Found March 28, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Joe Gibbs Racing has a news conference set for Thursday morning. If it's to name a substitute driver -- or several -- for Denny Hamlin, the pressure will be on. However, the ride could also be the opportunity of a lifetime for an aspiring racer or a driver who is looking for a second chance. For the next six weeks, Hamlin is scheduled to be sidelined by injuries sustained during a crash that occurred on the last lap of Sunday's Auto Club 400 when he and Joey Logano were battling for the win. When the former JGR teammates lost control of their vehicles, Hamlin plowed into the pit road wall and suffered a compression fracture to his L1 vertebra. Hamlin is expected to miss the next five Sprint Cup races. While mathematically Hamlin still can qualify for a Chase to the Sprint Cup berth by remaining in the top 20 in the point standings and acquiring multiple wins, it's more likely that Joe Gibbs Racing would earn a Chase seed in the owner's championship. The latter is something JGR is quite proficient at, having pulled off the feat in four of the last five Nationwide Series titles. And the driver or drivers selected to fill in have the chance to either warm Hamlin's seat or showcase their talent. It's been just over a decade since a relative unknown named Jamie McMurray was tabbed to replace Sterling Marlin. After leading the points for 25 weeks, Marlin suffered a vicious wreck at Richmond International Raceway. Three weeks later, a cracked vertebra was discovered following a subsequent accident at Kansas Speedway. McMurray took over the next race at Talladega. One week later -- in just his second career start -- McMurray scored his first Cup victory. While it's unlikely that Hamlin's temp will produce a feel-good story equal to McMurray's, given the caliber of team and equipment of the No. 11 Fed Ex Toyota, the possibility certainly exists. So who's on the short list? Elliott Sadler -- Sadler already is in the JGR fold and scheduled to run a Cup car with the Alert Energy sponsorship. Before the season began, Sadler, who turns 38 next month, said he hopes to use the opportunity in the Nationwide Series to earn a Cup ride again. In 430 Cup starts, Sadler posted three career wins, qualified for the Chase once and has an average finish of 22.8 over 14 seasons. Brian Vickers -- Like Sadler, JGR enlisted Vickers for the Nationwide Series program this season. However, Vickers, 29, has something Sadler doesn't -- an NNS title. But Vickers already was given a second chance in the Sprint Cup Series when he shared a ride with Mark Martin at Michael Waltrip Racing last season and has continued that role. Vickers posted five top 10s in eight Cup starts last season, which resulted in his career-best average finish (13.8) for a season. In his first start this year, Vickers has continued the trend with an eighth-place run at Bristol. Although Vickers already is slated to drive the No. 55 Toyota at Martinsville Speedway for MWR, he is free for the following five races. Considering how Vickers thrived in his comeback role last year, which is expected to lead to a full-time MWR ride in 2014, it's clear that he would not squander a break of this magnitude. Mark Martin -- Speaking of Martin, other than simply not choosing to compete at Martinsville, he doesn't have a racing conflict next weekend. In 48 starts on the one-mile paperclip shaped oval, he has two wins and an average finish of 13.3 -- better than his younger peers Sadler and Vickers, whose career averages are 24.9 and 19.5, respectively. However, Martin is signed to drive Texas, Kansas and Richmond in the No. 55 Toyota.

Denny Hamlin might miss start at Martinsville Speedway

It is going to be up to the doctor whether or not Denny Hamlin will be able to start at Martinsville Speedway. He will see Dr. Jerry Petty, a NASCAR consultant to find out if he will need to undergo surgery to repair his injured back. Hamlin is at home and resting as comfortably as he can. He is wearing a thick back brace and has difficulty breathing. When Hamlin suffered the back...

Hamlin to miss 'around six weeks'

Just a short time after NASCAR announced there would be no penalties handed down to Joey Logano or Denny Hamlin for their contentious racing that led to a last-lap crash Sunday at Fontana, some much worse news came for Hamlin. Hamlin is expected to miss "around six weeks" with the broken vertebra he suffered as a result of the crash, his team – Joe Gibbs Racing – announced...

Hamlin to miss at least six weeks

Denny Hamlin will be sidelined at least six weeks because of a fractured vertebra sustained in a last-lap crash at California. Hamlin was evaluated Tuesday by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates. Petty determined the driver will not need surgery, but the L1 compression fracture in his lower back needs a minimum of six weeks to heal. NASCAR is off this...

Hamlin Out At Least 6 Weeks

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin was evaluated today by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates after suffering an L1 Compression Fracture during an accident on the final lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.   Dr. Petty determined that Hamlin will not require surgery, but will need...

Breaking: Denny Hamlin Estimated To Miss Six Weeks

By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter@Tobalical According to a press release from Joe Gibbs Racing, driver Denny Hamlin will be out at least six weeks as a result of a compression fracture of his L1 vertebrae which he sustained in a last lap crash in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. The release would go on to say that Hamlin was evaluated by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina...

Hamlin to miss six weeks, has texted Logano since crash

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin will miss six weeks according to the Associated Press. Hamlin was involved in a last lap crash with former teammate Joey Logano at Auto Club Speedway. The wreck sent the 32-year-old Hamlin to the hospital with a fractured vertebra. Once Hamlin arrived back in Charlotte, NC he visited Dr. Jerry Petty. Petty determined that Hamlin would not need...

Gibbs not ready to name temp driver

Joe Gibbs Racing is not ready to name a replacement driver for Denny Hamlin, who will miss a minimum of five races with a fractured vertebra in his lower back. Team president J.D. Gibbs says Hamlin and his No. 11 team will have input on who gets into the car. The preference is in finding a driver who can run most of the races while Hamlin is sidelined. The organization has Elliott...

Martin to fill in for injured Hamlin

Mark Martin will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing while Denny Hamlin recovers from a fractured vertebra in his lower back. Martin's first start in the No. 11 Toyota will be next week at Martinsville Speedway, where he wasn't scheduled to race. Brian Vickers had already been tabbed to drive Martin's car for Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville. ''We've been real...

NASCAR: What Denny Hamlin being out at least 6 weeks means

Tuesday night, JGR announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin will miss at least six weeks due to an injury suffered in a last lap wreck in Sunday’s race at Fontana. Hamlin was crashed by budding rival Joey Logano between Turns 3 and 4. After scraping the outside SAFER barrier, the No. 11 took a turn for the worse and headed towards the inside wall off of Turn...

Denny Hamlin out 'around six weeks'

Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin will be out "around six weeks" after suffering a fractured vertebra in the last lap of Sunday's Auto Club Speedway. On Tuesday, Hamlin was evaluated by

Vickers In For Hamlin Starting At Texas

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that Brian Vickers will take over behind the wheel of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the injured Denny Hamlin starting on April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was previously released that Mark Martin would handle the duties behind the wheel for the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team while Denny Hamlin...
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