Logano, Hamlin in control halfway at Martinsville; wrecks take out Harvick, Kahne

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After a fairly passive first 200 laps of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway, things started getting a bit dicey in the 50 laps leading to the mid-point of the 500-lap event on the half-mile bullring.

On Lap 229 of the 500-lap event, two of the eight drivers remaining in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick, got together in a wreck.

It appeared unintentional, that Kenseth made a mistake, starting spinning and tapped the rear of Harvick’s car, spinning him as well. Unfortunately for Harvick, his car got the worst of the situation, smashing into the outside retaining wall, and was forced to the garage for repairs.

Also caught up in the wreck was non-Chaser Tony Stewart, but his Chevy suffered only minor damage and he, as well as Kenseth, were both able to continue on in the race.

At the halfway point, the top 10 were: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick.

Prior to the Kenseth-Harvick-Stewart skirmish, there was another incident of note.

On Lap 216, Brian Vickers had an interesting experience – or was it payback for an incident that occurred about 60 laps earlier?

Having been spun around by Kasey Kahne earlier in an incident that that damaged the hood of his car, Vickers was coming around the track when, all of a sudden, the hood on his car came up and bent backward, covering his front windshield.

About eight laps later and after repairs were made, Vickers went back on the racetrack and appeared to intentionally get into Kasey Kahne’s car, spinning him into the wall and causing significant damage, leading Kahne to take his car to the garage.

Brad Keselowski was caught up in that wreck, but suffered only minor damage and was able to continue on.

Kahne wasn’t the only Hendrick Motorsports car that went to the garage after the run-in with Vickers.

Six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who was eliminated from the Chase last week at Talladega, was forced to come back into the infield right after an oil leak developed.

Johnson eventually got back on-track after repairs were made, but not before he was 38 laps behind the leaders.

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