Denny Hamlin walked out of a California hospital Monday night, more than 29 hours after enduring a horrific crash at nearby Auto Club Speedway that left him with a compressed fracture in his lower back.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was ready to fly home to North Carolina, saying that he was feeling "as I can be at the moment - definitely better than I was yesterday for sure."
Hamlin admitted that the pain he was feeling was something new to him.
"I never felt this before," he said. "Really, my first reaction is I felt something pop in my back and that's why I was really trying to get out of the car as soon as I could because the position I was in ... I couldn't breathe at all. Still having a hard time breathing. When I felt it pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again - so that's why I rushed out and then just lay flat on the ground to try to start breathing at that point."
Hamlin's accident started when he was racing Joey Log...