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NASCAR drivers find things change fast at 'Dega


 

Radio chatter on Lap 46: Kyle Busch: “I’m all right.

I caused it. It’s hauler hurt. I can’t drive it back.”

Lap 46: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be the free pass.

Radio chatter on Lap 45: Clint Bowyer: "Hell, I'm just riding around back here."

Lap 44: Brian Vickers to the garage. Scott Speed, Greg Biffle and Casey Mears also have damage.

CAUTION 2 - Lap 43: Huge wreck. Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers are among those involved. Kyle Busch appears to be pushed into Kasey Kahne, who was leading the outside line, after apparent contact to Busch from Marcos Ambrose. Tony Stewart, David Gilliland, David Stremme also involved.

Lap 41: Brian Vickers has moved into 10th now. He's cruising since getitng into the car.

Lap 40: Drivers are reporting that there is debris on the backstretch. No caution at this point. One of the spotters said it is a side skirt.

Lap 38: Brian Vickers is up to 14th driving now for the injured Denny Hamlin. Remember, wherever Vickers' finishes, Denny Hamlin gets credit for it.

Lap 37: Matt Kenseth has led 28 of 37 laps. Don't forget he led 86 laps at Daytona before blowing up.

Lap 35: Matt Kenseth continues to lead at the track. Drivers are keeping an eye on the sky as rain continues to threaten in the area.

Lap 33: Teams are talking about debris on the backstretch. 

Lap 32: Regan Smith, who won the Nationwide Series race and took that series points lead for JR Motorsports on Saturday, is running seventh.

Lap 32: Travis Kvapil to the garage.

Lap 31: Matt Kenseth continues to set a hot pace at the track.

Lap 30: Travis Kvapil blows a right-front tire and pits.

Lap 30: Two lines are battling for position among the leaders. Jimmie Johnson is pushing leader Matt Kenseth with Jeff Burton leading the outside line.

Lap 29: Matt Kenseth is leading the inside line, with Jeff Burton leading the outside lane to challenge.

RESTART: Lap 29: Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne lead the field back to the green.

Radio chatter on Lap 28: Crew chief Steve Letarte: "We're all patched up, we should be good to go. We should be all clear in traffic."

Lap 28: Brian Vickers is the last on the lead lap, will be 39th. Denny Hamlin is atop the pit box now.

Lap 28: Paul Menard pits after leading a lap.

Lap 27: Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya, Landon Cassill, Joe Nemechek, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Terry Labonte, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip, David Ragan and Josh Wise pit. Paul Menard leads.

Lap 27: The first nine stayed out during the stop. Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Terry Labonte, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Waltrip will lead the restart.

Lap 26: Denny Hamlin is coming out of the car, Brian Vickers is going in. It's a fast exchange.

Lap 25: Most of the leaders pit. Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Joey Logano are among those that stay out.

Radio chatter on Lap 25: Steve Letarte wants the crew to fix the crush panels and work on the damage to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car.

Radio chatter on Lap 25: Crew chief Darian Grubb is talking Denny Hamlin through the steps as he prepares to get out of the car and put Brian Vickers in.

Lap 25: Dale Earnhardt Jr. pits.

Lap 24: Trevor Bayne is being pushed through to pit road.

Radio chatter on Lap 24: Clint Bowyer: "The engine is sick!"

Radio chatter on Lap 24: Trevor Bayne: "Transmission blew up. It's not the engine it's the tranny."

CAUTION 1: Lap 24: Trevor Bayne's car puts fluid on the track.

Lap 23: Trevor Bayne has a mechanical issue and is blowing smoke just as Dale Earnhardt Jr. comes off pit road.

Lap 21: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is pitting with an issue with the left rear.

Lap 20: A second line is forming and is charging toward the leaders. It is catching them fast.

Lap 20: Joe Nemecheck is lapped.

Lap 18: Listen to the roar as the cars rip through the turns at high speed at Talladega. The pack is, for the most part, intact behind the leaders.

Lap 17: Dale Earnhardt Jr., a five-time Cup race winner at the track, is running 17th.

Lap 16: Now there are six cars in that lead pack - Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch have joined the action.

Lap 15: There's now a four-car breakaway at the front: Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola.

Lap 14: Matt Kenseth continues to lead, with the Hendrick Motorsports entries of Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne behind him.

Radio chatter on Lap 13: Denny Hamlin: "Feel like the car is just a little bit loose. Really when you get the speed up and a car behind you ... work on that on exit."

Were emotions running high before the race? Watch as Michael Waltrip interviews drivers on pit road - and gets a special gift from Chipper Jones.

Lap 11: Lee Spencer reports that it is now really dark over Turn 4.

Lap 10: Matt Kenseth is leading the field still. The lead pack is single file and starting to pull away a little.

Radio chatter on Lap 7: Denny Hamlin says to his spotter: "Tell the 42, thank you."

Lap 7: Things change fast at Talladega. There is shifting throughout the field with Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Juan Pablo Montoya and Denny Hamlin riding near the rear.

Lap 6: Matt Kenseth has brought his line to the front of the pack and is the leader now.

Radio chatter on Lap 4: Spotter Brett Griffin tells Clint Bowyer: "Just ride here, we're in a good spot."

Lap 4: Pole sitter Carl Edwards is running 14th now.

Lap 3: Matt Kenseth is leading a low line as it mounts a challenge to the outer line.

Lap 3: Martin Truex Jr. is the leader now. Truex has been challenging for wins of late - can today be when he snaps his 212-race winless streak?

Lap 2: Wow - look at that pack. Three-wide for most of it.

Lap 1: Drivers are getting up to full speed on the track during the first lap. Carl Edwards has the lead as they are running three wide at the track.

GREEN FLAG!

And the clouds are rolling in at Talladega.

Radio chatter with one to go: Brad Keselowski: "We all know how this racing can go. All we can do is be as prepared as possible. I know you guys are."

1:06 p.m. ET: One to go before the green flag. Carl Edwards will lead the field to the green after the rained-out qualifying session.

Prerace radio chatter: Denny Hamlin asks for a volume check. Chances are the first time back there will be gremlins in the car with him.

Prerace audio chatter: Spotter TJ Majors tells Dale Earnhardt Jr. to look for the blend line coming into Turn 2.

Prerace radio chatter: Crew chief Tony Gibson to Danica Patrick: "On the radar there's a litte bit of rain but it's right on the edge." She replies, "Let's have good day, bring this thing back in one piece -- and up front." Gibson: "Drive the hell out of it."

What does the NASCAR on FOX crew expect today at Talladega? Watch and see.

1 p.m. ET: The cars are on the track.

Prerace radio chatter: "Good luck down there guys," Roger Penske tells the crew. "Good work, solid day here today and we'll move on, Thanks."
"Good solid day here," Penske tells Brad Keselowski. "We need it."

12:55 p.m. ET: Chipper Jones gives the command to start engines.

12:53 p.m. ET: Lee Spencer reports that no drivers will be going to the rear of the field today.

12:49 p.m. ET: National anthem is being sung.

Lee Spencer reports that there are no favorites out of the garage. The usual suspects - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick. Paul Menard, Regan Smith and David Ragan are respectable long shots.

The start time has been moved up to 1:07 p.m. ET as rain threatens in the area.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. discusses what he expects in today's race.

What will be the pit strategy for today's race? Watch.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron discusses his trip to Talladega Superspeedway.

Bobby Labonte is making his 700th career Sprint Cup start at Talladega. Listen as he discusses his career.

There are lots of myths and legends about Talladega. Catch up on them in the Shake and Bake blog.

Juan Pablo Montoya earned a top-five finish at Richmond last weekend. Can his team keep up the pace?

What will the racing at Talladega be like today? Larry McReynolds points out the impact of the Generation-6 car at the restrictor-plate track. Jeff Hammond points out that timing is everything at this track.

Denny Hamlin returns to racing today at Talladega Superspeedway. Find out all the details of his return here. And check out him practicing a driver exchange with Brian Vickers through the roof hatch.

After qualifying at the track was rained out, Carl Edwards earned the pole position. Check out the full lineup here.

Welcome to the FOXSports.com coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.

The race coverage is scheduled to start on FOX at noon ET, with the green flag set for shortly after 1 p.m. ET.

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