Kevin Harvick leads halfway in Coca-Cola 600

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At the halfway point of the 400-lap Coca-Cola 600, Kevin Harvick leads after 200 laps at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Harvick also was in the lead after the first 100 laps. There are 200 more laps remaining in NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race of the Sprint Cup season.

Brad Keselowski is second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers.

Running sixth through 10th were Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano.

Only three drivers have led laps in the event: Johnson led the most laps (91) at the halfway mark, followed by Harvick (79) and Keselowski (30).

Despite fighting back spasms, Gordon remains behind the wheel.

Kurt Busch, who is attempting to become the first driver to race 1,100 miles in the same day between the Indianapolis 500 (finished sixth) and the 600, was running 13th with 200 more laps to go.

Busch was forced to start from the 42nd position because he was unable to arrive at CMS in time for the mandatory driver’s and crew chiefs meeting.

Busch’s younger brother, Kyle, was forced to start from the back of the 43-car field due to driving a back-up car, having crashed his primary ride during Saturday’s second of two practice sessions.

Kyle Busch had climbed up to 17th by Lap 200.

The first 108 laps were run caution-free until debris on the racetrack brought out the yellow flag to slow the field.

Danica Patrick ran very strong in the first 100 laps, climbing as high as second place before falling back to 24th at the midpoint.

There have been just three cautions for 15 laps at the halfway point of the race. The only wreck was David Gilliland, who was sent into the wall when a tire gave way on Lap 161.

“We blew a right-front tire there,” Gilliland said. “We did the wave-around trying to make up some track position, but just blew a right-front. It got real tight the lap before and just blew a right-front.

“It’s a tough way for this to end. We were looking forward to finishing it off, but we’re not gonna do it tonight.”

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F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.