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Denny Hamlin is halfway leader at Daytona 500, followed by Kenseth, Truex

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, races Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Denny Hamlin is the halfway leader of the 58th Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway at Lap 100 of the scheduled 200-lap event.

Matt Kenseth is second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and defending Sprint Cup champ Kyle Busch.

Sixth through 10th are Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Johnson and Austin Dillon.

Hamlin has led the most laps (40), while Kyle Busch has led 19, Jimmie Johnson 18, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15, pole sitter Chase Elliott 3 laps, and one lap led each by Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip, David Ragan, Bobby Labonte and Martin Truex Jr.

Seconds after Kevin Harvick got loose, only to make a great save and did not hit any other cars, Elliott ran into trouble on Lap 19.

Elliott got loose while in the middle lane and spun into the infield grass, getting stuck in the process. A tow truck took Elliott’s No. 24 to the garage.

“I just got in the middle there, got loose off (turn 4) and just lost it,” Elliott told Fox Sports. “I hate it, it was such a fun week and you hate to end the race before you got started.

“I’m disappointed for everybody and we’ll have to look past it and get on for Atlanta. That’s the most important thing now. We can’t get caught up in what happened today.

“We’ll try to get it fixed and make some laps (still today). If not we’ll head it to Atlanta and make some laps and move forward from here.”

Elliott’s crew was able to repair his car and he returned to the race on Lap 60, 40 laps behind the leaders.

Regan Smith also spun in the incident, and like Elliott, suffered damage to his car when it hit the infield grass. Smith was able to get his car back onto pit road under its own power.

On Lap 56, Brian Vickers got loose and both Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne got together trying to avoid Vickers’ car, with each car sustaining damage.

On Lap 92, rookies Matt DiBenedetto and 2015 Xfinity Series champ Chris Buescher wrecked together, with both cars suffering heavy damage. Their days are likely done in their respective debuts in the Daytona 500.

“I have nobody to blame,” DiBenedetto told Fox Sports. “It was my fault.”

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