Lap-By-Lap: Aarons 499

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Audio Update

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Can’t be in front of the television to see the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway? No problem. RacingOne has live coverage from the rain delayed event at the 2.66 mile superspeedway. Check back throughout the day for up to the minute coverage from today’s event.

Prerace: Welcome to RacingOne’s live coverage of the rain delayed Aaron’s 499.

Following yesterday’s intermittent rain showers that postponed on-track activity, the clouds have cleared Talladega and we should be ready for the green flag at approximately 12 Noon (ET).

Among the multitude of storylines for today’s event, mostly everybody will want to know how the two Black and Silver DEI cars are performing. Following Martin Truex Jr.’s Busch Series victory on Saturday, both he and Dale Earnhardt Jr. must be considered favorites to win today – especially with their special commemorative paint schemes that are honoring their late team founder’s induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame last Thursday night.

Also, we will be keeping a close eye on Jeff Gordon, who is aiming to win his third straight spring Talladega event.

Elliott Sadler, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, will lead the 43 car field to the green flag today after securing the pole with a fast lap of 188.511 mph on Saturday. To check out where your favorite driver will start, click here

Also of note, Matt Kenseth enters today with a mere nine-point lead atop the NEXTEL Cup Championship standings over Jimmie Johnson. To see the standings, click here

7:00 a.m. (ET): RacingOne arrives at the Ken Patterson Media Center at Talladega Superspeedway.

8:45 a.m. (ET): Crews wait for the garage to open.

9:00 a.m. (ET): Garages open.

9:39 a.m. (ET): Elliott Sadler's No. 38 M&M's pole-winning Ford is rolled from the Busch garage to the starting grid.

11:15 a.m. (ET): The cars are on pit road and we are under an hour until the green flag finally flies.

Engines Fire: Ken Butler, President of Sales and Lease Ownership at Aaron’s leads fan to command drivers to fire engines.

Green Flag: Elliott Sadler takes the green flag, racing is underway at Talladega Superspeedway.

Reminder that Matt Kenseth, the championship points leader going into today’s event, started from the rear because of changes made to his car after qualifying. This race is one of the few remaining impound races on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule.

Lap 2: The action has started at Talladega. Everybody has gotten off to a fast start and there are no incidents to report.

Lap 3: 2005 NEXTEL Cup Champion Tony Stewart Takes Lead with help from Joe Nemechek.

Lap 6: It is side by side action everywhere you look around this 2.66 mile superspeedway as Joe Nemechek battles Tony Stewart up front for the lead.

Lap 7: Jamie McMurray takes lead.

Note: By leading a lap earlier, Tony Stewart is the only driver to have led a lap in every event this season.

Lap 9—CAUTION: Four wide action leads to first caution. Kyle Busch gets loose, hits Ryan Newman and it impacts about nine cars, including Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin

Lap 10: Leaders pit.

Involved in the first caution: Schrader, Ky Busch, Truex jr, Newman, Kahne, Harvick, Martin, Marlin and Stremme.

Tough break for everybody involved. Kyle Busch says it is “too early to go five wide.”

Busch also says he is "Terribly sorry if everybody wants to blame it on me."

Note: Kahne has wind knocked out of him, but is in infield care center and is okay

Restart—Lap 15: Top Five: Nemecheck, Sadler, Earnhardt Jr., Stewart and McMurray

Addition: Bowyer and Shelmerdine also involved.

Lap 17 Guess who is in front? No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet

Lap 19: Brian Vickers is leading the pack on the low side while Dale Jr. is up high with a group that includes Kurt Busch and McMurray

Lap 21 Earnhardt Jr. and Vickers battle for the lead. Already, there have been 10 lead changes.

Lap 23: Dale Jr has moved down to the low groove and is now battling Kurt Busch, who is getting help from McMurray…odd isn’t it?

Lap 25: Kurt Busch has been leader for a lap and a half but is now battling McMurray.

Lap 27: McMurray leads lap 26

Lap 30: Race Reset:
Cautions: 1
Leaders: 11
Lead Changes: 14
Top five: McMurray, Riggs, Mears, Kenseth and Johnson

Lap 31: McMurray is pulling away (by superspeedway standards) and cars are going two and three wide behind.

Lap 34: Kenseth does it. Started at the back and is now the race leader

Lap 38--CAUTION: Kevin Harvick, who is racing far back, has flat and enters the pits.

Lap 40: Almost Everybody comes to pit road, with Matt Kenseth as race leader and Casey Mears in second.

Biggest gainer on pit road was Michael Waltrip who left pit road first. Gained 18 positions…Great pit strategy by his team.

Lap 41: The remaining stragglers who stayed out enter the pits, along with Michael Waltrip (who actually missed his pit stall when he entered pit road earlier). Kenseth retakes lead.

Lap 42--RESTART: Top 10—Kenseth, Riggs, Elliott Sadler, Kurt Busch, Mears, Jimmie Johnson, Vickers, Edwards, Nemechek and Robby Gordon.

Lap 44: Polesitter Sadler retakes lead.

Lap 46: 30 cars remain on the lead lap as Sadler stays up front.

Biffle comes onto pit road, will lose a lap.

Lap 48: Biffle goes to the garage, lost a cylinder.

Lap 49: Casey Mears is now leading the way with Sadler and Edwards right behind.

Lap 50: Another lead change, Edwards takes over as Mears drops back to the middle of the pack.

Lap 51: Dale Jr. is working his way back up, currently sitting in eighth….but he is in the middle of the pack so he must be careful.

Greg Biffle has officially retired from the event.

Lap 54: Jeff Gordon, who has won the last two spring events at Talladega, is now leading.

Lap 56: Gordon continues to lead. Kyle Petty comes into the pits, dropping it down to 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 60: Carl Edwards recaptures lead.

Lap 61: It has become a Hendrick Motorsports freight train. Gordon, Johnson and Vickers are pushing each other to the lead. Right behind the three is Dale Jr.

Lap 63: It is the Jeff and Dale show as Gordon leads but Jr. hounds him. Behind them, it is three and four wide as drivers battle for positions.

Lap 66: Teams are preparing on pit road for fuel stops, which will be upcoming in the next 15 or so laps.

Lap 70: The crowd roars as Dale Jr. takes lead

Lap 72: As Edwards, Jr. and McMurray battle for lead, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.

Lap 74: About a dozen cars, including Dale Jr, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers and Jeff Gordon come into the pits. Carl Edwards remains out in the lead.

Lap 74: Most of the remaining lead lap cars, including Carl Edwards, comes into the pits.

Lap 75: NASCAR Black Flags Carl Edwards. His catch can for the fuel is still attached. Tough break for the Roush Racing driver.

Lap 79: Kenseth is motoring down the frontstretch as Edwards exits the pits. The former leader will go a lap down as teammate Kenseth approaches him.

Lap 80: Black Flag for No. 2 Kurt Busch. Missing a lugnut.

Note Driver change for the rest of the race. Hermie Sadler will take the wheel of the No. 9 Dodge.

Lap 84: Sadler takes lead, laps Kyle Petty and is close to lapping Edwards.

Lap 87--CAUTION: Jr. got loose, hits wall a bit, and then is hit by Stewart.

Neither car looks heavily damaged, but at an aero sensitive track like Dega, this may signal the end of both driver's chances of winning today's event.

Joe Nemechek and Travis Kvapil both looked to avoid damage as they passed Jr.

Lap 89: Most every car comes into the pits, a few stay out including leader Robby Gordon

Lap 90: Most of the remaining stragglers have entered the pits for service.

Lap 91--RESTART: Jeff Gordon leads Elliott Sadler, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson and Scott Riggs to the line.

Lap 94--HALFWAY:
Cautions: 3
Leaders: 17
Lead Changes: 34
Top five: Jeff Gordon, Elliott Sadler, Riggs, McMurray, Yeley

Lap 96: Gordon and Sadler are nose to tail up front while cars are pilling up two and three wide behind.

Lap 98: Talk about weird instance, back in sixth place McMurray is getting helped by (in order) Kurt Busch, Casey Mears and Reed Sorenson.

Lap 100: Jeff Gordon continues to lead as Dale Earnhardt Jr. has climbed back to seventh place.

Lap 101: Sadler passes Jeff Gordon for lead

Lap 103: Jeff Gordon retakes lead, with Vickers in tow.

Squirrelly moment as Mears gets into the back of the No. 20 Chevy. Stewart got a bit loose but quickly regains control of car.

Lap 108: 80 laps to go and Jeff Gordon leads with Vickers and Jeff Burton right behind.

Lap 109--CAUTION: Somebody lost a tire tred.

Both McMurray and Sorenson appear to have made contact with the tire tred that appeared.

Lap 110: Pit road is a busy place as most all of the lead lap cars come in. Jeff Gordon hands lead to Denny Hamlin who stayed out.

Gordon out first, with Sadler and Burton right behind.

Lap 112: Top 10 as we get closer to green flag conditions: Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler, Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Lap 114--RESTART: Gordon takes the green flag with 74 laps remaining at Talladega Superspeedway.

Lap 115: Sadler fights off Gordon for the lead while cars are going two, three and even four wide further back.

Lap 119: Jeff Gordon has been back in the lead for the last two or so laps. The question on everybody’s mind though is how is Dale Jr. in fifth after spinning earlier???

Lap 120: Gordon leads but it was three wide right behind him as Junior, Johnson and Sadler were fighting for No. 2 spot

Lap 123: Jimmie Johnson takes the lead. Kenseth in second and McMurray in third

Lap 125: Gordon back up front

Lap 126—CAUTION:Sterling Marlin slides out of tri-oval, through grass.

Lap 127: Sadler is up front as almost all of the lead cars come into the pits.

Kenseth comes out first, with Sadler second and Joe Nemechek third (only two tires).

J.J. Yeley stays out to lead lap.

Lap 129: With less than sixty laps to go and drivers approaching green flag conditions:
Cautions: 5
Leaders: 20
Lead Changes: 44
Top five: Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Joe Nemechek, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 130—RESTART: Kenseth takes green flag with 58 laps remaining

Lap 133: Gordon back out front with teammates Johnson and Vickers right behind.

Lap 135: Kenseth in lead with Sadler and McMurray

Lap 137: Sadler up front now

Lap 139: Casey Mears pits and loses a lap, now only 28 cars remain on lead lap.

He was hit by Dave Blaney and had to enter pit road to repair damange he incurred by hitting wall.

Lap 144: Television cameras have caught crew chiefs talking to one another trying to anticipate final pit stops, which should be upcoming within the next 20 or so laps.

Lap 145: Jeff Gordon retakes lead from Sadler

Lap 148: 40 to go, Gordon leads Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson

Lap 151--CAUTION: Blown engine for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 153: Almost all of the lead lap cars pit, Dave Blaney takes lead as he stays out

Junior: "It blew up, quit running."

Lap 155: The remaining cars that had yet to pit come in for service. Jeff Gordon is currently leading the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway with Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top five positions.

Lap 156: Gordon takes the green flag with 32 to go

Lap 158: Kurt Busch passes Gordon for the lead, making the 48th lead change of the day.

Lap 159: Crew Chiefs are warning drivers to save fuel in case this race goes to a green-white-checkered finish. This could get very interesting and pit strategy might come into play.

Lap 162: Kurt Busch leads Matt Kenseth and the rest of the field with 26 laps to go

Lap 164--CAUTION: Bobby Labonte’s engine appears to have blown up on Turn 4. Seventh caution flag of the day

Lap 165: Some cars gamble and stay off pit road, while others including leader Kurt Busch come into the pits.

Lap 166: Jamie McMurray, Scott Riggs, Reed Sorenson, Elliott Sadler and Carl Edwards are your top five as cars continue to circle the track under yellow.

Lap 167: Casey Mears got the “lucky dog” on this caution, putting 27 cars on the lead lap with less than 25 laps to go.

Lap 169--RESTART: McMurray leads the field to the green. Riggs, Sorenson, Sadler, Edwards, Gordon, Hamlin, Waltrip, Stewart and Jarrett comprise the top-10 positions with only 19 laps to go. Top 13 cars stayed out while the rest came onto pit road.

Lap 171: All bets are off now as it is three and four wide throughout the track…everybody looks to have a chance to win this race.

Lap 173: Tony Stewart takes lead…can he win his first Talladega race?

Lap 173--CAUTION: Lepage, Nemechek, Blaney, Kvapil and Sorenson crash.

Accident started as cars were approaching the tri-oval and it has thinned out the lineup of cars that can win today.

The list of cars involved in this accident is growing and we will attempt to put one together before we get back to action.

Lap 175: Tony Stewart leads under caution with Gordon, Vickers, McMurray and Johnson behind.

Drivers involved in accident were: Nemechek, Blaney, Kvapil, Lepage, Sorenson and Hamlin

Denny Hamlin has been penalized one lap for aggressive driving and going under and passing below the yellow line

Lap 179--RESTART: With 9 laps to go, Stewart takes the green flag. Jeff Gordon, Vickers, McMurray, Johnson, Kenseth, Burton, Jarrett, Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler, Raines, Edwards, Robby Gordon, Green, Riggs, Mayfield, Petty, Wimmer, Yeley, Mears, Kvapil and Waltrip are all on the lead lap (22 in total).

Lap 180: Gordon takes lead

Lap 181: Vickers and Gordon are battling side by side, but McMurray pushes Vickers ahead for the lead.

Lap 182: Vickers, McMurray and Kurt Busch are in the top three

Lap 183: McMurray passes Vickers with help from Jeff Gordon

Lap 184: Gordon gets help from Johnson to grab the lead

Lap 186: Gordon leads Vickers and Stewart with 2 to go

Lap 187—WHITE FLAG: Vickers leads teammate Johnson and Stewart

Lap 188-CHECKERED: Johnson leads Stewart, who went side to side to win Aaron’s 499

Final top-10: Johnson, Stewart, Vickers, Burton, McMurray, Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Edwards, Riggs, Robby Gordon

JJ Yeley was today's highest finishing rookie in 11th while Jarrett, Mayfield, Green and Jeff Gordon (who led the most laps today) round out the top 15.

Editor's Note: This concludes today's lap-by-lap coverage of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Stay tuned to for full analysis of today's race by our team.



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