Denny Hamlin has a sinus problem that is affecting his vision and is being transported to a local hospital near Fontana, Calif., according to Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs.
Hamlin will miss today’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr., who is on standby duty for the team because Matt Kenseth’s wife is expecting a baby, will replace Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
"We hate it for him," J.D. Gibbs said of Hamlin. "He’s been so good for us, JGR, over the years, but we’re just praying that he has a quick recovery and hopefully take him to the hospital and get scanned and he’ll be able to come home real soon, hopefully tomorrow."
Gibbs said the sinus problem happened Friday.
"The hard part is I think he could still drive, but the problem was he was concerned about it," said Gibbs. "He just wanted to make sure it was taken care of. When he brought it up, the doctors said, ‘Hey, you have to do this right away. Hopefully, it’s nothing, but you have to get it checked out.’"
Gibbs said he did not know which hospital Hamlin was being taken to.
The decision to sit Hamlin was made at about 2:35 p.m. ET, Gibbs said.
NASCAR will grant Hamlin a medical exemption, so this will not affect his championship eligibility.
Hamlin broke his back here last year in a last-lap crash.