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NASCAR At Indy Update: Polesitter Denny Hamlin Leads Opening Laps, Carl Edwards Remains Snakebit

The 2012 edition of the Brickyard 400 is still in its infancy, but fans of the No. 11 team and driver Denny Hamlin are smiling. The Chesterfield, VA, native has led the opening 15 trips around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hamlin is looking for his first win in seven tries at Indy. Should he go to victory lane, he would join Kevin Harvick as the only two drivers to ever win the 400 from the pole. It would be Hamlin's third win of the 2012 season and the third for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Brickyard 400.

The miserable season for Carl Edwards has continued. Edwards, who started second and was running a solid third behind Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson, has dropped off the pace with an engine issue. He began the day 11th in the standings, 46 points behind 10th-placed Brad Keselowski. That immense margin is magnified by the fact that Edwards has yet to win a race this season - in fact, he hasn't won since Las Vegas in March 2011 - and is not currently in position for one of the wild card spots to make the Chase.

Hamlin shows the way with Jimmie Johnson a second and a half back. Kyle Busch sits third, followed by Greg Biffle and four-time Indy champ Jeff Gordon.

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