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.