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Kyle Busch leads at halfway point in NASCAR race in Phoenix

March 04, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Kyle Busch, in the No. 18 car, leads Kurt Busch (51) and Matt Kenseth during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.
Kyle Busch, in the No. 18 car, leads Kurt Busch (51) and Matt Kenseth during… (Tyler Barrick / Getty Images…)

Reporting from Avondale, Ariz.   — Kyle Busch was the halfway leader Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

On a postcard-perfect day with temperatures in the 80s, Kevin Harvick was second and pole-sitter Mark Martin was third in the 312-lap race.

Jimmie Johnson, the only four-time winner at Phoenix, led 55 laps but later suffered a right-rear wheel problem that dropped him to 19th.

The biggest crash came on Lap 131 when A.J. Allmendinger, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray made contact coming out of Turn 4, sending Allmendinger and Menard into the wall.

Earlier, Casey Mears slammed into the Turn 2 wall and Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer both scraped the Turn 4 wall early in the race after their cars suffered cut tires.

Kahne, who won the fall race at Phoenix International last November, was forced to the garage for lengthy repairs on his No. 5 Chevrolet and was 37 laps off the pace.

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