Atlanta Update: Clint Bowyer leads as race crosses halfway point

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Clint Bowyer currently leads an off-strategy Joey Logano as the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway has crossed the halfway mark.

In real-time points, Bowyer has also taken over the championship lead from Jimmie Johnson, who was invovled in an early incident that also featured his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Wild Card hopeful, Kasey Kahne.

On a restart at Lap 25, Matt Kenseth got into the back of a slow Jeff Gordon, which caused the field to stack up. Kahne then ran into the back of Johnson, while Jeff Burton and Mark Martin got into back of Kahne.

Kahne went to the garage with radiator and oil cooler damage, while Johnson went to the pits with damage to the front and rear ends of his car. Kahne has since returned to action, and Johnson has been simply logging laps toward the back of the field.

Early leader Logano, who, like Kahne, is also on the Chase bubble, has had an up-and-down night. On Lap 102, a vibration forced him to the pits and put him on an alternate strategy.

He inherited the lead following a cycle of green stops around Lap 120-130, but had to stop on Lap 152 as he was unable to get the caution he needed. Another green cycle of stops later on put Logano back in the lead briefly, but Bowyer would gain the point again on the track.

Castroneves crashes out of Indy 500

Photo: IndyCar
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Helio Castroneves’ bid for a fourth Indianapolis 500 triumph came to an end following a restart on Lap 145, when his No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet broke loose exiting Turn 4, sending him spinning into the inside wall near the pit entrance.

Castroneves started eighth and had been running solidly inside the top 10 for much of the race, and he was sitting fifth following a Lap 145 restart. Further, the previous caution – for Sebastien Bourdais, who crashed in Turn 4 – set up Castroneves to possibly make it to the end of the race on more pit stop.

However, that effort came to a disappointing end not long after racing resumed.

Castroneves’ status for future Indy 500s is unknown, though he did make a plea to team owner Roger Penske to let him come back next year. “Please, Roger, I want to come back,” said Castroneves during his interview.

This is the first time Castroneves has crashed out of an Indy 500 since 2006.

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