Hamlin will go to Martinsville; hopes to return at Richmond
Showing minimal aftereffects of the crash that has sidelined him in Sprint Cup, Denny Hamlin was in good spirits and solid stature Wednesday at Joe Gibbs Racing. He smiled broadly while holding his 2-month-old daughter, Taylor. He joked with reporters. He seemed relatively ambulatory while walking around the shop wearing a back brace beneath his black FedEx polo shirt. But his discontent with Logano hasn't.
"I don't blame him for the particular injury," Hamlin said in his first extensive interview since returning home last week from an overnight hospital stay. "I do for the wreck. The injury was circumstantial. A wreck on a 2-mile speedway, you risk getting hurt. That frustrates me the most. Listening to him say, 'I'm sure Denny's fine, these cars are safe.' That really gets to me because he's taking for granted no matter how hard you wreck, you're going to be fine.
[Hamlin] is hopeful of returning by the April 27 race at Richmond International Raceway, which would be two races earlier than the original prognosis of a six-week recovery. But the return will be dictated by doctors, who aren't expected to scan his back to assess his progress for at least another two to three weeks. That won't keep him Sunday from Martinsville Speedway, where he is planning to be on the pit box watching Mark Martin pilot his #11 Toyota.
Hamlin, though, doesn't think NASCAR should take any punitive action [against Logano] because of the "self-policing" philosophies often employed by drivers. Tony Stewart went after Logano after the Fontana race because he was unhappy with a blocking maneuver and vowed to retaliate. More at USA Today
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