Fontana, CA (Sports Network) - Driver Denny Hamlin suffered a compression
fracture in his lower back following his last-lap accident in Sunday's 400-
mile Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway.
Joe Gibbs Racing released an update on Hamlin's condition on Monday, stating
he was diagnosed with a L1 compression fracture.
Hamlin and his former JGR teammate, Joey Logano, were running side-by-side for
the lead during the final lap of the Auto Club 400 when both drivers made
contact and then spun in turn 4. While Logano scraped the outside wall and
went on to finish third, Hamlin skidded down the track and then slammed hard
into the inside retaining wall. His car came up off of the ground and spun
around after it ricocheted off of the wall.
Hamlin climbed out of his car under his own power but had to lie down on the
track, as safety personnel quickly tended to him. He was later airlifted
to a nearby hospital. The 32-year-old driver remained hospitalized on Monday.
He hopes to be released later in the day and fly back home to North Carolina.
Earlier Monday, Hamlin posted on his Twitter account, "I just want to go
home." He also tweeted a photo of himself while in the hospital.
The Sprint Cup Series is off next weekend for Easter before heading to
Martinsville Speedway, a half-mile racetrack, the first weekend in April.
Hamlin's status for Martinsville is unknown at this time. He will be evaluated
by Dr. Jerry Petty of the Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates later
this week. Petty has evaluated numerous NASCAR drivers in the past, including
Dale Earnhardt Jr. after he suffered a concussion during a multi-car crash in
the 2012 fall race at Talladega Superspeedway.
The Sports Network