Paul Menard, Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers were only three of the 12 drivers involved in a crazy crash on the backstretch on lap 118 of Sunday's race at Pocono. But when it comes to the championship, they were the drivers hurt the most.
The crash happened when Denny Hamlin got loose exiting turn one following a restart. Vickers was behind him and when he reacted, his car slid into Matt Kenseth's and the outside wall. From there, the track was essentially blocked and all of the cars behind them piled in.
Stewart's car ended up on top of the hood of Menard's.
All three drivers' cars were toast. While Menard wasn't officially classified out of the race, he finished 33rd, 17 laps down. Stewart finished 36th while Vickers finished 37th.
With five races to go before the Chase there are 11 different winners, meaning that unless there are five different new winners in the next five races (a HIGHLY unlikely possibility), winless drivers will make it in on points. And right now, with five winless drivers tentatively in the Chase, none of them are Menard, Vickers or Stewart.
Currently, Austin Dillon is the last winless driver in the Chase. Menard is now 26 points behind his teammate while Vickers and Stewart are even further back. Vickers is 49 points behind Dillon while Stewart is 51.
What does it mean? Well, the three better try to make that unlikely scenario a reality if they're to be part of the Chase. But the scenario is unlikely for a reason. Both Vickers and Menard have been consistent but haven't been in the hunt for wins. Neither has Stewart and his best chance for a win this year was the first Pocono race when he sped on pit road.
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