Hamlin expects to go distance at Texas

Denny Hamlin said Wednesday his knee is feeling better and he

expects to run the full race this weekend at Texas Motor


Hamlin had surgery March 31 to repair a torn ligament in his

left knee. He tore his ACL playing basketball during the offseason,

and had surgery two days after his win at Martinsville to prevent

further damage.

Although he had Casey Mears on standby last weekend at Phoenix,

where Hamlin raced 10 days after the surgery, Hamlin didn’t get out

of his car even after dropping two laps off the lead.

“I definitely thought about it,” he said. “But I never want

to give up on anything and I wasn’t going to give up on the team on

Saturday night. They worked hard to get that car ready for me, they

were patient with me and I owe to it to them to give it my best


“That’s as true when you are running up front as it is when you

are struggling. It was actually an easy decision from the


Hamlin said his knee is feeling better this week, and he’s been

able to keep up with his rehabilitation despite going from Phoenix

to Los Angeles for a two-day commercial shoot.

“I don’t see any reason that I will have trouble with my knee

by the time we get to Texas,” he said. “Unlike Phoenix where we

had to use a ton of brake, Texas is much different so I will be in

the car and expect to go the full distance, just as I did at

Phoenix last weekend.”

Mears is still scheduled to be on standby.