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NASCAR At Charlotte Update: Regan Smith blows engine while running 10th, Jimmie Johnson assumes lead

Regan Smith's first night as Dale Earnhardt Jr's substitute driver was a short one - only 61 laps - but it was impressive while he was on the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Bank of America 500.

Smith had driven the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet into the top-10 and was holding down the tenth spot when his engine popped as he raced towards the first turn. He got the car off the track before fluid could warrant a caution flag and coasted to the garage area, where will remain parked for the night.

Jimmie Johnson holds the lead after championship rival Brad Keselowski hit pit road for a scheduled stop. Keselowski stopped about 15 laps prior to Johnson, second-place Denny Hamlin (third in the standings), and the other front-running drivers. Keselowski and Johnson nearly collided as the Blue Deuce hit pit road, but a miss is as good as a mile in big-time stock car racing.

Kasey Kahne holds down the third position, followed by Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin. Polesitter Greg Biffle runs sixth, with Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, and Carl Edwards completing the top-10.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.