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Keselowski leads at midpoint of Chase cutoff race at Talladega; Truex out

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hellmann's 500 Practice

TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 21: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 21, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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Brad Keselowski is the leader at the halfway point – Lap 94 of the scheduled 188 laps – in Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Keselowski, who is seeking his fifth career win at Talladega, has led 53 laps.

Ryan Blaney is second, followed by Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

One of the 12 Chase drivers fighting to move on to the Round of 8 after today’s race will not do so, as the engine on pole sitter Martin Truex Jr.’s Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry blew up on Lap 41.

Truex’s engine issue brought out the only caution thus far in the race (for five laps). Truex will finish last in the 40-car field and will join three other drivers to be eliminated from the Chase.

Other issues that have occurred that could impact Chase drivers:

* On Lap 39, Joey Logano left pit road with the jack still under his car and drove one full lap around the track before coming back to have it removed and serve his penalty. But Logano has regained the lost time and is on the lead lap.

* Also on Lap 39, Denny Hamlin was caught speeding entering pit road.

* Other drivers who have led laps: Greg Biffle (13 laps), Chase Elliott (9 laps), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Michael Annett (6 laps apiece), Truex and Hamlin (2 laps apiece), and one lap each by Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.

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