J.D. Gibbs: "We hate it for him, he’s been so good for us, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) over the years."
J.D. GIBBS, president, No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing: “We have an issue with Denny Hamlin, I’m sure most of you all know, but he has a sinus infection and it’s affecting his vision, so he won’t be able to start the race today. We hate it for him, he’s been so good for us, JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) over the years. We are just praying that he has a quick recovery and hopefully they’ll take him to the hospital and get scanned and he’ll be able to come home real soon, hopefully tomorrow. Really, that’s kind of all I have. Don’t know if you have any questions.”
Is Denny Hamlin going to the hospital now? “Yes, just to make sure.”
Do you know which hospital? “We don’t.”
When did this first arise? “He had a little sinus infection from a while ago, but he probably started Friday and then -- the hard part, I think he can still drive, but he brought it up and was concerned about it and wanted to make sure it was taken care of and brought it up. The doctors said, ‘Hey, you have to do this right away.’ Hopefully it’s nothing, but you have to get checked out.”
Did the doctors tell him not to race? “Correct.”
Who will fill in for Denny Hamlin and what does the team need to do to make the transition? “Sam Hornish (Jr.) will be filling in. He was here because Matt Kenseth was going to have a baby, but I’m glad he was here. He’s the same size as Denny (Hamlin), so I think he’ll do a great job today.”
When was the decision made that Denny Hamlin wouldn’t race? “It was determined probably about 10 minutes ago (Sunday morning).”