Denny Hamlin to miss six weeks due to compress fracture to back

Joe Gibbs Racing has released a statement stating that Denny Hamlin will miss six weeks due to a L1 Compression Fracture to his back following his crash on the last lap at Auto Club Speedway.

“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,” JGR said in their statement. “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.”

The compression fracture is located in his lower back and occurs when a vertebrae in the spine collapses. It is an injury that can occur in people who are healthy when they suffer a vertical shock to the area.

Hamlin and Joey Logano were running against each other for the lead in the final laps when Kyle Busch would sneak past them and take the win. However behind Busch, the pair continued to battle and made contact off of turn four. The resulting contact caused Logano to bounce off the wall and Hamlin to go flying into the inside wall. The wall that Hamlin hit had no safer barrier and caused the car to come up off the ground. Hamlin was credited with a 25th with Logano got third.

“He probably shouldn’t have done what he did last week, so that’s what he gets,” Logano said after the race, unaware that Hamlin had been injured.

The feud originally started last week at Bristol Motor Speedway when Hamlin made contact with Logano while battling for second, causing Logano to hit the wall. Logano, after the race, displayed his displeasure with Hamlin. The pair then continued their feud on twitter, sending messages back and forth.

This injury is the same injury that IndyCar Series driver Will Power suffered back in October 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a hard crash. Power was cleared less than four weeks later, back in a car testing.

This is not the first time Hamlin has had a back injury as back spasms due to torn and bulging disks caused him to sit out the Nationwide Series race last July at Daytona and some of Sprint Cup Daytona practice.

JGR has yet to determine who will be filling in for Hamlin.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of



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