(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick leads at halfway in Kansas Sprint Cup race

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Kevin Harvick leads at the halfway point in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway after the first half of the race was dominated by Matt Kenseth.

Harvick took the lead from Kenseth on Lap 127. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had led 115 of the first 134 laps.

The top 10 after 134 laps is Harvick, Kenseth, Chase Elliott, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

There have been four cautions for 17 laps.

The first waved on Lap 27 for debris on the backstretch.

The second caution came on Lap 36 for a wreck involving Aric Almirola and David Ragan coming out of Turn 4. It occurred at the perfect time for Hamlin, a Chase driver, who began dropping rapidly through the field after the Lap 31 restart due a splitter issue.

Hamlin pitted three times under the caution, with the second and third stops to repair splitter damage. Hamlin now runs in seventh.

The caution came out on Lap 44 when Jamie McMurray lost a tire after contact with Alex Bowman and hit the Turn 3 wall.

During the first green flag pit stops of the race, an equipment issue kept Martin Truex Jr. from getting a fuel tank of gas. The No. 78 was 10 gallons short, forcing Truex to pit on Lap 115. When he was on pit road, Josh Wise brought out the caution after hitting the wall.

Truex runs in 15th on the lead lap.


NASCAR America: Kyle Busch questions Xfinity rules package at Indy

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Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s  Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.

But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?

Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?

Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.


TriStar Motorsports team owner Mark Smith passes away

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Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.

He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.

TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.

“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)

NASCAR America: Analysts break down Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. wreck (video)

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Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.

Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?

Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.

Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps wild Brickyard 400 (video)

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.

Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.

All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.

Check out Junior in the video above.