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Kobalt Tools 400: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Leads Early At Las Vegas

The Kobalt Tools 400 for 2012 is still in its infancy, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. has looked solid all weekend and that has continued into the race. Earnhardt overhauled polesitter and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne through turns one and two on the opening lap of the race and has led all 25 laps thus far. Kevin Harvick is shown in second, ahead of Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., and A.J. Allmendinger.

Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon round out the top-10.

Kahne has backslid steadily and now runs 13th.

Hometown hero Brendan Gaughan had hoped to have a great run after finishing fifth in Saturday's Nationwide Series event, but he slapped the wall exiting the fourth turn early and has spent most of the last several minutes on pit road recieving repairs to his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. He did not draw a yellow flag but his hopes of a strong finish for the hometown crowd have been dashed.

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