Joey Logano is the leader at the halfway point (80 of the scheduled 160 laps) of Sunday’s Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
Logano has led a race-high 31 laps. Pole-sitter Kyle Busch is running second and has led 17 laps, part of a four-car Joe Gibbs Racing onslaught in the first six positions.
Denny Hamlin is third, followed by Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards.
It’s been a tough race for several drivers:
* Defending Sprint Cup champ and points leader Kevin Harvick suffered his first DNF of the season when the engine in his No. 4 Chevrolet expired on Lap 20.
* Kasey Kahne spun coming out of Turn 3 on Lap 4 and slammed into the pit road wall, causing heavy damage to his car, as well as the wall itself, which had to be welded back together before the race could resume.
* Ricky Stenhouse Jr. suffered heavy front end damage when on Lap 29 he ran into rear of Sam Hornish Jr., who unexpectedly slowed after having missed a shift on an earlier restart.
* Hornish then was involved in another wreck, this time with Kurt Busch, on Lap 66. Hornish’s car suffered heavy damage, but Busch’s car was repairable.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a spin on Lap 72.
Veteran Canadian drag racer turned NASCAR driver Derek White will become the first Native American to start a Sprint Cup race in Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
A member of the Mohawk tribe from Kahnawake, Quebec (near Montreal), White will be behind the wheel of the No. 33 Circle Sport Chevrolet SS when the green flag falls shortly after 1:30 pm ET.
While this will be his Cup debut, the 44-year-old White is no stranger to NASCAR. He’s made 16 Xfinity Series starts, including eight thus far this season, along with six Camping World Truck Series starts, as well.
“I have always wanted to associate with the best, and I know that Circle Sport team principals Joe Falk and Mike Hillman have exactly what I am looking for at this stage in Sprint Cup – great equipment and team personnel and the right experience and attitude to help me make the most of this opportunity,” White said in a media release. “I love to compete against the best, and racing in the Sprint Cup Series has been a goal of mine right from the start of my racing career.”
White, 2010 Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, will double-up this weekend, as he’ll also compete in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire, as well, for White Motorsports.
BK Racing continues to add to its driver roster, announcing Thursday that Matt Dibenedetto has joined the team and will compete part-time in the Sprint Cup Series this season.
Dibenedetto will initially split driving duties in the No. 83 BKR Toyota Camry with veteran driver Johnny Sauter, who raced the car and finished 19th in last Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500.
Dibenedetto is being immediately put into action, as he’ll attempt to qualify for Sunday’s QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If he makes it, Dibenedetto will compete in his first career Sprint Cup race.
Joining Dibenedetto in the BKR lineup this weekend is veteran JJ Yeley in the No. 23 Toyota, and Jeb Burton in the No. 26 Toyota.
Yeley finished 40th in Sunday’s Daytona 500, while Burton failed to qualify. Burton will now make his second attempt to qualify for his first career Sprint Cup race this weekend.
Dibenedetto struggled during much of the first half of last season in the Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) for The Motorsports Group. But the team showed significant improvement in the second half of the season, including best finishes of 11th at Road America, 13th at Mid-Ohio and 16th in the fall race at Kansas.