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Jimmie Johnson leads at halfway point in Duck Commander 500 at Texas

jimmie johnson Texas1 2015 getty

Jimmie Johnson is the halfway leader of Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Johnson has been in the lead four different times for a total of 25 laps of the first 167 laps of the 334-lap event. He most recently assumed the lead on Lap 160.

Kevin Harvick is second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.

Sixth through 10th are Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and polesitter Kurt Busch.

All told, there have been 15 lead changes among six drivers thus far with an average speed of 156.298 mph.

Busch started from the pole, but outside pole sitter Harvick took almost immediate command, leading the next 33 laps.

Busch and Harvick traded the lead twice within four laps before Busch would lead from Laps 38 through 79.

Brad Keselowski took over on Lap 82 and led the next 27 circuits around the 1.5-mile oval before four-time Texas winner Jimmie Johnson went to the front.

Harvick passed Johnson on Lap 125 until Johnson regained the lead on Lap 156. Kasey Kahne led Laps 158-159 under a period of green flag pit stops, and then Johnson took back over the top spot.

Only two drivers are out thus far, JJ Yeley, who lasted just 13 laps before retiring, as well as Ryan Blaney, whose day ended after 71 laps.

“Obviously, something happened with the engine,” crew chief Jeremy Bullins said. I’m not sure exactly what because it’s hard to tell what happened first, so we just got to the point where we couldn’t keep going.

“It’s unfortunate. We’ve got a lot of power, so we won’t complain and we’ll go on and get ready for the next one.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski