Hello from Watkins Glen International after the always-nice drive down Seneca Lake to the famed road course.
11:30 a.m. Settling in after I nearly gave myself a heart attack by thinking I forgot my power cord. Whew.
Nationwide qualifying for this afternoon's Zippo 200 concluded just after I arrived.
Sam Hornish has claimed the pole with a lap of 72.027 seconds (122.454 mph). He was followed by Carl Edwards, Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. Old Glen friend Ron Fellows, the Toronto native who has won several times here, qualified 15th in the fittingly-sponsored Canadian Tire Chevrolet.
The 18th annual Zippo 200 is scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m.
11:40 a.m. Qualifying is underway for the Sprint Cup Series.
11:50 a.m. Travis Kvapil doinks his No. 93 front-first into the guardrail in Turn 11.
12:11 p.m.: An announcement in the media center by Team Sahlen's, which celebrated by offering cupcakes to media members (never a bad idea, of course):
Sahlen's will be sponsoring a Daytona Prototype team for the 2013 Grand-Am season, which is a step up from what has been its participation in the GT Class.
The press conference opened with Team Sahlen's giving props to the U.S. Olympic women's soccer team as well as the Western New York Flash for its third straight title this year. Joe Sahlen is the owner of the WNY Flash.
"It's a graduation," Joe Sahlen said of the move up to Daytona Prototypes. "It's going to be a challenge, but that's what being competitive [is about]. This challenge presented itself. That's part of the human condition. Trying to be the best you can be."
1:05 p.m. With 10 drivers remaining in qualifying (which had the top speeds in practice), Juan Pablo Montoya is atop the chart, followed by Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. Among the final 10 is Kyle Busch, who had the top speed in this morning's practice.
1:29 p.m. Qualifying is complete.
Montoya wins the pole, followed by Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and defending champion Marcos Ambrose.
2:20 p.m. The Zippo 200 will start in a few moments. Kyle Busch being moved to the back for "unapproved adjustments."
2:40 p.m. The ZIppo 200 starts and on the very first lap, Ryan Truex slides through the grass on the inside of Turn One and he returned to the track to cause some serious front-end damage to Danica Patrick's familiar green car. Her hood was popped up after serious impact to the front. She headed tot he pits and her team did some quick repair, banging down the sheet metal and affixing some duct tape to the hood. Media center doesn't think that tape might hold for too long.
Soon after, Danica goes to the garage. Apparently too much damage to continue.
3:01 p.m. Hornish held the lead until Keselowski made a bold move entering the Inner Loop. Coming out of the backstretch, Keselowski got in the grass as they made the first quick right-hander to slip by Hornish. Can't remember that move being made too many times here, like that on the grass. You see out-breaking entering the Inner Loop, or passing as cars exit, and you see cars on the grass there.
With Truex's mishap in Turn One, we've seen cars off track here in spots we usually don't.
3:33 p.m. With one pit stop having cycled through, Keselowski still holds the lead as we approach the halfway point. We're through 36 of 82 laps and Keselowski has more than a 5-second lead on Carl Edwards. There has only been one caution so far (knock on wood).
3:34 p.m. I should have actually knocked on wood instead of just typing it. Hard crash brings out the yellow. Alex Kennedy in the No. 87 Toyota seems to have his car flattened after an incident through the Esses, apparently with the No. 3 of Austin Dillon.
3:45 p.m. The race goes green -- and past halfway -- and while Keselowski holds his lead, Kyle Busch is turning heads on the track and in the crowd as he has worked his way to second. That's after he started at the back of the pack. He made a groovy pass exiting the backstretch and into the Inner Loop, swooping to the inside lane and passing two cars as they were three-wide for a moment. Great stuff.
3:56 p.m. Keselowski in for his second and likely final pit stop. Kyle Busch assumed the lead for a lap -- with 51 of 82 complete, then came to the pits with several other key cars.
4:03 p.m. The caution is out after a couple of exciting laps in which Edwards got into the back of Kyle Busch, and then Joey Logano, the latter contact which caused Logano to spin out in Turn 11 coming back to the front stretch. He made a nice save amid a cloud of smoke and continued on.
The monitors show Miguel Paludo, Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements and Mike Wallace leading after 57 laps, but we believe they still have to pit. Keselowski is listed fifth behind them, with Kasey Kahne, Hornish and Kyle Busch next. Looks like a fun battle ahead.
Cars come to pit, some of those lead cars indeed head in.
4:13 p.m. Whoa, what a move by Busch on the restart. He was on the inside, positioned behind Kahne, and he flat-out juked around him. Keselowski was on the outside and accelerated to keep the lead.
With 20 laps to go, Keselowski leads Kyle Busch, Edwards, Hornish and Kahne.
4:23 p.m. Caution is out after Cole Whitt sustains heavy damage after a run-in entering the Inner Loop.
Nearly at the same time, Hornish and Kyle Busch had quite the battle. Hornish appeared to knock Busch off-course heading into Turn 10, but Busch somehow regained control, got back on track and maintained position on Hornish. They are third and fourth, resepectively, right now. Keselowski leads with Edwards second with 69 laps down in the 82-lap event.
The restart should be fun, but Keselowski has shown he has been too much to deal with all day. We'll see.
4:30 p.m. Caution continues. With the top three all Cup guys, you might see Edwards trying to bump his way to the front ... you might see Kyle extremely aggressive -- because there is nothing to lose for those guys. Hornish is in the points race and is a good spot.
4:34 p.m. Awesome move by Edwards, who powers by Keselowski coming out of Turn One and entering the Esses.
4:39 p.m. More awesome stuff from Edwards, who fends off Keselowski to power ahead of him up the Esses again.
Keselowski slightly clipped Edwards heading into Turn 11, and the two went side-by-side down the frontstretch. Keselowski couldn't hold on out of Turn One, and Edwards again powered ahead. Shortly thereafter, Austin Dillon drew a caution flag after he was contacted in the rear left and sheet metal went flying.
Edwards shown as the leader after 77 of 82 laps.
4:49 p.m. Basically a green-white-checkered here.
4:52 p.m. Edwards held off a try by several on the restart, then fended off a strong run by Keselowski near start-finish, then was comfortably ahead for the final lap.
Carl Edwards wins the Zippo 200.
The top 10: Edwards, Keselowski, Hornish, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Fellows, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier, Brian Scott.
It was Edwards' first Nationwide start of the season. Not a bad result, huh?
It is the 38th Nationwide victory of his career, which breaks a tie with Kevin Harvick to put Edwards third all-time.
9:35 p.m. Late update as we depart the media center after a long day.
In Saturday night’s Grand-Am Continental Tire 200, the No. 8 Daytona Prototype driven by Ryan Datziel and Lucas Luhr won the race by .817 seconds. The GT Class was won by the No. 94 of Bill Auberlen, Paul Dalla Lana and Billy Johnson. The Team Sahlen cars finished sixth, ninth and 10th among the GTs.
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We'll be back tomorrow reporting live during the big race.
(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)