Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 27, 2013

NASCAR: Hamlin out 6 weeks with fractured vertebra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 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. While it was determined Hamlin won't need surgery, the L1 compression fracture in his lower back needs time to heal.

"Dr. Petty will make the determination when Hamlin will be able to return to racing this season," Joe Gibbs Racing said in a statement.

While there was no official word from Hamlin in the statement, he tweeted: "I wish I got good news today.. I didn't."

Hamlin has made 264 consecutive Sprint Cup Series starts, 13th most among active drivers. He raced two weeks after undergoing knee surgery during an off week in 2010, and completed the race at Phoenix without a replacement driver despite obvious pain.

If he heals according to Petty's estimated timeline, he'd only miss five races because NASCAR is off this weekend. But among the next five are stops at Martinsville and Richmond, where the Virginia-raised driver has a combined six wins. He also hosts and competes in an annual charity race at RIR.

Joe Gibbs Racing said no decision has been made on a replacement for Hamlin, who is 10th in the Sprint Cup Series standings. But the team has former Cup regulars Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers in its stable in the Nationwide Series, and both will likely get seat time in the No. 11 Toyota.

Vickers is scheduled to drive the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Hamlin was injured when his car hit head-on into an interior wall at Auto Club Speedway after contact with Joey Logano.

Hamlin and Logano have been feuding over the last month, and neither wanted to give an inch as they raced side-by-side on the last lap for the win. Both cars ended up wrecking after the contact.

NASCAR ruled that neither driver was trying to intentionally wreck the other during the battle, and no penalties were issued Tuesday. NASCAR chairman Brian France said earlier Tuesday that while Hamlin's injury was unfortunate, the battle for the win was the kind of throwback racing he expects out of the drivers.

"I have said repeatedly, every minute, that contact, especially late in the race when you are going for a win, that's not only going to happen - that's expected," France said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Both of them did exactly what I think you would do when you really, really want to win. Getting some contact, trying to race extra hard to win the race, that's what we're about."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the last championship-level driver to sit out, missing two races last season in the middle of the Chase for the Sprint Cup because of concussions. Vickers missed more than half of the 2010 season because of blood clots.

Sterling Marlin, who led the points for 25 weeks in 2002, missed the final seven races of the season with a fractured vertebra in his neck.

The time out of the car could cost Hamlin a spot in the 12-driver Chase field. He has made the Chase every year since entering the Cup Series in 2006.

Although he's 10th in points, he'll fall after missing Martinsville. The top 10 in standings after the 26th race earn a spot in the Chase, and the two winningest drivers not already eligible get the final two berths.

Hamlin does not have a win this season.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0016web.jpg District Champions!

    District champions ... Enough said!
    Claremore freshman forward Olivia Maulsby converted a game-winning header with 1:22 remaining to lead the No. 4-ranked Lady Zebras past No. 5 Skiatook, 2-1 Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference play at Lantow Field.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • DSC_0433web.jpg SOCCER: Bulldogs spoil ‘Senior Night’ for Zebras

    Claremore senior goalkeeper Sam Lillie made the most of his first and last varsity start Tuesday night against Skiatook on Senior Night at Lantow Field.
    For 40 minutes, Lillie was flawless in the goal, allowing only one goal and making several tenacious stops against the fiery Bulldogs.
    The second-half, however, told a different story as No. 3 Skiatook scored four goals and enjoyed a 5-0 win over the No. 15 Zebras.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Berryhill’s White strikes out 17, tosses no-hitter over No. 1 Verdigris

    Top-ranked Class 3A Verdigris got White-washed by 4A No.3 Berryhill on Tuesday night.
    In a battle of 2013 state champions, Chiefs’ ace Nick White — a future Oklahoma State pitcher —  fired a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts, igniting a 5-0 victory over the Cardinals.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stilwell’s Lea signs with RSU men's basketball

    Rogers State University men's basketball head coach Justin Barkley announced the addition of standout center Matt Lea for the 2014-15 season.

    April 23, 2014

  • HANSLOVANweb.jpg SOCCER: No. 2 Lady Cards roll past Oologah

    Verdigris senior forward Caitlyn Hanslovan tallied another ‘hat trick’ in her illustrious Lady Cardinals soccer career Tuesday night at Oologah.
    The three goals by Hanslovan soared the second-ranked Lady Cardinals past Oologah, 5-0 in non-conference play at Mustangs Stadium.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 5 Claremore HS tennis players earn all-conference

    The Claremore High School boys and girls varsity tennis programs had five players receive Metro Lakes all-conference recognition.

    April 23, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: Horner's RBI-single lifts No. 15 Tulsa past OSU, 1-0

    Catherine Horner's RBI single in the sixth inning and Aimee Creger's three-hit shutout gave No. 15 University of Tulsa (42-5) a 1-0 win over Oklahoma State (24-21) at Cowgirl Stadium on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • ORU's Romano named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list

    Oral Roberts University junior reliever Jordan Romano has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year mid-season watch list, the organization announced on Wednesday.

    April 24, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: OU's Stevens tosses one-hitter past North Texas

    Sophomore Kelsey Stevens was just three outs away from her first no-hitter as a Sooner, but a one-hitter was still a fine consolation prize as No. 17/12 Oklahoma shut out North Texas, 3-0, on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • OSU women's basketball adds JUCO duo

    Oklahoma State's women's basketball team has signed a pair of junior college players it was announced today by Cowgirl head coach Jim Littell.

    Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College's Roddricka Patton and Rylie Swanson, a product of Northern Oklahoma College-Enid, both signed National Letters of Intent and will join the OSU program for the upcoming season.

    April 24, 2014

AP Video