Five-time Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson came into Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at the Kansas Speedway with a seven point deficit to Brad Keselowski.
So far, Johnson is doing a good job of erasing that lead and then some. The Hendrick Motorsports driver shows the way after 100 of 267 laps. Keselowski, meanwhile, is running 24th. The third contender for the title is Denny Hamlin, who runs 13th.
Aric Almirola, who has dominated most of the opening 150 miles of the event, runs second to Johnson, less than one second back. Local favorite Clint Bowyer shows in third place, with Kurt Busch (having a tremendous run in his second race with Furniture Row Racing) and Martin Truex Jr. completing the top-five.
Matt Kenseth holds down sixth place, followed by Mark Martin who led the race's first seven laps before giving way to Almirola. Regan Smith, making his second of two starts in Dale Earnhardt Jr's No. 88 Chevrolet before Earnhardt returns next week, has driven from 39th in qualifying to eighth early on in Kansas. Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards round out the top-10.
Paul Menard, who dominated Saturday's Nationwide Series race and was in position to win before being felled by an empty gas tank, is solidly in 11th, one spot ahead of polesitter Kasey Kahne. Kahne has struggled with the handle on his Chevy all race long and has not led a single lap today.