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.”