Multi-car wreck on restart collects Stewart, Keselowski and others

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A big moment for Denny Hamlin led to a multi-car pileup shortly after a restart with 44 laps to go in today’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Hamlin got loose under Clint Bowyer coming out of Turn 1, causing Brian Vickers and Matt Kenseth to come together and start the crash. Hamlin was able to save his car from wrecking, but many others behind him weren’t as fortunate.

Among those involved in the wreck were Vickers, Kenseth, Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier, Martin Truex Jr., A.J. Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Michael Annett, and Tony Stewart.

“I was coming out of Turn 1 and the 11 [Hamlin] just spun in front of us,” Vickers told ESPN after his release from the infield care center. “I was trying to avoid him…I don’t know if a car got into me or not but one thing led to another trying to avoid the 11, and I ended up in the wall.”

Said Kenseth after his release: “I was following Denny on that restart. He kind of got in the middle, so I stayed on the bottom and got behind Brian.

“[The spotter] told me I was clear high, so I just went up to go up off the corner and when I got up there, I saw the 11 car [Hamlin] sideways, the 55 [Vickers] went to miss him, and we all just got collected.”

Stewart himself had the wildest ride even though he was farther back in the field when the incident occurred. He ultimately came to a rest on the hood of Menard’s car, but told ESPN that he was OK.

“It started far enough ahead of us to where we couldn’t see it,” Stewart said. “I was coming off the turn there, somebody got sideways and it started wrecking in front of us and we got caught in it…It wasn’t where we wanted to end up by any means.”

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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