TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hamlin slams into wall at Kansas Speedway

Getty Images for NASCAR
A detail of damage to the car of Denny Hamlin during NASCAR testing at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 18, 2012, in Kansas City, Kan. (Getty Images)

Auto Racing Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, 8:38 p.m.
 

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.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates acquire Soria from Tigers
  2. Steelers notebook: Tomlin says Latrobe session won’t differ from normal practice
  3. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  4. Police search for missing 7-year-old
  5. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed dangerous homicide suspect
  6. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  7. Obama nominates 3 judges for federal bench in Pittsburgh
  8. China says U.S. trying to militarize South China Sea
  9. Arraignment scheduled for Penn Hills woman accused of transporting $1M worth of heroin along turnpike
  10. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  11. Fire reported Downtown at intersection of Third Avenue and Stanwix Street