Found March 25, 2013 on
Denny Hamlin walked out of a California hospital Monday night, more than 29 hours after enduring a horrific crash at nearby Auto Club Speedway that left him with a compressed fracture in his lower back.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was ready to fly home to North Carolina, saying that he was feeling "as I can be at the moment - definitely better than I was yesterday for sure."
Hamlin admitted that the pain he was feeling was something new to him.
"I never felt this before," he said. "Really, my first reaction is I felt something pop in my back and that's why I was really trying to get out of the car as soon as I could because the position I was in ... I couldn't breathe at all. Still having a hard time breathing. When I felt it pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again - so that's why I rushed out and then just lay flat on the ground to try to start breathing at that point."
Hamlin's accident started when he was racing Joey Logano for the lead on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The two made contact and Hamlin's car slammed into the wall.
The driver initially climbed from his car then collapsed onto the track. He was airlifted to a local hospital and spent the night there.
After having issues with a bulging disc in his back before Hamlin knew right away that something was wrong.
"I knew it wasn't good because I'd been through so much back stuff before that I know when something is really, really wrong," he said. "And that was a moment that took two seconds and I knew I was in big trouble."
Hamlin long a proponent of SAFER barriers at the track, hit an area of the track not protected by those walls.
The impact was so hard his car actually left the ground. Hamlin says he expects that area will be covered in the future - a lesson others will take from his crash.
"Yeah - we just find every hole that there is," he said of crashes where the barriers are not placed. "There's just no safe place that a SAFER barrier shouldn't be. I know that there's protocol between NASCAR and the tracks to distinguish where SAFER barriers should be because they do cost a lot of money and they cost the tracks a lot. But I'm sure when we go back (to Auto Club Speedway) they'll be (a SAFER barrier) there. It's unfortunate it takes wrecks here and like what we saw (with Jeff Gordon and Sam Hornish Jr.) at Watkins Glen for them to refigure these tracks into where they need to be safety wise."
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Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has suffered a broken vertebra in his lower back, according to a team release.
Hamlin suffered an L1 compression fracture in a crash on the final lap of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. He was battling driver Joey Logano for the win when contact from Logano sent Hamlin's car into the inside retaining...
It is going to be up to the doctor whether or not Denny Hamlin will be able to start at Martinsville Speedway. He will see Dr. Jerry Petty, a NASCAR consultant to find out if he will need to undergo surgery to repair his injured back. Hamlin is at home and resting as comfortably as he can. He is wearing a thick back brace and has difficulty breathing. When Hamlin suffered the back...
Denny Hamlin will be sidelined at least six weeks because of a fractured vertebra sustained in a last-lap crash at California.
Hamlin was evaluated Tuesday by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates. Petty determined the driver will not need surgery, but the L1 compression fracture in his lower back needs a minimum of six weeks to heal.
NASCAR is off this...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – 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...
Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
Denny Hamlin sustained an incredible impact on the final lap of Sunday’s Auto Club 400. Luckily for Hamlin, NASCAR has made safety advancements since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001, because had it not been for the new style of racecar, or the Hans device who knows what we would be talking...
Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower spine during Sunday's last-lap crash at Fontana, Calif., his racing team said Monday.
Joe Gibbs Racing disclosed the injury and said Hamlin was expected to be released soon from a Southern California hospital to return home. He has what is called an L1 compression fracture; essentially, the first vertebra in the lumbar...
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin will miss six weeks according to the Associated Press. Hamlin was involved in a last lap crash with former teammate Joey Logano at Auto Club Speedway. The wreck sent the 32-year-old Hamlin to the hospital with a fractured vertebra.
Once Hamlin arrived back in Charlotte, NC he visited Dr. Jerry Petty. Petty determined that Hamlin would not need...
More exams on Denny Hamlin’s injured back scheduled this week…
After last week’s melt down it figured that drivers Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin would race each other for the win at Auto Club Speedway.
The two drivers raced each other during the final laps but in turn three of the last lap got into each other allowing Kyle Busch to steal the win.
Logano finished sixth while Hamlin received a ambulance ride.
After the race Tony Stewart and...
Punches were thrown this weekend in the NASCAR Autoclub 400. Tony Stewart and fellow driver Joey Logano, got into a bit of a fisticuffs following the race. Stewart went after Logano allegedly because he blocked him after a late restart.
Check the video out here:
It wouldn’t be NASCAR if there wasn’t a crash, right? Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were neck and neck in the final...
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
By: Toby Christie - Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
What an incredible turn of events that unfolded in the closing laps at Auto Club Speedway — a track not normally known for exciting races, or finishes. That all changed after the 2013 Auto Club 400, as the fans will be talking about this race for a long time to come.
The latest chapter...