Hamlin slams into wall at Kansas Speedway
Auto Racing Videos
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas Speedway hasn't been kind to championship contenders this season.
Just weeks after Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a concussion during a tire test on the track's repaved surface, Denny Hamlin slammed into the wall at 202 mph during a day of testing Thursday.
The hit was so hard that he was encouraged by NASCAR to seek an evaluation in the infield care center even after driving back to the garage.
Hamlin was part of a full-field test on Kansas' new asphalt when he clipped the rear of his No. 11 Toyota on the wall entering the first turn. The car shot toward the apron, and Hamlin said he over-corrected, sending it hurtling into the wall.
Hamlin parked the battered car in the garage area and spent a couple minutes looking it over with his team. NASCAR officials also examined the car, considered the severity of the impact and then encouraged him to get checked out by medical staff.
It was the first time Hamlin could remember NASCAR requesting him to visit the care center.
“Obviously, the severity of it and the speeds we were running, it was a wise thing to do anyway,” he said. “Just bell-rung, typical hard-hit, ring-your-bell kind of thing. You get jarred around. You feel a little out of it at first. Everything came back OK.”
It was the second day of testing ahead of Sunday's race, the sixth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, and took out the primary car of one of the leading contenders.
“Little disappointed in losing that car. That car was pretty quick,” said Hamlin, who's third in the standings, 15 points behind leader Brad Keselowski and seven back of Jimmie Johnson.
The car was hardly Hamlin's biggest concern, though.
He said that Earnhardt's decision to step out of his car in the midst of the Chase after two concussions in a six-week span didn't have any bearing on his visit to the care center, but Hamlin acknowledged the issue of driver safety has been pushed to the forefront.
Earnhardt didn't seek treatment for the first concussion, which he suffered in an Aug. 29 crash at Kansas. He sought treatment following a 25-car crash in the Oct. 7 race at Talladega that left him with a lingering headache and has been replaced in the No. 88 car by Regan Smith.
“I don't know if you're going to have drivers voluntarily step out of the car,” Hamlin said. “That'll be the continued challenge of it, no matter how you feel or anything like that. You're just not going to want to step out of your car.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- Steelers hope group of low-budget cornerbacks can deliver
- Steelers notebook: Ben believes rookie WR Bryant can contribute
- Steelers WR Wheaton wants to produce after injury-plagued rookie year
- Pleasant Hills Night Out event marks 21 years
- Century Town Homes residents, Clairton officials frustrated
- Elizabeth’s Riverfest is a family oriented event
- Inside the ropes: Roethlisberger may have his big receiver
- Construction of $500M power plant in South Huntingdon stalled
- Squirrel Hill Tunnel workers cope with speeders, exhaust fumes
- Home sellers are able to remain mum about violent crimes committed there