Jimmie Johnson leads halfway in FedEx 400 at Dover

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Kyle Busch’s bid to earn a second weekend sweep in his career ended early in what has been a very strange first half of Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson led at the halfway point, 200 of the scheduled 400 laps. Johnson led 80 of the first 200 laps and is seeking his second consecutive win of the season, having won last Sunday in Charlotte at the Coca-Cola 600.

Jeff Gordon was running second, followed by Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

The race was redflagged for more than a half hour on Lap 160 to repair a chunk of concrete that broke loose from the surface in Turn 2.

The loose piece of concrete damaged the front end of Jamie McMurray’s car, and pieces that bounced off McMurray’s car flew up in the air as well and cracked some of the glass panels in the pedestrian crossover bridge above Turn 2. No injuries were reported in that incident.

Click here for the rest of all that happened earlier in the race.

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SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.