Once again, Fontana is forgettable for Hamlin

For Hamlin, the two-mile track in Fontana, Calif. is star-crossed, to say the least.

Don’t blame Denny Hamlin if he develops the same sense of foreboding for Auto Club Speedway that Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch has for Kansas Speedway.

For Hamlin, the two-mile track in Fontana, Calif. is star-crossed, to say the least.

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Last year, Hamlin missed four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races after breaking his back (a compression fracture of the first lumbar vertebra) after a collision with Joey Logano’s Ford sent his Toyota rocketing into the inside wall.

Naturally enough, one of the main story lines entering Sunday’s Auto Club 400 was a possible revenge play between Hamlin and Logano, but that show closed before the curtain went up.

Instead of walking to the starting grid, Hamlin rode to a local hospital on the morning of the race, suffering from a sinus infection serious enough to require immediate attention. Sam Hornish Jr. took his place in the No. 11 JGR Toyota and finished a solid 17th.

Hamlin was released from the hospital Sunday evening, with further observation and evaluation planned this week after his return to North Carolina, according to a statement his team released on Sunday night.

Coincidentally, Hamlin spent most more than 24 hours in the hospital before returning home after last year’s accident. A hospital certainly is an uncomfortable place for a driver to be.

But the most uncomfortable place a driver can be is anywhere outside his race car.

Here’s to a speedy recovery that will keep Hamlin’s absence as short as possible.

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Sam Hornish Jr. , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Analysis
Tags denny hamlin, fontana, nascar-cup