Hamlin cleared to return to track
After missing the last four races with injuries suffered in a horrific crash, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Denny Hamlin has been cleared to return to “on-track activities,” Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Thursday.
NASCAR on FOX brings live coverage of the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. The green flag drops at 1 p.m. ET, with coverage on FOX beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Hamlin, who sustained a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back in a last-lap accident with Joey Logano on March 24 at Fontana, has said that despite falling in the standings (he is currently 28th in points), he intends to compete for one of the two wild-card spots to get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The two drivers sitting 11th to 20th with the most wins qualify for the Chase.
Brian Vickers has been driving the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in Hamlin’s absence. As for Hamlin’s status for the actual race on Sunday, JGR said that remains unsettled.
The Associated Press reported that Denny Hamlin's crew chief Darian Grubb says he doesn't plan to run the driver much in Friday's practice session at Talladega Superspeedway. Hamlin will turn just a few laps to see how he feels and shake down the car. Vickers will also run some practice laps.
The news that Hamlin has been cleared has DW amped:
Hamlin ready to go this weekend, welcome back ole buddy!— Darrell Waltrip (@AllWaltrip) May 3, 2013