News Column

Denny Hamlin Cleared to Race at Talladega

May 3, 2013

NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, injured in a March crash in Southern California, was medically cleared to resume racing this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series returns to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

But in making the announcement, his Joe Gibbs Racing team remained cautious, saying "exact plans" for Hamlin this weekend "will be determined by the team at Talladega."

Hamlin, 32, missed four races after he injured his lower back in a last-lap wreck March 24 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Hamlin and Joey Logano were racing side by side for the win when they collided and spun, with Hamlin crashing head-on into an inside retaining wall. Logano was unhurt and Kyle Busch won the race.

Mark Martin filled in for Hamlin in Gibbs' No. 11 Toyota the following week, and Briain Vickers has driven the car the last three races.

Speaking to reporters a week ago at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Hamlin indicated he might start the Talladega race this Sunday but then, as a precautionary move, turn the car over to another driver at some point during the race.

Hamlin said his doctors "came to the conclusion they were happy with me starting Talladega and getting out when it's a safe time to get out."


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