Hamlin released from hospital

UPDATE #2 The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said he immediately knew "I was in big trouble" after he felt a pop in his back following a violent collision with the wall – the result of a crash triggered by contact with rival Joey Logano as the two raced for the win on the final lap.

"The position I was in, I couldn't breathe at all," Hamlin said. "I'm still having a hard time breathing. Literally, when I felt a pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again. That's why I rushed out and just laid flat on the ground to start breathing again."

Hamlin, who was en route to fly home to North Carolina, said he had to be 100% straight – no bending at all. Otherwise, he said, "I run out of breath."

Hamlin said he will meet with Dr. Jerry Petty near Charlotte on Wednesday or Thursday for further evaluation.

Kerry Tharp, NASCAR Director of Communications, tweeted Tuesday, "NASCAR will issue no penalties from last weekend's events at Auto Club Speedway".

03/26/13 Asked specifically Monday night if Logano had tried to call him, Hamlin said, "No. I've heard from pretty much all my peers  which has been humbling to say the least. It makes me really happy and keeps your spirits up when you hear from all your peers and everything," he added. "That part of it has been very encouraging." So, does he view the incident as the product of hard racing or as a part of the rivalry between the two? "I think it's a little bit of both if I had to characterize it," he said. "I really went out of my way throughout the day to give the #22 (Logano) room in a lot of places. He raced me really hard for really the entire event and obviously other guys as well. But at the end I think he saw I was going to win and wasn't going to let that happen." FoxSports

03/26/13 Denny Hamlin spent the night at a local hospital in the Fontana, Calif., area and was released on Monday to fly home to Charlotte, where Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates will evaluate him later in the week. Hamlin told reporters that it is too hard to say if he will be ready for the next Sprint Cup race as he walked out under his own power, according to one of his representatives. The Sprint Cup series has this weekend off, then resumes its schedule on April 7 at Martinsville Speedway. Dr. Petty declined to talk about Hamlin's case or compression fractions in general until he has met with Hamlin. ESPN.com

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