Denny Hamlin's desire "to feel speed again"surely made it difficult for him to sleep Friday night.
Just knowing he would climb back in his No. 11 Fed Ex Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway following a four-race absence became a natural stimulant.
"I understand what makes me a race-car driver because I've been so determined to get back in the car, win lose or draw no matter what the circumstances or the repercussions might be," Hamlin said, who sustained a fractured vertebra following a wreck at Auto Club Speedway on March 24.
"Obviously, I've had a lot of great people around me that have protected my best interests. Really, if this was the old NASCAR, if this was the 80s or 90s, I would've been racing at Martinsville [the following week]. But NASCAR has put in place some great people with their medical staff and they ensured that my quality of life is not in danger when I get on the race track."
Hamlin was optimistic he would return to action last weekend at his home track -- Rich...