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Kasey Kahne holds halfway lead in Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington

Apr 12, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

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A pit road mistake earlier actually paid off for Kasey Kahne, who held the lead at the halfway mark (184 of the scheduled 367 laps) of Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

On Kahne’s previous pit stop, his gas man didn’t fill the tank on Kahne’s Chevrolet fully, forcing Kahne to pit early on Lap 174.

But that proved fortuitous as the rest of the Sprint Cup field was forced to make green flag pit stops just before the halfway mark, allowing Kahne to move to the front of the field.

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick dominated the first half of the race, leading 116 of the first 184 laps. Harvick was second at halfway, followed by seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon in third place.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth, followed by Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.

Brad Keselowski had a slow pit stop on Lap 183 and dropped from first to seventh, followed by Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano.

Speaking of the younger Busch, he had led each of the last three prior races at Darlington, but failed to win each time.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

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