Denny Hamlin won’t be on the track for next weekend’s race in Martinsville, VA.
In fact, he won’t be back behind the wheel of his No.11 Toyota for a minimum of six weeks.
Following a last-lap crash battling Joey Logano for the win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400, Hamlin’s car slammed into the inside wall which was not protected by a SAFER barrier.
Hamlin was airlifted to a local area hospital where he was diagnosed with an L1 compression fracture in his back.
Tuesday, Hamlin visited Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates where he got the word that he won’t be able to race his car at Martinsville and for some time there after.
Dr. Petty determined that Hamlin won’t need surgery, but time needed to heal is a must which is estimated at six weeks before he can return to competition.
No replacement for Hamlin has been named by Joe Gibbs Racing at the time.
Statement From Joe Gibbs Racing:
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 26, 2013) – Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin was evaluated today by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates after suffering an L1 Compression Fracture during an accident on the final lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
Dr. Petty determined that Hamlin will not require surgery, but will need time to properly heal, which is estimated around six weeks time. Dr. Petty will make the determination when Hamlin will be able to return to racing this season.
No decision has been made on a replacement driver for Hamlin during his absence from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.