Denny Hamlin remains hospitalized overnight after being airlifted to a local hospital after a hard single-car crash at the inside wall on the final lap of Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
Kyle Busch beat the field at the 17th annual Auto Club 400, winning his second race in as many days.
At one point, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman incurred penalties after they were caught speeding through pit row.
The race ended in a flurry, as Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano wrecked with half a lap remaining. Denny Hamlin was taken off the track in an ambulance, as NASCAR on ESPN reported. Fortunately, he was able to exit his car on his own.
Denny Hamlin was awake and alert in the infield care center before being transported, but was taken to the hospital after complaining of lower back pain. A helicopter was used due to post-race traffic.
The name of the hospital was not released.
Denny Hamlin, 22, was helped from his car after the hard hit and seemed to collapse outside his car after he had pulled the window net down. He was taken by ambulance to the infield care center, where crew chief Darian Grubb hurried inside to check on the driver.
His girlfriend, Jordan Fish, tweeted Sunday night: “Thank u everyone for your messages concerning Denny. Darian is keeping us posted. He’s alert n awake, main concern is his back.”
Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, who have traded barbs since the season opening Daytona 500, battled side by side, bumping and passing in the closing laps.
They were drag racing down the backstretch, but Joey Logano got loose on the bottom and made contact.
Joey Logano went into the outside wall, Denny Hamlin went into the inside wall and Kyle Busch sailed by for the win.
“After what happened last week, that’s what [Denny Hamlin] gets,” Joey Logano said following the race.
“We have nothing to hang our heads about, that’s for sure.”
In one-sentence responses, Joey Logano vowed to race Denny Hamlin “the way he raced me” and said there won’t be any resolution “until anyone says anything to me personally”.
“I haven’t gotten a phone call, so he can tell you whatever he wants, right?” Joey Logano said to reporters.
Minutes earlier, Denny Hamlin told the media he regretted questioning Joey Logano’s driving ability because: “I didn’t need to give my opinion on that; I think it was kind of a low blow.”
When the two were teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, Denny Hamlin said, they clashed on the racetrack several times but it was kept out of the spotlight.
“It never really was public, but we had times where it was like, ‘Hey, why’d you race me that way?’ or vice versa,” Denny Hamlin said.
“I think I had just as much disappointment as him on the racetrack as teammates as he had in me. I think it was an even shake there.
“Off the racetrack, we’d see each other on the racetrack in Monday morning meetings and be like nothing ever happened.”
It was Kyle Busch’s first win of the season after he had flirted with winning several times in the first four races.
“They forgot about me. I knew they were going to,” Kyle Busch said.
“It’s so fun to come out here and perform like this.”
Kyle Busch acknowledged that he probably wouldn’t have pulled out the victory if not for Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin’s heated battle, which he called “golden.”
“I was just thinking, hopefully I can get by before they wreck. I can make this happen,” Kyle Busch said.