Crash sidelines Hamlin four races

Sun., March 24, 2013 – Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower spine after contact with Joey Logano on the final lap of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. He was airlifted to a local hospital where he was kept overnight. The incident took place in Turn 4, following a side-by-side battle for the lead. When the two cars hit, Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota slid down the track and struck the retaining wall front-end first. Logano’s No. 22 Ford slipped up the track, made contact with the outside barrier but was able to continue on.

There were not SAFER barriers in the area where Hamlin’s car hit the wall at that time. The injury would force the JGR driver to miss the next four NASCAR Cup races; in his absence Mark Martin and Brian Vickers handled the driving duties for the team.

Logano managed to finish third but was accosted on pit road after the race by an upset Tony Stewart. Logano had blocked Stewart on the final restart.

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