No surprise: Jimmie Johnson leads halfway in Auto Club 400 at Fontana

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When you already have a record five wins there, it’s no surprise that Jimmie Johnson was the race leader at the halfway point (100 laps) of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway.

Johnson appeared headed for not only another win there, but looked as if he was ready to dominate the second half of the race.

Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, was second at halfway, but it wasn’t easy. Gordon fell back to near the back of the field not once but twice before rallying back.

Pole sitter Matt Kenseth was scored in third, while Joey Logano was fourth and Greg Biffle had the fastest Ford, sitting in fifth place.

Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. had tire issues early in the race and was forced to go to pit road, falling one lap down, but his team quickly repaired the damage and he was able to not only get back on the lead lap but also up to sixth by midway.

Kyle Busch appeared to have issues with his motor, seemingly not having maximum power, but he was able to overcome that and worked his way back up to seventh.

Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick was eighth at midway, followed by Bristol winner Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray in 10th.

Outside pole sitter Brad Keselowski led 38 of the first 100 laps, but fell back to 15th at the midpoint of the race.

Sam Hornish Jr. was a late replacement behind the wheel for Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Hamlin was suffering from a sinus infection that was affecting his vision.

As a result, Hornish was forced to start at the back of the field.

Auto Club Speedway was also the site of Hamlin’s serious crash in last year’s Sprint Cup race that forced him to miss four races recovering from his injuries.

Several drivers had mechanical and tire issues, while others had issues with spins or wrecks, including Tony Stewart, Aric Almirola and Brian Scott.

And Parker Kligerman continued to have the worst luck of everyone in the series, being forced out of the race after 85 laps due to a wreck.

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Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”