johnson is clear with the lead off Turn 2.

Lap 147 -- Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano are the leaders on the restart. All of them took just two tires on the pit stop, as did sixth place Paul Menard.

Lap 144 -- The leaders return to pit road.

Lap 142 -- YELLOW FLAG: There's a piece of debris on the frontstretch. This is just the second caution of the day.

Lap 141 -- Martin Truex Jr. has still not found an opening past Kyle Busch.

Lap 136 -- Martin Truex Jr. is trying to figure out a way to get by Kyle Busch for the race lead.

Lap 134 -- Halfway! After the cycle of stops, the leaders are Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 133 -- Ryan Newman brings his Chevrolet to its pit stall, giving up the lead.

Lap 132 -- Matt Kenseth is on pit road.

Lap 130 -- Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Sam Hornish Jr., Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne are pitting.

Lap 129 -- Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Joey Logano and other are on pit road. Jimmie Johnson assumes the lead.

Lap 128 -- Denny Hamlin is pitting.

Lap 126 -- Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch very nearly made contact coming off Turn 2 the last time around, and Busch has now backed off a little bit.

Lap 124 -- Martin Truex Jr. has to check up behind lapped traffic, which allows Kyle Busch to close on him.

Lap 117 -- Martin Truex Jr. goes to the high side of Kyle Busch to grab the top spot.

Lap 115 -- Martin Truex Jr. tries Kyle Busch for the lead, but still can't pick up the spot.

Lap 112 -- After the slow pit stop, Brad Keselowski has been able to pick his way back up to ninth place.

Lap 110 -- Trevor Bayne has cut down a tire, which forces him to pit road.

Lap 109 -- NASCAR is checking the track for debris.

Lap 107 -- Martin Truex Jr. is closing on Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 104 -- Jeff Gordon gets by Clint Bowyer for fourth place. No harm, no foul.

Lap 103 -- Jeff Gordon is right behind Clint Bowyer for fourth place. Naaaah ... couldn't happen again. Could it?

Lap 102 -- Kyle Busch is still up front, and by a fairly comfortable margin. The issues he had earlier have apparently not gotten any worse.

Lap 99 -- Trevor Bayne's car is being checked for damage by NASCAR.

Lap 97 -- Trevor Bayne bounces off the wall in Turn 2, but there's no caution.

Lap 95 -- After holding Martin Truex Jr. off for the lead, Kyle Busch has now stretched his lead out to 7/10ths of a second.

Lap 92 -- Martin Truex Jr. is now under fire from Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer for second place.

Lap 91 -- Martin Truex Jr. is going after Kyle Busch for the top spot.

Lap 90 -- Kyle Busch's engine might be blowing up, but he's still got the lead!

Lap 88 -- Kyle Busch says his engine is blowing up!

Lap 87 -- Carl Edwards was second on the restart, but he's now fighting with Jimmie Johnson for fifth place.

Lap 85 -- Kyle Busch is still up front, with Martin Truex Jr. trying to track him down.

Lap 84 -- GREEN FLAG: Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer are the top five on the restart. Truex dives three wide under Edwards and Kenseth going into Turn 1 to grab second place!

Lap 82 -- Brad Keselowski drops to 14th in the running order. Jimmie Johnson is sixth.

Lap 81 -- The leaders are on pit road. Brad Keselowski's stop is a slow one.

Lap 79 -- YELLOW FLAG: There's debris reported on the backstretch.

Lap 78 -- Kyle Busch's lead over Carl Edwards has shrunk to just half a second.

Lap 77 -- There was a report of debris high in Turns 3 and 4, but officials in the area say the track is clear.

Lap 76 -- Jimmie Johnson got by Brad Keselowski for sixth place the last time around the track.

Lap 74 -- Clint Bowyer is holding steady in third place.

Lap 72 -- Fifth-place Martin Truex Jr. is 13.7 seconds behind leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 70 -- Carl Edwards has picked up some ground on leader Kyle Busch in the last few laps.

Lap 68 -- Mark Martin is having a so-so day back in 12th place.

Lap 66 -- So good, so far. No cautions!

Lap 64 -- Kyle Busch is out for another Sunday drive up front. The gap back to second-place is now up to 3.5 seconds.

Lap 62 -- Brad Keselowski comes out on top of the battle with Marcos Ambrose and Jimmie Johnson for sixth place. Johnson blows past Ambrose for seventh.

Lap 60 -- Throw a blanket over Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski for sixth place.

Lap 58 -- Brad Keselowski dives under Jimmie Johnson for seventh place on the frontstretch, but Johnson is able to hold him off.

Lap 56 -- Kyle Busch's cushion over Carl Edwards now stands at 3.9 seconds.

Lap 53 -- Following their stops, Jimmie Johnson is running in seventh place and Brad Keselowski in sixth.

Lap 52 -- After the cycle of stops, the leaders are Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth.

Lap 51 -- Ryan Newman peels off the track to make his stop.

Lap 49 -- Kyle Busch drops onto pit road. The lead goes to Ryan Newman.

Lap 48 -- Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth are on pit road.

Lap 47 -- Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne are pitting.

Lap 46 -- Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and others are pitting.

Lap 44 -- Kyle Busch's lead over Carl Edwards has grown to 4.5 seconds.

Lap 42 -- Jimmie Johnson has not made a lot of progress forward since the start of the race. Still, he just got by Martin Truex Jr. for eighth place.

Lap 40 -- MRN airing a commercial featuring the legendary Bobby Allison. Awesome!

Lap 38 -- The top five is Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose and Matt Kenseth.

Lap 37 -- Carl Edwards has chopped nearly a second off Kyle Busch's advantage up front.

Lap 35 -- Kyle Busch is starting to work through some lapped traffic.

Lap 33 -- Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are holding down spots in the bottom half of the top 10 right now.

Lap 29 -- Matt Kenseth has made his way around Brad Keselowski for fifth place. It's hard to believe this is Kenseth's last race with Roush Fenway Racing!

Lap 27 -- Although he's 2.9 seconds in front of Carl Edwards right now, Kyle Busch reports that his car is too tight.

Lap 23 -- Brad Keselowski is presently in fifth place, Jimmie Johnson in ninth.

Lap 22 -- Clint Bowyer is finally able to slip past Marcos Ambrose for third place.

Lap 21 -- It's now Clint Bowyer trying to wrestle a spot away from Marcos Ambrose. That's for third place.

Lap 20 -- ESPN reports that Jeff Gordon was in the news this week. Really? For what? Dang it. Couldn't even type that with a straight face!

Lap 18 -- Clint Bowyer has joined the battle for second place. He's right behind Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards.

Lap 17 -- Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards are fighting hard over second place.

Lap 15 -- Move Kyle Busch to the top of the leaderboard.

Lap 14 -- Kyle Busch is going after Marcos Ambrose for the race lead.

Lap 11 -- Kyle Busch gets by Carl Edwards for second place.

Lap 9 -- Brad Keselowski says that his car is "way tight" at this point in the event.

Lap 7 -- Jimmie Johnson's 17 victories on 1.5-mile tracks leads all active drivers. He's in 10th place right now.

Lap 6 -- Kyle Busch flies by Brad Keselowski for fourth place on the backstretch.

Lap 5 -- Brad Keselowski has settled into line after losing a couple of spots just after the checkered flag.

Lap 4 -- Brad Keselowski holds Kyle Busch off in a challenge for fourth.

Lap 2 -- Carl Edwards gets by Brad Keselowski for second, and then Clint Bowyer gpes after BK for third.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: The race gets under way at 3:22 p.m. ET. Marcos Ambrose gets a HUGE jump and is clear with the lead in Turn 1.

3:19 p.m. ET -- Kid Rock is behind the wheel of the caution car for the pace laps. Lucky dog. Greatest job in the world ... pace-car driver!

3:15 p.m. ET -- The field is beginning to roll off pit road for the start of what should be three pace laps.

3:11 p.m. ET -- Jonathan Hillstrand, captain of the F/V Time Bandit featured on Discovery Channel's hit series "Deadliest Catch," gives the command to fire engines. Where's Sig?

3:05 p.m. ET -- Four F-16s from the 93rd Fighter Squadron at Homestead Air Reserve Base, do the fly over.

3:04 p.m. ET -- Chris Mann, star of "The Voice" and a Faircraft/Republic recording artist, signs the national anthem.

3:03 p.m. ET -- Colors are presented by the 482nd Fighter Wing Base Honor Guard out of Homestead Air Reserve Base. Then, Pastor Scott Claunch of Calvary Chapel Kendall gives the invocation.

3:02 p.m. ET -- The All American Country Girl Chelsea Bain sings "God Bless America."

3:01 p.m. ET -- Lt. Commander Joseph Abeyta, star of the Weather Channel's Coast Guard Florida, leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

2:20 p.m. ET -- Driver introductions have started. The clock is ticking. Let's go racing!

2:06 p.m. ET -- The white flag is out on the 2012 Sprint Cup season. All the marbles are on the line here at Homestead, and Brad Keselowski holds the upper hand in the championship battle. Can Jimmie Johnson rebound from his Phoenix woes and capture his sixth title?

8:56 a.m. ET -- Reed Sorenson, Stephen Leicht, Jason Leffler and Joe Nemechek failed to qualify for the event.

8:54 a.m. ET -- Joey Logano is on the pole with a lap of 176.056 mph. Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Aric Almirola are second through fifth, while Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson are sixth through tenth.