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NASCAR Sylvania 300: Kasey Kahne Leads As Halfway Point Looms

When the 2011 season comes to a close, so too will Kasey Kahne's one-year tenure with Red Bull Racing. He moves to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. The Red Bull team, owned by the Austrian energy drink giant, may not even be around next year. COmpany officials are evaluating their NASCAR involvement and put a notice out this week that it may be forced to lay off 150 employees (as is required by North Carolina law when 50 or more employees will potentially lose their jobs). With all that in mind, Kahne's current position atop the scoring pylon could be a major boost should he be able to hold it at the end of today's Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With the halfway point looming, Kahne leads future teammate Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, and Greg Biffle. Kahne and Biffle are both among the 31 drivers outside the Chase for the Sprint CUp who are racing for wins, respect, and little else in the remaining weeks of the season. The race has been relatively clean thus far, with the only caution being for debris. There has been a little beating and banging, as is customary of races at the 1.058-mile oval, and one can only expect that to intensify as the race draws towards its conclusion.

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