Hamlin will miss Thursday practices because of sore back

Denny Hamlin will skip Sprint Cup practice Thursday because of a sore back. His JGR teammate, Joey Logano, will take Hamlin's car out Thursday, splitting time during the 4 p.m.-5:20 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.-8 p.m. ET sessions, which are the only practices scheduled for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday. Drivers typically don't practice during both of the entire sessions because they want to make sure their engines are fresh and so they don't wreck their primary cars. JGR officials said Wednesday that they didn't expect to have a standby driver for Hamlin, who is fifth in the Cup standings and must start the race Saturday in order to earn the points for the event. Hamlin already has decided not to run the Nationwide Series race Friday. Sporting News

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