Found May 03, 2013 on
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If there's a timely caution in Sundays Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, Denny Hamlin can turn over his No. 11 Toyota to Brian Vickers without losing a lap.
Hamlin's doctors cleared him to race this weekend, for the first time since sustaining a compression fracture of his first lumbar vertebra in a last-lap wreck at Fontana, Calif., in late March. Trying to minimize the risk to his continuing recovery, Hamlin plans to start the race and give way to Vickers.
In fact, Hamlin used a football analogy in comparing the risk for further injury to a quarterback taking a knee behind the line of scrimmage, deliberately ending the play before contact can occur.
"As far as the first lap, early-on wreck, it definitely can happen," Hamlin said Friday after posting the seventh-fastest lap in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup practice. "We've seen it here at this race track on Lap 1, and we've seen it on the last lap. I'm obviously going to put myself in what I believe is a safe position.
"Obviously, you can't help things like blown tires or whatever that could possibly happen, but like I said, I think the equivalency of our risks this weekend will be taking a knee."
Vickers' seat insert is in the No. 11 Camry this weekend, but Hamlin and Vickers are close enough in size to make that arrangement workable. Hamlin plans to exit the car through a roof hatch, with Vickers entering through the driver's-side window.
Under caution, the drivers will have roughly three minutes to make the switch before losing a lap. When Hamlin and Vickers practiced the maneuver, they were much faster than that.
"It took us right at one minute every time that we rehearsed it, so we're going to be plenty fine there," Hamlin said. "Everything is pretty seamless."
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Denny Hamlin returned to action at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, but his run was short-lived.
After missing the past four NASCAR Sprint Cup races because of a broken vertebra, Hamlin was cleared to race this weekend. He ran only the opening segment before being replaced by Brian Vickers in the car.
What did he think of his Talladega run?
"The speed of it is the biggest...
After missing the last four races with injuries suffered in a horrific crash, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Denny Hamlin has been cleared to return to "on-track activities," Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Thursday.
Hamlin, who sustained a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back in a last-lap accident with Joey Logano on March 24 at Fontana, has said that despite...
Denny Hamlin received medical clearance Thursday to return this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hamlin has missed four races after sustaining a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back in a last-lap accident at California on March 24.
''Don't call it a comeback - LL cool J,'' Hamlin tweeted.
Joe Gibbs Racing said exact plans will be determined...
For Denny Hamlin, coming off the bench and jumping back in a NASCAR Sprint Cup car couldn't come soon enough.
Late Thursday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Hamlin, 32, would return to the No. 11 Fed Ex Toyota this weekend.
As of 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Hamlin was on a flight bound for Talladega Superspeedway, site of Sunday's Aaron's 499, after missing the last four...
Denny Hamlin's crew chief says he doesn't plan to run the driver much in Friday's practice session at Talladega Superspeedway.
Darian Grubb says Hamlin will turn just a few laps to see how he feels and shake down the car. Then they'll have him get in and out with his helmet on, and anything else NASCAR wants to see from Hamlin.
Brian Vickers will also do one run...
The goal at Talladega Superspeedway was to get Denny Hamlin a chance to turn some laps and collect some points.
He accomplished one of his two goals Sunday.
Hamlin successfully returned from a compression fracture in a vertebra in his lower back by turning 23 laps Sunday before getting out of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for replacement driver Brian Vickers. The swap was made during...
Denny Hamlin will be back behind the wheel of his No.11 Toyota this Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
He’ll start the race, but beyond that is undetermined.
Joe Gibbs Racing stated Thursday night in a press release that, ”Exact plans for this weekend will be determined by the team at Talladega.”
Hamlin, who has missed the past four Sprint Cup Series races after sustaining...
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota. Hamlin was injured during an accident at Auto Club Speedway and has missed the past four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races while recovering. Exact plans for this...
Denny Hamlin eyes return . . . cautiously...
(Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The big one.
It’s inevitable at Talladega. It can happen on the first lap or coming to the checkered flag. You never know. All we know is … it will happen.
That was the first thing I thought of when Denny Hamlin announced he was going to start his No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing at Talladega on Sunday and regular substitute driver...
Denny Hamlin started the Aaron’s 499 behind the wheel of the No. 11 Toyota Camry for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. It was Hamlins first time behind the wheel since a hard last lap crash during the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, CA.
During Hamlin’s time away Mark Martin and Brian Vickers have driven the Joe Gibbs Racing entry. For Sunday’s race Hamlin planned to start...
Hamlin to Return at Talladega: Denny Hamlin will make his return to the #11 FedEx Express Toyota this weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Hamlin missed the last four Sprint Cup Series races while recovering from a back injury sustained in a last-lap incident at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway on March 24. Exact plans for the FedEx Racing team at Talladega will be determined during...
After four races on the sidelines, Denny Hamlin eligible to race this weekend…
DOLLAR GENERAL TEAM HEADS TO DEGA: Brian Vickers and the No. 20 Dollar General team venture to the state of Alabama this weekend as the circuit competes at the legendary Talladega Superspeedway. Vickers captured his first career Sprint Cup Series win on the 2.66-mile superspeedway in October 2006 at the age of 23. The Thomasville, N.C.-native has four career Nationwide Series starts...
Team owner Michael Waltrip hasn't announced a driver for his No. 55 Toyota next year, but he wasn't shy about naming the man he wants in the car -- and it's hardly a surprise.
Waltrip wants part-time driver Brian Vickers to take a full-time role in the car next season with Aaron's as his sponsor.
"We've raced with Aaron's for 14 years, and we hope that...