After being sidelined last weekend at Fontana, NASCAR has received official confirmation from Denny Hamlin’s doctors that he is medically cleared to race this weekend at Martinsville.
Last Sunday afternoon, before the green flag was waved at Fontana, it was announced Denny Hamlin would not be in the driver’s seat of his No. 11 Fed-Ex Toyota after suffering from extreme pain in his head and eyes.
Per Joe Gibbs Racing press release, the pain was more specifically concerning to his left eye. The team also stated that Hamlin had been to the infield care center the night before complaining of the same problems.
Hamlin, a 23-time race winner in the Sprint Cup Series, returned to the care center the morning before the race as a result of the pain increasing. Unable to pass a test in which the subject visually follows a finger being moved horizontally back and forth, Hamlin was not allowed to race last Sunday. He was also sent to a local hospital in Southern California for more tests.
The loss of eyesight and extreme headaches were originally thought to have been stemming results of a sinus infection. Turns out that wasn’t quite the case as JGR stated it was actually a shard of metal that was in Hamlin’s left eye.
The metal was fortunately the cause off Hamlin’s vision problems, and after further testing and no further complications, Hamlin was cleared by doctors to race in Sunday’s race at Martinsville.
Sam Hornish Jr. replaced the ailing driver after being available to the crew while awaiting the news of whether Katie Kenseth, wife of Matt Kenseth, would be going into labor. Hornish Jr. won’t be needed for “baby stand-by duty” this weekend at Martinsville as on Tuesday night, Matt Kenseth and wife Katie, welcomed a healthy baby girl. Joe Gibbs Racing said both mother and daughter are doing well.
Kenseth, as well as Hamlin, will be racing at Martinsville Speedway in the STP 500 on Sunday, March 30th at 1:00 pm ET.