Monday, March 25, 2013

Hamlin Diagnosed With Fractured Lumbar Vertebra

Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed moments ago that driver Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his first lumbar vertebra, an injury that could sideline the Virginia native from the next Sprint Cup Series race in Martinsville, Va., in two weeks.

Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture following an accident on the final lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway,” said the team in a written statement. “Hamlin hopes to be released today to fly to his home in North Carolina where he will be evaluated by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates later this week.”
Hamlin has experienced lower back issues for some time, but it is unknown whether that pre-existing condition played a role in Sunday’s injury. Hamlin tangled with rival Joey Logano while racing for the win on the final lap at Auto Club Speedway Sunday, and hit a non-SAFER barrier equipped concrete  wall on the inside of the track’s fourth turn. He exited the car under his own power, but quickly slumped to the ground and was attended to by track emergency personnel. He was airlifted to a local hospital to avoid post-race traffic tie-ups, and remained there overnight for observation.


  1. Hope to see Denny back in the driver's seat of the # 11 very soon. Get well quick!

  2. Scott G. in Nashville3:30 PM

    I noticed the #11 car didn:t seem to "crush" like more recent chassis. I hope teams aren't taking all of the safety advances(HANS,SAFER barries,etc.)as a green light to make the chassis more rigid. That got alot of drivers hurt in the past.

    1. Anonymous10:14 PM

      That's an awesome point scott. I was curious about that too. I rewound it a few times and it seemed that he hit at more of an angle. -The side we saw which was the passenger side looked like it fared pretty well and that was really throwing me. Looked like he impacted the wall with the left headlight though. We never really got to see the differential between the two sides. In the shot where he dropped the window net it still didn't look right due to the angle of the camera and the black color of the car. Playing at full speed, it still didnt look right to me. Maybe never will but In addition I think when the left front tire was pushed into the firewall it probably went directly into the first vertical door bar. I would consider that particular joint as one of if not THE most rigid part of the entire tube chassis/cage. If that IS what happened, the shock wave would go DIRECTLY aft and ring that bitch like half a million giant tuning forks A laviathan of a "SHPRUNG!" All in one herculean low frequency whallop.

      Minneapolis, MN

    2. Scott G10:54 PM

      Luckily, that's the hardest impact i've seen a gen6 take. The way they are squatting the cars on packers, like when they were down on bump stops made me wonder if they are trending back to stiffer frames.

  3. I hope he will take his recovery seriously because your health should be more important than a few races.

  4. Anonymous4:00 PM

    technically speaking, Does this qualiify as being "knocked down a peg?";)

    Denny, heal up son. Im just gettin over a back injury myself and this talk is making me hurt. Hope u make martinsville.

  5. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Denny Hamlin and JGR should sue NASCAR, Penske and the Auto Club Speedway for not installing the safer barrier, thus putting him and the other drivers at risk for serious injury and/or death. I believe it's gross negligence on the part of the sanctioning body, the track and it's ownership group.

  6. Anonymous, after Michael Annett and Eric McClure's injuries hitting SAFER barriers I don't think that will do any good. The negligence argument doesn't cut it here.

  7. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Hope he gets well soon but if not I'd like to see the Dinger fill in

  8. Robert G.8:33 AM

    Has there been any comment from racetrack management about installing safer barriers on this portion of the track?

  9. Doug M12:12 PM

    The racetrack said they would follow Nascar's recommendations about the SAFER barrier installation. If Nascar recommends installing it in that section, they said they would.

  10. Is Denny the new Jeffor? "If NASCAR want's to know where to install SAFER just watch me" Something to that effect I recall.

  11. Anonymous5:38 PM

    not that i like to see anyone hurt, I think this actually helps the sport in more ways than one might consider. In my case I found that denny's having an injury spurred my nascar spirit a little. strange i know but hang with me- This wasn't a tragedy like what happened at daytona, it was a battle injury! We have become pretty used to the drivers being so safe and protected that it's taken a little edge off the "danger" part of the action. what im saying is, if all the planes at the airshow had some sort of super duper double force field in which they were impervious to plowing into the ground like lawn darts would the blue angels really be as exciting?

    I'm sorry you had to be the sacrificial "ham", denny but to me i believe it's going to improve the show for us all.

    1. Robert G.9:32 PM

      So you are saying you like NASCAR for the wrecks?
      I think the race this past weekend was very exciting.
      On the edge of my seat trying to see if Joey would beat Denny, vice versa or if Kyle could pull it out.
      And btw, it is much more than a battle injury. That would be maybe a bruised rib or something (IMHO).
      This could have been career ending (doesn't have to be fatal to be a tragedy).