Halfway home in Daytona 500; race now official

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They’ve raced to the halfway mark in the Daytona 500. The question now is can they go the full distance, if another round of storms heads in from the west.

Paul Menard led at the 100-lap, 250-mile mark over Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano.

Richard Petty’s Aric Almirola and Danica Patrick were among the race leaders during the green flag pit stop sequence that wrapped by lap 90. Both have now fallen outside of the top 15 after their stops.

Cole Whitt for Swan Racing was best of the “underdogs” at the halfway mark, 11th at lap 100. Josh Wise, Parker Kligerman, Justin Allgaier and David Gilliland also spent time in the top five during the pit sequence.

Biggest loser in this sequence since the restart has been Kyle Busch, who led at the restart. Busch left a pit stop with an air gun attached, then exacerbated the problem when his original pass-through penalty was upgraded to a full stop-and-go when he failed to serve the pass-through. Some salty radio language followed.

No miracles tonight for April Talladega winner David Ragan of Front Row Motorsports, who headed behind the wall just before the halfway mark.

More updates to follow throughout the race.

Social roundup: Racing world largely outraged by Verstappen penalty

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The discussion over Max Verstappen’s post-race five-second time penalty assessed in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, issued when he tried to the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Turns 16, 17 and 18 carousel complex at Circuit of The Americas, will roll on far beyond today.

The debate today largely centered over consistency in adjudication and application of the rules, track limits themselves (always a sore subject at COTA given its wide runoff areas) or whether there should be permanent stewards.

In the immediate aftermath, though, Twitter lit up with outrage over Verstappen being assessed a five-second post-race time penalty.

Here’s a mere sampling of the reaction, below.