The news on the medical condition of Denny Hamlin will sideline the Joe Gibbs Racing driver of the No. 11 Toyota for at least the next race on the schedule. The medical team at the California hospital have stated that Hamlin has a fractured back which could put the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver out of action for quite some time.

Hamlin’s injury was the result of a final lap crash during the Auto Club Speedway race in Fontana this past Sunday.

Hamlin and Joey Logano were in a side-by-side battle for the victory when contact was made between the two, causing the Toyota of Hamlin to sail down into the inside retainer wall. The front of his Camry lifted off the ground after the head-on hit along with all four wheels in the air.

Penske Racing’s Logano was able to bring his Ford home for the finish while Hamlin’s teammate Kyle Busch took the victory.

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Hamlin gave the usual window net sign by taking it down to indicate that he was okay and then attempted to get out of the car under his own power as the medical and emergency teams had arrived. They went to work immediately to secure Hamlin on a stretcher. After the mandatory stop at the infield medical center to check his vitals and probable injuries, Hamlin was airlifted to local hospital with the report that he was awake and alert.

The medical staff at the undisclosed hospital said that Hamlin sustained a L1 compression fracture. The next move for Hamlin will be a trip back home to North Carolina for further evaluation and treatment. No word at this time if he will need surgery.

While the concern is for Hamlin and his medical condition, the fact remains that Logano and Hamlin are not the best of friends as the two have already had exchange of words.

Prior to the race in California, the Cup drivers were at Bristol and after he lost the race, Logano accused Hamlin of causing him the win at the short track. Unfortunately now for Logano is many will recall his words after the Fontana crash, and before Hamlin was diagnosed with a broken back.

Logano stated immediately after the crash, "He probably shouldn't have done what he did last week, so that's what he gets."