Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/26/14
Denny Hamlin thinks that he might have come back too soon from an injury - and he's glad he did. The driver for Joe Gibbs Racing missed only four races after sustaining a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back in a last-lap accident at California on March 24. The perennial series championship contender rushed back hoping to defy the odds, qualify for the NASCAR's 10-race playoffs and make a run at the championship that has eluded him in his career. Instead, after a hope-fueling return that included second- and fourth-place finishes in his second and third starts, Hamlin's luck essentially ran out. He didn't make the Chase, and has struggled mightily. Might it have been better to give up on the year when he got hurt and focus on his health? ''Maybe,'' he said Friday at Martinsville Speedway, where Hamlin has won four times in his career. ''It definitely wouldn't have taken the mental toll that this year, post coming back, has, but the struggles that we're having n...
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