Eight collected in first lap melee at Pocono

Eight drivers were officially collected in the Lap 1 multi-car wreck in Turn 3 of the Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson were racing for position entering Turn 3 when Kenseth got loose and spun out in front of the field. This caused a stack-up behind him with Aric Almirola slamming into the back of Michael McDowell, sending him spinning through the grass. Same thing happened to Austin Dillon, being rammed from behind by teammate Paul Menard and sent spinning into the left-rear corner of Chris Buescher.

Matt DiBenedetto swerved into the grass to avoid the mess, only to clip the front-end of Almirola, bounce up in the air and dig his splitter into the grass.

Danica Patrick also got turned by the melee, but it’s not clear what caused her to spin.

Unofficially, Almirola is credited with a last-place finish.

And his response to what happened out there, “I have no idea.”

“Our Smithfield Ford Fusion was really good to start off there. I had passed about seven cars the first two corners,” Almirola said. “I was making a lot of progress and then we got to Turn 3 and everybody just stacked up. I saw some smoke. I saw some cars stopped. I got piled in from behind and just drove into the accident. I haven’t seen a replay and have no idea what caused the wreck. Sort of a bummer not to even make a whole lap. Not our day.”

Except for Almirola and DiBenedetto, everyone collected in the wreck continued on in the race. Kenseth was the highest finisher of the eight, which could do wonders to preserving his 17-point margin over Clint Bowyer for the final spot in the playoffs.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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