Lap highlights from today’s Party in the Poconos 400:
LAP 1 — Points leader Jimmie Johnson leads the field to the green flag at 1:21 p.m. under sunny skies. No rain in sight. Kasey Kahne is off the pace and pulls into the pits. He is reporting something wrong with the drivetrain.
LAP 4 — Kahne to the garage area. Tough break for the driver who is seventh in points and won here in June 2008.
LAP 15 — Johnson has a 2.5-second lead over Carl Edwards and a 4.5-second lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jason Leffler, one of the start-and-park guys, is also in the garage area. There are 38 cars on the lead lap.
LAP 25 — Green-flag pit stops begin. Johnson, Edwards and Earnhardt Jr. are the top three. Fourth-place Kevin Harvick is 11 seconds behind Johnson. Start-and-park expert Joe Nemechek is off the track. Work continues on Kahne’s car. He’s now 21 laps down.
LAP 32 — The start-and-park drivers are dropping like flies … as expected. Scott Riggs and J.J. Yeley to the garage area.
LAP 50 — A pretty boring race so far. Still Johnson, Edwards and Earnhardt Jr. Only 26 cars on the lead lap. Some party Walmart is throwing in the Poconos.
LAP 56 — Second round of green-flag pits stops begin. So far there have been no cautions. Start-and-park drivers are hurrying to pack up and get out of here. Leffler’s team is leading Michael McDowell’s team in that department, having already loaded the car into the hauler.
LAP 66 — Caution for debris. Still Johnson, Edwards and Earnhardt Jr. as the drivers head into the pits. They come out Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. and Edwards. Wait a second … Ryan Newman didn’t pit and holds the lead.
LAP 70 — Restart and Johnson has the lead before the lap is even over.
LAP 80 — Midway point and Johnson still leads.
LAP 91 — Newman surrenders second place to pit under green. Johnson leads second-place Earnhardt by over seven seconds. Bard Keselowski is in third. There are 27 cars on the lead lap and six out of the race.
LAP 99 — Third round of green-flag pit stops begin. Kevin Harvick penalized for being too fast on pit road.
LAP 105 — And the winner is … Michael McDowell! His team has beaten all the other start-and-park drivers out of the garage area. After making a hairpin turn to get out of the garage, the hauler is heading out to the highway. As for the race, Newman hasn’t pitted yet so he is leading Johnson. That should change shortly.
LAP 113 — No surprise, Johnson passes Newman for the lead.
LAP 125 — Caution for fluid from Martin Truex Jr.’s car. The drivers pit and come out Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch.
LAP 130 — Restart with Newman leading since he remains on a different pit cycle. A lap later, Johnson takes the lead.
LAP 132 — Caution as Juan Pablo Montoya and Matt Kenseth spin in the tunnel turn.
LAP 136 — Restart with Johnson in front.
LAP 137 — Caution for a spin by Dave Blaney. The top three are Johnson, Newman and Earnhardt Jr.
LAP 141 — Restart with Johnson leading followed by Newman and Earnhardt Jr.
LAP 144 — Johnson leads, but some shuffling behind him. Earnhardt Jr. to second, Kyle Busch is third, Tony Stewart fourth and Newman back to fifth.
LAP 147 — Caution as A.J. Allmendinger shreds a left front tire.
LAP 151 — Restart. Earnhardt Jr. tries to duck under Johnson for the lead, but can’t.
LAP 153 — Caution as Blaney slaps the wall.
LAP 156 — Restart with Johnson leading followed by Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch.
LAP 158 — Johnson has a one-second lead over Greg Biffle. The only battle up front is behind the leader.
LAP 160 — Johnson wins. Biffle second followed by Earnhardt Jr., Stewart and Newman.