Denny Hamlin Suffers Compression Fracture In Lower Back [Video]

Denny Hamlin Compression Fracture

Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower back after a scary crash during Sunday’s Auto Club 400 in Fontana, California.

Hamlin wrecked in the final lap of Sunday’s race during a battle for the lead with Joey Logano. The compression fracture happens when a vertebrae in the spine collapses.

Hamlin and Logano’s bad blood from last week’s Bristol race came to a head in the final moments of Sunday’s race when Denny was trying to pass Logano on the outside for the lead.

It appeared that Hamlin gave Logano enough room through the corner, but it has been debated on whether Logano’s No. 22 car got loose or if he intentionally made contact with Hamlin’s No. 11.

Logano was sent into the outside wall while Hamlin’s car dove down the track, impacting the inside wall where no SAFER barrier was installed.

Denny Hamlin initially climbed from his car, but immediately collapsed on the hot pavement nearby. He was airlifted to a local hospital where he is currently at.

Despite the compression fracture in his back, Denny Hamlin remained in fairly high spirits.

He tweeted on Monday afternoon to let his followers know he was doing okay. He included a photo with a thumbs-up, but appeared to be under the influence of pain medication.

Hamlin hopes to be released from the Fontana hospital later today, according to his day-to-day business manager, Austin Peyton. He will then fly home to North Carolina and will undergo further evaluation by Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery Spine Associates.

While Peyton assured Denny Hamlin’s back fracture is stable enough for him to return home, it is not clear if he will have to have surgery or if he will miss any races from the injury. This is not the first back problem for the FedEx driver, though it is certainly the most serious. He believes the problems are genetic, as his father also suffers from back problems.

Hamlin also expressed his thanks to fans on Monday for their support as he continues to recover. Do you think Denny Hamlin’s compression fracture injury will change where tracks install SAFER barriers?

[Image via Beelde Photography /]