Brad Keselowski leads the Southern 500 at halfway point
After 184 laps in the Southern 500, Brad Keselowski leads the field at the halfway point at Darlington Raceway in a race that’s seen eight cautions and five different leaders.
Keselowski, the pole-sitter for the first Labor Day weekend Southern 500 since 2003, has led 127 laps.
The Team Penske driver leads Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch.
The first caution came out quickly on Lap 7 when Chase Elliott slammed into the back of Cole Whitt before also collecting Brett Moffitt. Whitt and Elliott slit down to the inside wall on the backstretch while Moffitt drove off.
Elliott currently runs in 21st on the lead lap.
The second caution was brought out on Lap 44 when Ryan Newman spun on his own coming out of Turn 4, which brought the leaders to pit road for the first time and Brad Keselowksi retained the lead until losing it on a later caution when Carl Edwards mistakenly stayed out on the track.
After a debris caution, the third accident of the race came on Lap 110 when, in the words of Ken Squire, the No. 46 of Michael Annett spun out of a turn and “looped” down to the inside wall.
Five laps after the Lap 114 restart, Mike Bliss and his Harry Gant themed No. 33 brought out the fifth caution of the night when he slammed into the outside wall, earning the biggest “Darlington strip” of the night. The resulting restart didn’t see one complete lap before another accident occured, this time with Annett and J.J. Yeley.
Trevor Bayne was the lone victim in the race’s eighth caution on Lap 166. After Austin Dillon squeezed him down into Danica Patrick, the damage created a flat tire and Bayne’s No. 6 Ford spun out.