Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower spine during a last-lap crash while racing to win against former teammate Joey Logano in a NASCAR race Sunday.
Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower spine during a last-lap crash while competing against former teammate Joey Logano on Sunday, and Joe Gibbs Racing officials gave no indication Monday how long their driver could be sidelined.
“I just want to go home,” Hamlin tweeted from a hospital in Southern California. He later posted a photo of himself giving a thumbs-up.
Hamlin was released from a hospital Monday night, and JGR officials said he would return to North Carolina to be evaluated. A reporter from USA Today spoke to the driver outside the hospital and reported Hamlin, wearing a back brace, walked out on his own.
Hamlin was airlifted from the Fontana, Calif., track after a collision with Logano in the Auto Club 400, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, sent him nearly head-on into the inside wall in a place where Auto Club Speedway does not have energy-absorbing SAFER barriers.
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“NASCAR is reviewing the incident and any improvements that can be made, will be made,” track spokesman David Talley said.
Logano managed to finish third in a race won by Kyle Busch despite wrecking into the outside wall after hitting former JGR teammate Hamlin, who spun Logano the previous weekend in Bristol, Tenn., to spark a bitter postrace confrontation.
“He probably shouldn’t have done what he did last week, so that’s what he gets,” Logano said Sunday.
On Monday, Roger Penske, Logano’s car owner, said the 22-year-old driver was unaware of Hamlin’s condition when he made the comment during a television interview.
“It’s one of those things that came out and, taken out of context, isn’t what he meant,” Penske said.